For Immediate Release
April 16, 2014
LEGENDARY ENTERTAINER WILLIE NELSON TO BE PROMOTED
TO 5TH DEGREE BLACK BELT GONG KWON YU SUL
Musician To Attend Ceremony In Austin
New Studio Album Slated For Summer Release
(photo credit: Rick Kern/WireImage)
(Austin, TX) Award-winning artist Willie Nelson will receive his 5th Degree Black Belt in the art of Gong Kwon Yu Sul, a modern Korean martial arts system. At a ceremony on Monday, April 28 at 7:30pm, Grand Master Sam Um will be promoting Nelson at his studio, Master Martial Arts, located at 3425 Bee Cave Rd C-4 in Austin, TX. The celebration takes place two days before Nelson’s birthday.
Nelson has been a practitioner of martial arts most of his life, starting with studying kung fu when he was a songwriter in Nashville. In the past 20 years he has been training in Gong Kwon Yu Sul often practicing techniques while traveling on the road in his bus, Honeysuckle Rose. Just prior to his 80th birthday last year, Nelson told Men’s Health Magazine, “Really, all my life, Charles Atlas and Bruce Lee were on my mind. It’s a good form of exercise, especially as you get older. I went through school playing all kinds of sports. I played shortstop. I ran track. I played football. I was a pole vaulter. Then when I went to Nashville, I got into some martial arts and kung fu. I liked it. We used to offer kung fu lessons to the kids in town. It’s good for you.”
With a six-decade career and 200 plus albums, this iconic Texan is the creative genius behind the historic recordings of Crazy, Red Headed Stranger and Stardust. Willie Nelson has earned every conceivable award as a musician and amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor and activist. Released May of 2012 is Heroes, his first album for Legacy Recordings, showcased new songs and deep country classics. The album spent five weeks at #1 on the Americana Radio Chart. Later that year he launched his book, Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die, which landed in the Top 10 on The New York Times’ best-seller list. A road journal written in his inimitable, homespun voice, the book is a deeply personal look into the heart and soul of a unique man and one of the greatest artists of our time. In 2013, Willie’s albums included April’s Let’s Face The Music And Dance, an album of deep pop country repertoire classics performed with transformative patented ease by Nelson and Family, his long-time touring and recording ensemble; and October’s To All The Girls… which features 18 duets with music’s top female singers including Dolly Parton, Mavis Staples, Sheryl Crow, Loretta Lynn, Wynonna Judd, Rosanne Cash, Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, and Shelby Lynne. In May of 2014, Willie embarks on a summer tour with co-headliner Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas. Also this summer, Willie will release a new studio album that was produced by Buddy Cannon.
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