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SRK85
1/15/2005 5:04pm,
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&ncid=519&e=5&u=/ap/20050115/ap_on_re_us/black_belt_governor SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Don't mess with Gov. Bob Wise the outgoing West Virginia chief executive won his black belt in Tae Kwon Do on Saturday.

Nearly two decades after his initial attempt and just three months after surgery on both knees, Wise performed a series of body moves, traded arm chops and leg jabs with a partner, and kicked and elbowed through pieces of wood at the Kang Tae Kwon Do Academy.

"I'm ecstatic, really," said Wise, 57. "This is something I've worked for for a long time."

Wise was one of 80 students from gold belts to black belts, from 4-year-olds to senior citizens who competed for higher ranks Saturday in front of an overflow crowd. He is believed to be the only sitting governor with a black belt, said Sok Ho Kang, the academy's grand master.

Monday is Wise's last day in office. An extramarital affair led him to not seek re-election, and fellow Democrat Joe Manchin will be inaugurated as his successor on Tuesday.

Wise earned a gold belt early in his nine-term career as a congressman, which ended when he ran for governor. But he suffered a broken rib during a tournament and didn't take classes again until after he sent his son to Kang a few years ago. In October, the avid jogger underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees to clean out torn cartilage.

"I don't know that my job is that much different than anybody else's, whether you're a truck driver, police officer, whatever," he said. "How do we deal with that stress and how do we focus our energies to what's important? Tae Kwon Do is about the best school for learning that that I know."

Along with California's bodybuilding Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (news - web sites), active chief executives include Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is training for the Little Rock Marathon in March, losing more than 100 pounds along the way.

"Governors are very competitive by nature," said Peter Wiley, director of management consulting for the National Governors Association. "They're usually high energy, so this kind of athletic competition goes hand in hand."

North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley once lost control of a stock car and slammed into a speedway wall at 120 mph while practicing for an all-star event in Charlotte. Idaho's Dirk Kempthorne rides his Harley Davidson motorcycle to meetings in other states.

Gary Johnson, governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2002, was a world-class triathlete and in 2003 climbed Mount Everest (news - web sites). He was a passenger on a balloon that flew 1,740 miles from Albuquerque to Delaware to win a race in 2002.

Wise prefers to stick to martial arts, especially the part about punching through a board.

"Once you break the first one, there's a pump. Your adrenaline gets going," he said. "When you get it right in the middle and you hear 'crack,' it's an incredible feeling."

JKDChick
1/15/2005 6:22pm,
People can google news items on their own. Please don't post without making comments of your own.

SRK85
1/15/2005 8:42pm,
People can google news items on their own. Please don't post without making comments of your own.
Well im just showing I dont know what to say. I guess the governor can kick ass? Or maybe not since it is TKD(im not bashing tkd I just think its not effective on the street. Are there any other poltitcans that had a inteterst in Martial Arts besides Thedore Roosevelt.

Phoenix
1/17/2005 1:53am,
Bill Clinton - TKD
George Bush Sr. - TKD
Pierre Elliot Trudeau - Jiu Jutsu/Judo


That's just three to start with.

Yrkoon9
1/17/2005 2:07am,
Putin has a BB in Judo and helped author a Judo book.

PizDoff
1/18/2005 1:56pm,
Also, http://ap.thecabin.net/pstories/state/ar/20050115/2726132.shtml

Wounded Ronin
1/18/2005 1:58pm,
Oh my crap. I just can't imagine Clinton or Bush throwing a spinning wheel kick.

Shuma-Gorath
1/18/2005 3:03pm,
Well im just showing I dont know what to say.

Understatement of the year.

El Tejon
1/22/2005 8:45am,
Wasn't former Speaker of the House Tom Foley (D-WA) a judoka? :smile: