Martial Arts Presidents

Presidents Day

Presidents Day commemorates the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. I remember those dates being separate occasions on the calendar but, since the mid-1980s, there has been a push to refer to those dates as “Presidents Day”.

On this federal holiday, we recognize the significant contributions of our first President. But we also recognize the important job that all Presidents have in leading our country.

But there is something very relevant and important that ties our country’s leaders to this small town Karate school — something you may not know.

Some of our Presidents…

Were martial artists.

How cool is that?!?

Who were these titans of both policy and punching?


Both Gerald Ford and Theodore Roosevelt had experience in boxing. What you may not know is that Roosevelt also had a brown belt in Judo!


George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were known for successfully out-wrestling bullies. The same confidence that helped them overcome bullies helped them face bigger obstacles. Washington helped lead the colonies to victory in the Revolutionary War and Lincoln ended slavery.

Other Presidents who wrestled:

  • James Garfield
  • Franklin Pierce
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Ulysses S Grant
  • Chester Arthur
  • Zachary Taylor
  • Howard Taft
  • Dwight Eisenhower


Our most recent former President, Barack Obama, earned his green belt in Taekwondo. In 2009, the South Korean government awarded former President Obama with an honorary Black Belt.

While people may disagree about Presidential policies, hopefully we can agree that it’s pretty cool that some of our nation’s leaders have trained in the martial arts.

Happy Presidents Day!

p.s. Maybe your child will be President someday. If so, wouldn’t it be awesome to have their name listed amongst Presidents who have trained in the martial arts? Martial arts training can help kids develop the skills they need to become leaders!

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Self-defense confidence self-esteem martial arts karate Master Pattillo Martial Arts Winder GA BarrowMatt Pattillo is a fifth degree black belt, master instructor and owner of Master Pattillo Martial Arts, Inc. which operates in Winder, GA (Barrow County). Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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