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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Some advice for when Willie Nelson slides off his sneakers personalized with the word "Texas" on them: Don't mess with him.

The country music icon who turns 81 this week received his fifth-degree black belt Monday in the martial art of Gong Kwon Yu Sul. He cinched the personalized belt around a black robe at an Austin studio.

Nelson didn't show off his chops but Grand Master Sam Um assured a packed room, including fellow Texan Lance Armstrong, that the "Red Headed Stranger" could hold his own against anyone.

Nelson's birthday is Wednesday - though he's claimed before that the date is really April 29, a day earlier.

He credits two decades of martial arts for keeping him physically and mentally fit.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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