How to kick ass like a Russian

Ego

The Only Thing Bigger Than My Head
Feb 15, 2005
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Elkton, MD
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Vladmir Putin shows you how!

Black belt from Red Square: Putin's defense maneuvers now on instructional judo video

December 21, 2007

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin is known for his political maneuvers. Now, everyone can check out his moves in another area of expertise: judo.

Putin, a black belt, said Friday that he and Yasuhiro Yamashita, a world and Olympic judo champion from Japan, have made an instructional video together.

The news came after Putin got a message of greeting from Yamashita during an opening ceremony at Toyota Motor Corp.'s new assembly plant near his hometown of St. Petersburg.

"He and I have recorded a video disc as a video supplement to a judo manual," Putin said. "I think it will be coming out in January or February."

Two years ago, Putin and Yamashita attended a judo lesson in St. Petersburg together, helping students practice holds at the judo school Putin, 55, attended in his college years. He had met Yamashita during a visit to Tokyo the previous month.

Putin co-authored a judo manual several years ago.

His physical fitness helped build his popularity among Russians after years with the hard-drinking and chronically ill Boris Yeltsin, who died in April, as president.
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I actually think this is pretty cool, that a world leader can pursue and master things outside the political realm. For him to take the time to share what he's learned with others in this way is admirable.