BBC News - December 22, 2007

Putin to be featured in judo manual

BBC Interview - Goltz on Putin (Audio)

Russia's judo-loving President, Vladimir Putin, has recorded an instructional DVD along with Japanese Olympic champion Yasuhiro Yamashita. The DVD will be released as a supplement to a judo manual and is due to come out in January or February, the Kremlin's most famous black belt said. He and Yamashita attended a judo lesson in his home city St Petersburg, two years ago after meeting in Tokyo.

"Sports like judo teach you mutual respect," Mr Putin said. "Respect for your rival, with the knowledge that an adversary who appears weak can put up resistance and even beat you if you lose concentration and become complacent."

Speaking at the opening of a Toyota car plant near St Petersburg, Mr Putin joked that he appreciated Yamasita's work in Russia but was dismayed to hear that the Japanese champion was to coach the Chinese team at next year's Beijing Olympics.

"Let him come here to coach our team," he said. "Our Chinese friends will win everything now. They have home advantage." Since his election in 2000, Mr Putin has often been filmed taking part in judo competitions and showing off his physical prowess in other sports, including downhill skiing. He is credited with playing a major role in helping the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi secure the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Telegraph - December 22, 2007

Black belt Putin stars in judo DVD

He is better known for political maneuvers, but soon anyone with a DVD player will be able to watch President Putin's moves in another area of expertise: judo.Mr. Putin, who is a black belt, said yesterday that he and Yasuhiro Yamashita, a world and Olympic judo champion from Japan, have made an instructional video together.

"He and I have recorded a video disc as a video supplement to a judo manual," Mr. Putin said. It will be released early next year.

The pair, who met two years ago, previously visited a judo school in St Petersburg which Mr. Putin attended while at college. Mr. Putin, 55, who co-wrote a judo manual several years ago, has cultivated an image as a strong, physically fit leader.

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