When he’s not pushing around neighbouring countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin practices a number of tough guy hobbies including shooting, riding motorcycles, driving fast cars, snowmobiling, playing hockey, swimming in freezing lakes, hunting, and horseback riding.
Perhaps his favourite pastime is judo, in which he has been training since he was 11 and holds a black belt.
Putin even made an instructional DVD called “Let’s Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin.”
Below are some GIFs highlighting what the former KGB agent can do — and perhaps used to do while working in the field.
Putin warms up before every judo bout with a series of stretches and light calisthenics.
Flexibility is key in the sport. An effective throw requires timing, body placement, and the ability to shift your weight correctly.
Done right, judo allows people to throw opponents who may be much larger by using their size against them.
Although not all throws are always 100% effective.
A perfectly executed throw results in an opponent looking like nothing more than a rag doll.
While throws play a major role in judo, incapacitating an opponent is also highly valued.
Armbars are particularly effective. From this position, Putin would be able to dislocate his opponent’s arm.
Throughout all judo engagements, it is imperative to maintain control of the situation.
In the end, judo is an incredibly impressive sport that highlights a fighter’s physical ability.
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