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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Produces DVD on Judo

ST. PETERSBURG -- He is better known for political maneuvers, but soon anyone with a DVD player will be able to check out President Vladimir Putin's 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, had made an instructional video together.

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

He thanked Yamashita for making the manual but expressed displeasure upon learning that he was to coach the Chinese team at next year's Beijing Olympics. "Say it's not so! Let him come here to coach our team," he said. "Our Chinese friends will win everything now. They have home advantage."

Putin said judo has played a key role in instilling discipline throughout his life. "Sports like judo teach you mutual respect: 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."