But he’s not one to just talk the talk.
Keen to flaunt his black-belt judo skills, Putin recently stepped into the dojo to show us what he’s got. Sparring with Ezio Gamba, head coach of Russia’s national judo team, Putin put up an impressive fight. At one point, he knocked Gamba to the ground, making our presidents look like shriveled old dotards by comparison. He then faces off with a younger judoka.
Watch the video below:
The tussle was all in good fun, according to RT. Putin stopped by Sochi to grant the Italian-born Gamba Russian citizenship. Gamba, who won a gold metal in judo at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, was appointed head coach of Russia’s judo team in 2008. Gamba led the team to their first Olympic metals since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
But Putin is no neophyte. According to The Huffington Post, the strongman took up judo at the age of 11 and even once authored a book on the history of Japanese martial arts.
Oh yeah, he also released a judo workout video back in 2008. Because of course he did.