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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 December 2007, 09:16 GMT
Putin to feature in judo manual
Vladimir Putin on the mat after being thrown by Japanese schoolgirl Natsumi Gomi in Tokyo, 5 September 2000.
Mr Putin has practised the sport on visits to Japan
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."

Narine Zaimtsyan, Russian judo-player
First school dates back to 1914
Denounced as "alien" under Stalin and founding father shot
Revived in 1960s after it achieved Olympic status
Now practised by 200,000 Russians
Source: Russian National Judo Union

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.

According to the Russian National Judo Union, about 200,000 Russians now practise judo.

Judo-players speak about Vladimir Putin

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