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Vladimir Putin earns black belt, 8th dan in Kyokushin form of karate


Vladimir Putin earns black belt, 8th dan in Kyokushin form of karate

The 62-year-old Russian president is dedicated to martial arts, earning a black belt in karate and practicing judo since age 11. Putin says martial arts are similar to politics — ‘to see the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.’

Vladimir Putin is boning up on his hand-to-hand combat skills.

The Russian president received an 8th dan black belt in in the kyokushin-kan form of karate from the Kyokushin-kan International Honbu, the Russian federation of the sport announced Friday.

The athletic 62-year-old leader already is a grandmaster in taekwondo, earning his ninth dan in that martial art in 2013. He’s also a judo enthusiast, picking up the practice at age 11, according to his official biography on the Kremlin website.

“Judo teaches self-control, the ability to feel the moment, to see the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, to strive for the best results,” Putin is quoted on the site as saying. “I am sure you will agree that these are essential abilities and skills for any politician.”

Kyokushin is an intense, full contact version of karate that originated in Japan. The practice has reportedly picked up interest in Russia, leading the group’s international organization to offer Putin the highest level in the sport.

Putin earned his fifth dan in kyokushin in 2001 and his seventh in 2009 before reaching the eighth this year, according to the TASS Russia News Agency.

He holds a black belt in karate, as well.

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