Russian President Vladimir Putin sparred with the country’s national judo team this week. During one of the sparring matches, Putin was pulled to the floor and injured by female judo star Natalia Kuzyutina, Business Insider reports.
Putin, who has a black belt in judo, visited the Russian national judo team’s training session in Sochi. The Russian city hosted talks between Putin, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani. The trio discussed their respective country’s strategy in Syria and the Middle East, but Russia’s president took a break to pay a visit to the national judo team.
Filmed by Russia Today and uploaded to YouTube, Putin’s visit to Russia’s national team appears to have been a walk in the park for the president — the video shows him easily pulling the country’s top martial artists to the ground, as they barely resist his maneuvers. But the video also shows a female martial artist throwing Putin to the ground, pulling him down to the floor multiple times.
Natalia Kuzyutina, who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, pulled Vladimir Putin to the ground, injuring his finger.
“During one grapple he cut his finger a bit, or it was a bruise. But this is a normal injury, not a big deal, it’s not even really an injury. Sport is sport,” Putin’s spokesman confirmed to the press.
Evidently thrilled with the opportunity to spar with Vladimir Putin, Natalia Kuzyutina thanked the Russian president via social media.
As Business Insider notes, this is not the first time that the Russian president has shown off his physical prowess in public. Putin has famously been filmed playing soccer, boxing, and playing ice hockey.
“I just love everything new. I enjoy learning new things. The process itself gives me great pleasure,” Putin’s personal website reads. The Russian president is a fan of sports, and enjoys skiing, playing ice hockey, hunting, fishing, horse-riding, and whitewater rafting.
But judo has a special place in his heart, according to the Kremlin‘s official website. According to Putin, judo teaches skills and abilities that are “essential” for every successful politician and leader.
Vladimir Putin was pulled to the floor by a female judo star and cut his finger during a sparring session for the cameras https://t.co/Lp849ZODEl
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) February 16, 2019
“Judo teaches self-control, the ability to feel the moment, to see the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, to strive for the best results,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump is not considered athletic, but most of his predecessors were. According to Fox Sports, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon were all athletic and frequently showed off their athletic prowess on camera.