Steven Seagal recently made an appearance at a new martial arts center in Russia.
The 80s action hero and Russian President Vladimir Putin were the guests of honor at the opening of the Sambo-70 center in Moscow. Putin is hoping to get Russian children interested in sports, martial arts, and being more physically active.
Steven Seagal’s appearance at the martial arts center was to help raise support for the resurrection of a Soviet-era fitness program. The actor’s films are reportedly very popular in Russia.
At one point during their appearance together at Sambo-70, Putin found himself caught in a wave of small children. Steven Seagal stepped in between the kids and the Russian President, though it’s doubtful they meant the man any harm.
“Putin and Seagal have long been friends, and they regularly meet each other,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained.
Putin is interested in reviving the fitness program known as GTO. This is an acronym for “Ready for Labor and Defense.” The program was designed to help children “stand up for themselves, their family and, in the final run, the Fatherland.”
The President said he is concerned about the welfare of the country’s children. Since many kids develop chronic illnesses by age 14, Putin said something drastic has to be done to turn things around.
“We should not have any children who, as they say, sit on the bench during physical education classes. Everyone should practice sports, everyone without exception,” he explained.
Putin added, “Children should become strong, they should be healthy, love sports and have an opportunity to practice them, should know how to defend themselves, their loved ones, their family. Ultimately, they should be able to defend their motherland.”
In addition to appearing at the martial arts center, Steven Seagal and Vladimir Putin were spotted having lunch together. The two then attended a local judo competition.
Are you a fan of Steven Seagal? What do you think about the actor paying a visit to Russia?