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Vladimir Putin Earns Honorary 8th Dan Kyokushin

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".

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.

We can't offer Vladamir Putin to take a session for us but we do have 5th Dan Neil Harrison, previously trained in Kyokushin and founder of Shinkukai, to take us for a course on May 14th at Hastingsbury School dojo. Entrance by ticket at a cost of £15. See your Sensei for your ticket. See you there!


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