In July Mongolia elected ex judo star as presidtend – Khaltmaa Battulga of the Democratic Party. On the list of politicians who enjoy judo he joined Vladimir Putin who he had the occasion to meet at the recently concluded World Championship in Budapest, Hungary.
Japan dominated once again at the World championship and their PM was quite jovial when he suggested a judo demonstration between the two high ranking officials and judo black belts.
Japanese Pm Shinzo Abe, speaking during the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Russia’s Far East, Abe said he would love to see the judo master Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga, also a judo black belt, come to Japan for some demonstrative grappling.
The Olympic gold medalist Yasuhiro Yamashita was also present at the forum and speaking directly to him, the Japanese prime minister said, “Yamashita-san, can you not invite the two presidents with black belts to Japan, via the Japanese judo federation? That way Mr. Yamashita and the two presidents could demonstrate kumite [training against adversary in martial arts]. What do you think? It could be interesting,” Abe said.
Even though the two politicians are judo fans, we’re not quite sure this grappling event will be happening.
The demonstration would be interesting given that Putin’s judo came under fire recently in the Western media.
As per official spokesmen to the Kremlin:
“There was such a proposal. We have yet to understand how metaphorical it is. Taking into account the explicit and even friendly character of the contact, one can assume that the proposal was aimed to show a positive development of Russian-Mongolian and Russian-Japanese relations, positive dynamics in the relations among the countries in the region that are interested in developing the Far East … I would not treat that literally, that is rather a proposal full of metaphorical meaning,” Dmitry Peskov said.
One way or another it makes for an interesting proposal given that Putin even has his own instructional judo videos, where he explains the philosophy of martial arts and demonstrates techniques!