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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin presented his judo tutorial video, 'Learning
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin presented his judo tutorial video, 'Learning Judo with Vladimir Putin,' in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

The instructional video is a supplement to a judo manual, co-authored by Putin, with the same title that has so far been published in 12 countries.

"Authors Vladimir Putin, Vasily Shestakov, and Alexei Levitsky give a complete history of judo, from its origins in Japanese jujitsu through its development into an Olympic sport, including Russia's contributions to the art," was how the Random House publishers described the book upon its release in the U.S. in 2004.

"The title is an advertising gimmick," Putin, who turns 56 on Tuesday, admitted at the presentation.

"Naturally, those people who watch the video will learn... from Japanese sportsmen - the true masters - and Russian world champions and Olympic medal winners," he said.

Yasuhiro Yamashita, a Japanese world and Olympic judo champion, took part in the making of the video.

The video has four parts. In the first part the Russian prime minister, a black belt in judo, speaks of the history of judo and the basic principles of the martial art.

"The name of the sport, "the gentle way," reveals the fundamental principle - an opportunity to gain the upper hand by soft, but effective actions," - the prime minister says on the video.

In the second part, the prime minister demonstrates some holds and throws.

In mid-September, in an interview with the Le Figaro newspaper, Putin said he would practice judo training with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"He is interested in martial arts and we have decided to do some training together," the Russian prime minister said.


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