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Vladimir Putin, recently elected the honorary president of the European Judo Union (EJU), reportedly began judo at the age of 14 and he is the first world leader to move forward in the advanced levels. Currently, Putin is a black belt (6th Degree) and is best known for a “wicked” sweeping leg throw called the Harai goshi.
Putin has won competitions in his hometown of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), including the senior champion of Leningrad. Now he is President of the Yawara Dojo, the same St. Petersburg dojo he studied at as a youth. Putin co-authored a book on his favorite sport, published in English under the title “Judo: History, Theory, Practice”.