#5 - JRL 7206
Putin Says Judo Values Help Him Win
TOKYO, May 30 (Itar-Tass) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin, who practices Judo wrestling, said the sport made him realize that even the strength of the opponent can be used to defeat him.
"You know, it takes time to realize the strength of the opponent can be used in your own interests, to achieve your aim in sport", he said in an interview with the Japanese NHK television network.
Putin, who together with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will visit a Judo school in St. Petersburg Friday, said wrestling influenced his character. "It helps remain calm and quickly react at that moment, which will yield the best result", he said.
The Russian president stressed it is important for Judo wrestlers to know the opponent well. "That comes as you master the skills. It is important to use the knowledge about the opponent, to know which movements he makes most efficiently, which is his best throw technique. Know it in advance and be faster in using the inertia of his weight, the inertia of your own movements", Putin advised.
The Russian president recalled street fights were frequent among teenagers in his native St. Petersburg.
"Tough laws reigned there. Therefore, I looked for various ways to become physically stronger: I tried boxing, wrestling and so on. So I gradually got to Judo", Putin said, adding Judo changed his attitude to life and to people.