March 07, 2022

The Toughest Sanction


The Toughest Sanction
Black belt no more. Screenshot by the author, from YouTube, RussiaToday

A pair of announcements this past week have heralded the end of Russian president Vladimir Putin's role as a martial arts extraordinaire, thanks to his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The International Judo Federation released a succinct announcement on February 27 that Putin would no longer be an honorary president and ambassador. Similarly, on March 1, World Taekwondo stripped Putin of his honorary black belt, an award he'd received in 2013.

Putin has been an avid practitioner of martial arts, as they exemplified the macho image he has historically projected, and he has appeared in instructional videos and written books on the subject.

Unfortunately for him, however, peace and harmony are key tenants of both taekwondo and judo, and global martial arts organizations seem keen to disassociate Putin from their practitioners.

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