In this Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a master class at a judo school in St. Petersburg. [Agencies]
Vladimir Putin is out on video as a judo expert.
Russian media have already shown Prime Minister Putin at the wheel of massive racing truck, shirtless on a fishing excursion and tracking a tiger through the Siberian forest.
On Tuesday, he presented an instructional judo DVD that bears his name and shows him throwing an opponent to the mat.
"Let's Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin" is the product of collaboration between Putin -- a black belt -- and former World and Olympic judo champion Yasuhiro Yamashita.
At a nighttime presentation minutes into his 56th birthday, Putin said the title was little more than an "advertising trick." Anyone who watches it “will be learning not from your humble servant but from real geniuses" of the martial art, he said.
But portions shown on Russian television depicted a black-clad Putin talking about the history and philosophy of judo, as well as a white-robed Putin demonstrating moves against a practice partner.
Putin is a one-time judo champion of his home city St. Petersburg.
He is also an avid skier, and his apparent fitness and devotion to physical activity helped increase his popularity in eight years as president. This contrasted sharply with his hard-drinking and chronically ill predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, who died last year.
"The level of developing of sports undoubtedly defines the level of development of the country itself," Putin said at the presentation.
"Without sports, it's impossible to speak of a healthy way of life, about the health of the nation as such," he said.