The editor of an online security blog has called the martial arts skills of Russian President, Vladimir Putin, fake.
Benjamin Wittes, the editor of Lawfare blog, called the videos of the Putin performing martial arts fake and said that such videos and his shirtless images litter the internet. He added,
Martial arts videos of Putin litter the Internet. So do shirtless images. He tangles with endangered species and supposedly wrestles bears. But for all his displays of the crudest forms of masculinity, Putin only fights people who are in his power, whom he can have arrested, whose lives he can ruin. And I think they’re all taking falls for him. In fact, they’re not really fighting him at all.
It all began when Micheal McFaul, a professor at Stanford, tweeted appreciating Putin’s martial art skills. In reply to McFaul’s tweets, Wittes wrote that he can take on Putin anytime, anywhere, provided he doesn’t get him arrested.
@McFaul He’s a fake martial artist. I can take him any time.
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) August 31, 2015
Wittes further commented that most of Putin’s videos follow a pattern. He said,
They involve some shots of Putin and others doing warm-ups, and then they involve a sequence of short clips, in each of which Putin throws someone who is prepared to take the throw; then there are warm handshakes and photo ops. At least in the videos I have seen, there are no committed attacks on Putin, and I see no evidence that his opponents are ever trying to get the better of him. The videos are demonstrations in which he shows off his masculine prowess with them taking what the Japanese call ukemi (defensive falls) for him.
Wittes added that such displays have a dark side to them. These acts are deeply connected to the aggression towards his neighbors, repression of dissidents and his treatment towards the LGBT community in his country.
The entire blog post by Wittes can be read here.