Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fightin' Putin: How Good Is Putin's Judo?

Benjamin Wittes at LawFare says that it's crap. And he's challenged Putin to fight him...IRL!!!111
   I'd like to have a shot at Putin, too, honestly...what red-blooded American boy wouldn't? But let's be serious. Putin's not going to fight some plebe. Also, he's 64. There's no glory in fighting a dude in his 60s. Also, apparently Wittes is 47. That's an almost incalculable advantage. Work hard, and you can be merely pathetic at 47, fight-wise... But 64...you just get to laugh at such challenges at 64.
   OTOH, Putin has apparently trained hard, at least earlier in life, at Judo and Sambo, and has some record of proficiency. Wittes has trained in Aikido and Tae Kwon Do. TKD is pretty meh unless its mixed with something else like Muay Thai. Aikido is closer to useless against a trained opponent. Judo is good. Sambo...well, I've never done any, but it's got a pretty good record in MMA. Other things being equal: Judo and Sambo beat Aikido and TKD. (Fortunately...or, rather, unfortunately...MMA has largely put an end to those old my style of Kung Fu is stronger than yours debates...)
   As Wittes notes, Putin's Judo videos just show him warming up and then practicing throws. That's what most of Judo class is. They don't show him rolling for real with anyone...but, then, if I were a world leader I wouldn't want to roll in front of God and everybody either.
   Anyway, I'd like to see someone kick Putin's ass, and no doubt. (I'd like it most if that person were me...) And Wittes could likely take him because of age alone. And Wittes might be right that he's a fraud. But none of the evidence presented thus far shows the latter to be true.

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