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19/10/2013 - 21.33

Greetings to participants and guests of the World Combat Games 2013

Vladimir Putin made a video address greeting participants and guests of the second World Combat Games, which are taking place in St Petersburg on October 18-26.

The Games’ programme comprises 15 martial arts: aikido, boxing, jiu-jitsu, judo, karate, kendo, kickboxing, savate, sambo, wrestling, sumo, Thai boxing, taekwondo, wushu and fencing.

The first World Combat Games were held in 2010 in Beijing. Russia’s team took first place overall in the team rankings at the event. 

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Friends!

I welcome to St Petersburg all participants and guests of the second World Combat Games. We are very pleased that this event is taking place here in Russia, where martial arts are among the most popular kinds of sport. There are around 4.5 million people regularly practicing martial arts in our country. We appreciate and understand martial arts.

Combat sports have a centuries-old history. They have become an integral part of the Olympic movement and reflect the national and cultural traditions of the countries where they began and developed. Today, they are not just sports but a way of life for millions of people around the world. They are in essence a philosophy that gives people confidence in themselves and helps them attain harmony, strength and responsibility.

The various martial arts differ in technique and rules, but they all share the same common principle that fair victory always goes to the genuinely strongest. Not chance but the athlete’s own will, and not the team’s strength but personal skill and courage decide each combat’s outcome. There is no hiding behind your teammates in martial arts. Whether in the ring, or on the mat or the tatami, there is only you and the opponent, and it means a lot to take victory in an uncompromising and honest fight.    

I sincerely wish all competitors success in their performance and all spectators a magnificent celebration of sport. I am sure that this event will help to develop martial arts and boost their popularity in Russia and around the world. I wish you all good luck and may the strongest win.