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Russia steals the show at Kudo champ

Kudo is one of the latest martial arts to come out of Japan, one which the Japanese were proud to dominate, at least until recently. Now Team Russia has spoiled their party with an unprecedented triumph.

It was invented in Japan and Japan it was that hosted the recent world championship. More than 50 countries took part, but as it turned out no one is as good at Kudo as Russia.

It was a resounding success for the Russians in Tokyo, as they secured a clean sweep of medals: 7 golds out of 7, with a couple of silvers being the icing on the cake.

The martial art is less than 30 years old and only arrived in Russia 15 years ago, but has gained quite a lot of ground since.

No wonder as it has everything to offer a good fighter.

"Kudo," which translates as "hollow way," incorporates techniques from almost every conceivable fighting art – karate, judo, boxing and much more. And almost everything is allowed, except punches on the back and neck.

It struck such a chord with Russians that they perfected it to the utmost and denied the sport's creators even a single gold at their home event. The Japanese did get into three finals, but the Russians were relentless.

Edgar Kolyan was one of them.

“I wouldn't say the Japanese guy I fought in the final was much of a nuisance, but he was stronger than the others,” he said. “There were a couple of instances when the judges didn't give points to me. But I still was able to do it, and get the victory in extra time.”

But it was not only men who shone in Tokyo. Ludmila Rodionova also starred emulating their success in the only female category contested.

She says a fighter's spirit is one of her secrets.

“I was a bit nervous before the final, but when the fight began I pulled myself together and told myself nothing but a win will do,” she said. “I couldn't have done it any other way.”