Photos of Rahul Gandhi practising Japanese martial art aikido emerge on Twitter

The Congress has re-tweeted a post showing Rahul Gandhi in an aikido session with an instructor.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2017 18:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi,Aikido,Congress
The Congress re-tweeted a Twitter post on Tuesday showing Rahul Gandhi performing aikido with his instructor, days after the 47-year-old leader said he plays sports for about an hour.(Twitter/@bharad)

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said recently he held a ‘black belt’ in a Japanese martial art, and now his party is sharing photos to prove it.

The party re-tweeted a Twitter post on Tuesday showing Gandhi performing aikido with his instructor, days after the 47-year-old leader said he plays sports for about an hour.

The website of Aikido Aikikai Foundation of India says the instructor, Paritos Kar, has “over fifteen years of training in Aikido.”

Shared by Twitter user Bharad, the post containing Gandhi’s photos also led to a Facebook profile that showed him with other aikido enthusiasts from May 2016.

The user ‘Bharad’ told Hindustan Times his name was Bharadwaj Vyakaranam and he participated in aikido classes with Gandhi. “He is one of those... well versed in aikido... It is saddening people call it a photo-op ... people must see him to believe him,” Vyakaranam, who works with Nokia , said.

About a week back, Gandhi said at an event that he exercises for about an hour every day.

“I do exercise – running, swimming. I am a black belt in aikido. I keep doing (sports) but I do not talk about it publicly. But in my life, sports has been, is, and will be, very necessary,” the Congress leader said.

“Normally, I do sports for one hour every day. This is true I have not done it in the last 3-4 months. Before that, for my whole life, I have devoted at least an hour daily to sports,” he added.

The remark came after Olympic medal-winning boxer Vijender Singh said he had seen MPs and MLAs cutting ribbons, but never playing a sport.

Singh then asked Gandhi to circulate a video on his sporting activities, saying that people had seen him boxing and wrestling against the government in Parliament and that such videos will inspire others.

“We will put, we will put,” Gandhi had said.

Gandhi has been mixing humour and sarcasm more often to pack a new punch in his social media campaigns ahead of elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

With couplets and sarcasm aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who overshadowed his prime ministerial ambitious in the run-up to the 2014 election, Gandhi has produced some popular tweets recently.

What is aikido?

The Aikido Aikikai Foundation of India describes the martial as: “It has evolved in the historic tradition of Japanese warrior arts. Since Aikido’s movements and techniques arise from the most efficient utilization of the entire person, the practitioner, regardless of physical strength, can develop great power. Instead of an emphasis on punches or kicks against opponents, Aikido uses the energy of their attacks to throw or gain control of them. Rather than being a static martial art, there is a great emphasis on circular movement around a stable, dynamic center.”

First Published: Nov 01, 2017 13:13 IST