Renat Layshev: ''Putin is in excellent shape, an absolute knockout''

The second part of the interview with the director of the school where Alina Zagitova studies

Renat Layshev: ''Putin is in excellent shape, an absolute knockout''
Photo: (a visit to a martial sambo tournament)

The latest successes of Russians in figure skating made us remember the famous Sambo-70 sports school from Moscow more often than usual. Yesterday you read the first part of the interview that Renat Layshev chairing Sambo-70 for 25 years gave to Realnoe Vremya. In the second part, Mr Layshev tells about his film career as a stuntman, Putin's physical shape and Romantsev who is better than Carrera.

''Our school was already unusual 41 years ago''

You've been chairing Sambo-70 for the 26th year already. But you've been linked with the school since 1974 give or take. Could you presuppose then you would stay here all your life?

I couldn't presuppose it and I understood the school became the job of my life only years later. I'm very glad and pride of it. I see many prospects in different areas ahead mainly thanks to a good team driven by this school's ideology.

Your school turned into one of the leaders of youth and elite sport in Russia. How?

Our school was unusual from the beginning. I was in the first edition 41 years ago. It was different then because common education was united with sport here. Though such a practice still exists as an experiment, there aren't such official structures. And it's even difficult to explain how we cover all new tendencies and areas, what a benefit we get from the union of sport and education. Many wonderful people who studied in our school and work in different spheres have been brought up on this road.

How dependent is Sambo-70 on state support today?

We fully depend on budget money, and it's a normal concurrence. I think that children of our homeland deserve the country's care for them, investment, what will pay back adequately later.

Do we understand correctly than one can enter your school free?

Absolutely free! But the competition for vacant seats has increased in the last years, of course. Everything is free in our school, including food is paid the government of Moscow. And this is also correct, social equality makes children more united, friendly. You physically train a child, require a result from him. This is why it's important that he eat well.

''Everything is free in our school, including food at the expense of the government of Moscow. And this is also correct, social equality makes children more united, friendly.'' Photo:

The old boy network often blossoms in elite schools. Does Moscow have such a problem?

We have certain benefits for graduates of the school. For instance, they can bring their child without waiting for their turn in the queue. But again, if the school becomes popular, we need to understand that famous or influential people turn to it. In general, it also indicates the prestige, why not? But we don't link our interest with such parents. The school is self-sufficient thanks to the support of the Moscow Department of Physical Culture and Sport.

''It never happens really in cinema''

In addition, you also shot in films, right? How did you become an actor?

Our country never had professional stuntmen. This is why it was easier to invite an athlete who could perform a scene of fight correctly, to fall correctly and so on. Moreover, I attended the Pioneers' Palace on Lenin Mountains in the Young Moscow Citizen's Theatre.

Did you come across any famous actor then?

I was in a group several famous actors of theatre and cinema such as Olga Kabo came from. Later I came across in shooting Armen Dzhigarkhanyan, Nikolay Karachentsev, Natalia Gundaryova, I worked with Sergey Shakurov, Oleg Anofriyev, rest in peace. I enriched my life luggage thanks to it, of course, I had many interesting talks, I was on tours in many places of the country and, it goes without saying, I got some knowledge. At a young age, it always was interesting to perform a trick, cope with yourself to jump from a height, fall from a horse. It was fun to see it all on the screen.

Which moment in your career did you remember the most?

There was a big number of such moments, and it's difficult to remember off the top of my head. For instance, in Odessa, I had to jump from the 7 th floor, while a man who started to say ''I can jump from here for any money'' and so on was standing downstairs. We chipped in with guys, offered him the money, took him to the 7th floor, he looked down, baulked and started to scream. To put it mildly, he took a back seat and disappeared. But he told downstairs it was rubbish and there was nothing to do.

Did your jump yourself in the end?

Yes, and we didn't have air mattresses like in Hollywood with different sensors for the jumper's height and weight, you know. We went to a shop of domestic appliances, took their TV boxes, then went to the gym and asked mats for the pole vault. We connected it all, tied with ropes and put under the windows. When you look from the upstairs, it looks like a small square that you need to fall on. And when you do it on Friday 13th, the mood worsens. The coincidence of such things makes seriously psych up for any moment. Even when the director says to the stuntman ''Hit him really, he isn't hurt'' (laughing).

Does it happen often?

The thing is that it never happens really in cinema. To be more precise, a professional director gives complete control of tricks to the stunt coordinator. But there were cases when some people neglected a specialist's advice, and the stuntman hit the actor in answer. Then the director required to sue the stuntman because of the loss of several days of shooting.

We fully depend on budget money, and it's a normal concurrence. I think that children of our homeland deserve the country's care for them, investment, what will pay back adequately later

'All my Russian and non-Russian friends know and love Tatar cuisine very much''

You said once ''You put the Cross on me in shooting of Mikhailo Lomonosovfilm, while I'm Tatar. I worried a lot my mother would see.'' Why did you worry? Was your mother strict about it?

There wasn't specific strictness. I worried rather out of respect for my parents. What is not accepted in a family isn't accepted. By the way, the Cross wasn't seen in the end. It was like this: we stand with Sergey Varchuk on camera, and there is a phrase there ''As if a blind person was going next to the church and didn't cross!'' I needed to say: ''As if he was blind!'' and I did it as an actor. Then we needed to turn away, give a bow and cross ourselves in front of the church. At this moment, it wasn't shown. Everything worked out, thank God (laughing).

You said your parents were from Penza. Could you tell about your family tree in detail?

It used to be Penza Oblast, and now it's Mordovia. I can say it's 1 km far from the village Shamil Tarpischev comes from. Torbeyevo, Atyuryevo – both my mother and father are from these places. I'm pure Tatar.

Where does your last name Alekseyevich come from?

They lived in Donbas then, and my father changed documents and officially became Aleksey Sergeyevich not to be sent to Germany. But his name is Galimdzhan Sabirovich. By the way, I deliberately went to Laishevo, I acquainted with the head. We exchanged different presents, then I invited them to Moscow. But I didn't find any surname Layshev in the local military obelisk. I understand that my roots aren't there, though the name Laishevo is similar to my surname (laughing).

What about Tatar cuisine and national music?

On 1 May, we gathered for my mother's birthday, she is 88 years. And there were all these national dishes like peremech, and a Tatar accordionist was there, everything was very good. In general, all my Russian and non-Russian friends know and love Tatar cuisine very much. Our family is very hospitable. This is why everybody comes and helps yourself. Song? My friend Khabil Bikstashev who can sing all day long is the best singer, of course. It's our famous sambo fighter, he lives in Kazan, the leader of our secret movement (smiling). And it's pleasant to realise that there are more and more people who move the progress of the Tatars, work in both the government of Moscow and the Russian government. There are more such people. For instance, Zagitova is the first figure skater to become a champion. There were speed skaters, but there weren't figure skaters. And I'm the first Tatar in the Moscow Duma for 25 years (laughing).

''Romantsev is the best and genius coach''

You declared your love for Spartak FC. How did you celebrate its championship after waiting for so many years?

Intensively. Moreover, Nail Izmailov is the director of the stadium there (smiling). My father supported Spartak, and I always support the Red-Whites. I've talked to many players, Yury Gavrilov and Fyodor Cherenko have been in my home. I've recently talked to Romantsev, we've recently celebrated Georg Yartsev's 70 th jubilee.

Is Carrera better than Romantsev?

No, for me Romantsev is the best and genius coach, of course. Don't argue here. I'm against foreigners, in general. Despite all this politics, our country is so diverse and talented that we need to find our own specialists who would develop our football. These is of the evil one.

''Seagal knows the martial part quite well and shows quite serious grips, not rubbish.''

You said earlier that Steven Seagal worked in Sambo-70 as coach on a voluntary basis. Is he still working?

He doesn't come so often now. We've recently met at Gold Belt Award that the Russian Union of Martial Arts chaired by Kiriyenko and Trutnyov holds. We met, gave a hug like buddies.

Have your ever met with him on the mat?

I have. The photos come from this event. But we didn't find out who was stronger in sparring, we have different weight categories. But I want to say he is at the level of a good master of sport, for instance, in sambo.

Isn't he an aikidoka?

He knows the martial part quite well and shows quite serious grips, not rubbish. It's seen he mastered them. By the way, his grandmother is from Buryatia. After revolution, their family moved from the Far East, he told me this himself.

''Putin is in excellent shape, an absolute knockout''

Haven't you fought against Putin?

No, I haven't. But when Mr Putin became a master of sport in sambo first, only then in judo, he was a candidate to join the national team of the country. It certainly defined your mastery then.

Putin is 65 years, he has recently played hockey (Editor's Note: on 10 May) and thrown 5 pucks. Doesn't it seem to you there is something supernatural in this?

I saw the difference when he was the beginner and how he is playing now – he is an absolute knockout.

But how can you explain this from a perspective of the organism's possibilities?

Pay attention how he walked along the corridor with a spring in his step during the inauguration. We are already experienced people, we can see by the walk. I deliberately pay attention to it. And, if we compare the walk of Yeltsin or Brezhnev, it's apples and oranges. The person walks easily, bounces, I am saying it to you as a professional coach. Both feet step equally, moreover, the distances in the Kremlin aren't short! And he walked along the hall with a spring in his step, without shortness of breath. He is in very good physical shape, an absolute knockout. And he has played hockey as never before. The age, flights, meetings, negotiations are colossal loads, but he's in excellent shape anyway.

''Putin is in very good physical shape, an absolute knockout. And he has played hockey as never before.'' Photo:

Aren't you going to Kazan?

I want to go to the Football World Cup. I always read the news when some positive events happen in Kazan with great pride and joy. My respect for the city is sincere. The network of facilities built by the Universiade is gorgeous. The opening of the Universiade was almost the best opening I've ever seen in our country. And, most importantly, the reconstruction had a soul. You see sometimes that money is used maybe impressively but not interestingly. But here everything came together. This is why it was so good.

By Zulfat Shafigullin, Artur Khalilullov