Russia – In the town of Gubinski lives a very special Russian Orthodox priest. Valery Kolesnikov is the archpriest at the St. Nicholas Church in the Cossack town of Gubkinski. He has a black belt in aikido and he is a skilled swordsman. He became famous after he gathered thousands of views when his impressive swordplay was posted online.
“I had to acquire certain self-defense skills and handling melee weapons to accustom people to the age-old traditions of Russian Cossacks and the Orthodox culture,” Kolesnikov told RT’s video agency.
The priest also trains parishioners in the skills he has mastered. Kolesnikov said that studying the martial arts has given him self-confidence and good physical form. This also helps him to translate his native Russian values of cossack to his parishioners.
What is very impressive about him is that he started mastering the fencing earlier this year. He trained on his own, using online tutorials as guidance, and in less than two months he achieved impressive results.