Russian Sambo: The best way of defending and attack, just like a way of life

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

In this article, we will talk about Russian Sambo, ask questions: What is Sambo? What is the Sambo philosophy? What is classic sports sambo? Why is the professional insurance of a Sambo coach important? What is Combat Sambo? What is the difference between sports sambo and combat sambo? Does sambo have special protective equipment? What is the equipment for Sambo? What do they wear in training and Sambo competitions? Why are Sambo wrestlers successful in (MMA)? Who are the famous people of Sambo?


What is Sambo?

Из-за технических возможностей, используемых в боевом самбо, бои выглядят динамично и длится недолго, так как часто заканчиваются нокдауном или нокаутом. В последнее время, в эпоху комбинированных боевых искусств, он приобрел огромную популярность благодаря использованию многогранных боевых искусств. В боевом самбо Помимо использования классического арсенала борьбы , допускается штурмовая техника.
Попытка бросить соперника на землю

Sambo was developed by Anatoly Kharlampiyev as a martial art and method of self-defense in the former Soviet Union in 1938, and this name translated from Russian means self-defense without weapons. Its roots come from Judo and Wrestling. In sports Sambo, special attention is paid to physical fitness, strength, flexibility, and athleticism. This method was developed primarily for military and police purposes. It was conceived as an effective tool in extreme conditions: in winter, in a crowded room, etc. As a result, in its development, special emphasis was placed on painful and suffocating techniques for arresting and escorting a suspect. This technique uses many different types of hand locks as well as sleeve and collar manipulations to paralyze the upper body and subdue the opponent. Sambo combines Japanese Jiu-jitsu with Wrestling and Boxing techniques, and the goal is to find a solution to an extreme scenario in the style of fighting without rules on the street or in the war. Sambo is a popular sport in modern Russia, which is constantly undergoing evolutionary processes, including thousands of effective techniques and exercises in its arsenal. Sambo's technical arsenal is based on a set of the most effective methods of defense and attack, selected from many different types of martial arts in the world. The sambo training method has recently gained worldwide recognition, and it is taught in more than seventy countries around the world.

What is the philosophy of Sambo?

The philosophy of the method is aimed at developing traits and lifestyle principles in the trainees, such as morality, survival, and self-discipline to achieve life goals. The method is aimed at efficiency and progress, continuous improvement and innovation, openness to criticism. Along with integrated techniques from all over the world, Sambo has absorbed the moral principles of peoples who have passed on their share of culture. These values allowed Sambo to pass the difficult tests of time and to withstand. Those who are engaged in sambo today not only learn to defend themselves but also gain experience of respectful behavior based on the values of patriotism and citizenship.

What is classic sports Sambo?

The style is designed for effective defense, in the style of classic sports Sambo. Anyone can start practicing. International competitions are held from time to time. Recognized as an Olympic sport, but not yet included in the official program of the Olympic Games. The method is similar to Judo and Wrestling, but with changes in rules and dress. However, in Sambo, is permitted bolts on legs, and strangulation is not allowed. In Judo, on the other hand, strangulation is permitted, but leg bolts cannot be used. The risk of injury during training in classic sports Sambo is minimal. Suitable for anyone who wants to master self-defense techniques, improve physical fitness, strengthen muscles, and cardiopulmonary endurance. It is also possible to professionally prepare for international Japanese Judo competitions due to the great similarity between the methods. Several specific rules have been developed in which participants are classified by age, gender, and weight category. Victory is awarded by the points that participants gain for performing strength exercises, such as painful grip or strangulation, as well as an early victory in combat, which can be won by effectively throwing the opponent to the ground.

What is Combat Sambo?

Initially, the first version of Sambo was intended for the Russian Special Forces, which is an elite Special Forces unit. It was assumed that it would be a weapon of attack, not self-defense. Later, this version was to become part of the mandatory training of law enforcement agencies such as the police and other Russian armed forces. The method contains fast and effective techniques and attacks designed to inflict maximum damage and even death. Moreover, it is also a tool for effective defense against an unarmed and armed adversary. In self-defense or martial arts schools, different types of sambo are taught. At the same time, certain chapters on the method are still available only to Russian Special Forces. The civilian style of Sambo includes all the elements of self-defense, similar to Japanese Jiu-jitsu, Aikido, and Judo, techniques, and exercises in it are carried out in the style of the Israeli civilian course "Krav-Maga", which includes a collection of effective techniques of combined martial arts.

What is the difference between sports Sambo and Combat Sambo? And why is professional insurance important for a Sambo trainer?

Combat Sambo is designed for law enforcement. However, the classic method was created for the self-defense of the civilian population. In classic Sambo, defense is accomplished without attack, however, combat Sambo is based on attacks, using all means to completely and quickly neutralize the enemy. In fact, this is the main task of combat Sambo. For this reason, this method is considered a form of mixed martial arts in the Western world. One can practice the classic style of Sambo without prior knowledge and at any age. On the other hand, when moving on to combat Sambo, it is worth starting from classical Sambo with initial knowledge and a good base. In terms of beauty and dynamism, combat Sambo is in the first place, although there are many injuries compared to classical Sambo, in which such cases are very rare. In any case, in both classical and combat Sambo, there are dangerous elements in training that are not always under the control of a coach! As a result, it is recommended and even mandatory for every coach in the industry to have professional insurance.

Does Sambo have special protective equipment?

In Sambo, fights are held in the style of mixed martial arts (MMA). As a result, one must protect himself from serious injury. Trainees are not allowed into battles without proper protection. It is necessary to protect the area that is being hit and the same with the protection of the legs. These are usually inexpensive shields compared to the physical damage they prevent. Also comes, the question of professional insurance of coaches against the unnecessary risk of being sued for professional negligence on the part of students. There is no insurance without protective equipment! When striking a punching bag, be it a jab, cross, hook, or uppercut, boxing gloves must be worn. During battles, it is recommended to wear a body shield to reduce damage when receiving blows to the torso; these shields preserve the integrity of the ribs and reduce the likelihood of serious injury during battles. It is very important to protect the head and the teeth from unwanted injuries, therefore it is recommended to use a head and teeth protector. Below, in general, depicted a list of recommended shields for Sambo training and in particular for (MMA):


What training equipment is using in Sambo?

In Sambo, fights are conducted standing and lying down, in connection with which it is very important, with the help of an appropriate floor covering for the gym, to prevent injuries when athletes are thrown, hit, and fall on the floor during training. The quality of the trainer's equipment is also of great importance, for example, pillows for the arms and abdomen when working frontally with a student on strikes. It is also necessary to strengthen the functional abdominal muscles by performing high repetition of lying exercises, and in order not to injure the back, it is advisable to use a suitable training mat. To develop wrestling skills, it is necessary to strengthen the functional muscles associated with it, by using: bundle rubber, a set of hand weights, throwing a heavy punching bag on the floor, imitating the weight and body of the enemy, and more... Below is a list of recommended training equipment for Sambo in general and (MMA) in particular:


What do they wear in training and sambo competitions?

The style of Sambo clothing was historically influenced by Judo and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, so the Russians, on the one hand, created Sambo clothing similar to the Judo Top Suit, and on the other hand, different from it in short trousers. Sometimes only an (MMA) shirt and shorts are worn in training. Sambo footwear is compulsory, unlike Japanese Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. Below is the recommended list of clothes in Russian Sambo:


Why are Sambo wrestlers successful in (MMA)?

Due to the technical capabilities used in combat Sambo, fights look dynamic and do not last long, as they often end in knockdown or knockout. Recently, in the era of combined martial arts (MMA), Sambo has gained immense popularity through its use of multifaceted martial arts. In combat Sambo, in addition to using the classic wrestling arsenal, assault technique is allowed. One can hit with all parts of the body to the entire body of the enemy, except for prohibited weak points.

Who are the famous people of Sambo?

  • Putin, Vladimir Vladimirovich - Prime Minister and President of Russia for several terms.

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov - is an undefeated champion in mixed martial arts, he participated in 29 fights with 29 victories.

  • Taktarov, Oleg Nikolaevich - movie star and multiple world champion in (MMA).

Resume in Russian Sambo

It turned out that, Russian Sambo has deep Japanese roots in judo, Jiu-jitsu, Aikido, Karate, and other martial arts... Initially, this method was created for the army and police of the USSR. Initially in the Red Army, this method was used by Special Forces as a deadly weapon. At the same time, the need arose to create a self-defense tool for the Russian police. Sambo was supposed to be a solution to the country's difficult external and internal issues, such as neutralizing a person armed with cold or hot weapons and minimizing mortal dangers on both sides during the arrest of a suspect. Over time, Sambo became very popular in Russia in general and throughout the world in particular, Russians created traditional Sambo clothes, dividing the method into two parts: classic, sports, and combat Sambo. Whereas, in the first method, it was possible to learn for the townspeople, and it was intended for self-defense and competition. The second method, developed only for offensive purposes, was used mainly by the country's security forces. Over time, they also began to teach Martial Sambo in civilian schools. But there are also subsections of Combat Sambo, which are taught only to security officials. Combat Sambo has established itself as a versatile, effective, evolving, and deadly method. Over time, outstanding athletes of the method began to win in mixed martial arts around the world. There are quite a few famous people among Sambo wrestlers, but the most famous among them are Putin, Vladimir Vladimirovich, Oleg Tektarov, and Khabib Nurmagomedov. This method has received recognition and respect among people involved in mixed martial arts (MMA), and today more than seventy countries around the world teach this method. We also note that the Sambo philosophy is aimed at constant improvement and helps its students: to work their way into life through the pursuit of perfection itself; and also, the ability to receive constructive criticism.


The author - Gil Peleg.

424 views2 comments