Sambo: an art and combat sport invented by russian people


Sambo is a highly effective and respected martial art that originated in Russia in the early 20th century. “Sambo” is an abbreviation for “self-defense without weapons”.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, sambo has become a full-fledged sport with its own set of rules and regulations. Today sambo is practiced in many countries around the world.

History of Sambo

Sambo was founded in the Soviet Union on November 16, 1938. It was created by a group of talented wrestlers and martial artists who sought to create a new fighting style that would be effective both in competition and on the battlefield. Sambo was heavily influenced by other martial arts including judo, jiu-jitsu and wrestling.

Sambo’s founding fathers

To the founders of sambo in Russia V. A. Spiridonov V. S. Oshchepkov and A. A. Kharlampiev
To the founders of sambo in Russia V. A. Spiridonov V. S. Oshchepkov and A. A. Kharlampiev

The creators of sambo were Viktor Spiridonov, Vasily Oshchepkov and Anatoly Kharlampiev. Spiridonov and Oshchepkov were experienced judo specialists, while Kharlampiev had a background in wrestling. Together, they combined their knowledge and experience to create a new martial art that would be effective in both sports and self-defense situations.

Despite their different backgrounds, the founding fathers of Sambo had a common goal: to create a martial art that was both effective and adaptable. They wanted a system that could be used by anyone, regardless of size or strength, and that could be applied in a wide variety of situations.

Over time, the founders of sambo developed a set of principles that would guide the development of the art. These principles included the use of leverage, the importance of timing and stance, and the need for constant adaptation and improvisation.

Influence of judo and other martial arts

Sambo was strongly influenced by judo, which appeared in Russia in the early 20th century. Sambo’s founders were also influenced by other martial arts, including jiu-jitsu and wrestling. They adapted techniques from these and other arts to create a unique fighting style that would be effective both on the mat and in real-life self-defense situations.

One of the key principles of sambo is the use of throws and takedowns to gain an advantage over an opponent. This technique is similar to that used in judo, but sambo also incorporates other techniques such as leg grabs and chokes that are not applicable in judo.

Another major factor that influenced sambo was the military strategy of the Soviet Union. The USSR viewed hand-to-hand combat as an important part of military training, and sambo was considered a superior form of martial arts training to other systems because of its effectiveness both on the battlefield and in competition.

Principles and techniques of sambo

Sambo is a highly effective martial art that focuses on the techniques of takedowns, throws and submissions. Sambo practitioners learn to use their opponent’s maneuverability and strength against themselves, allowing smaller and weaker fighters to defeat larger and stronger opponents. Sambo also incorporates striking techniques that are used to perform takedowns and submissions.

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Philosophy of Sambo

Russian Sambo Championship 2012
Russian Sambo Championship 2012

Sambo is based on the principle of using the opponent’s strength against himself. Sambo practitioners learn to move smoothly and dynamically, using leverage and special techniques to defeat their opponents. In addition, sambo emphasizes the importance of psychological resilience, as fighters must be able to remain calm and focused even in the most tense and stressful situations.

Sambo is not only a physical sport, but also a spiritual one. It requires great concentration and discipline to master the techniques and strategies of this art. Practitioners must be able to read their opponents and anticipate their movements, while maintaining calmness and composure under pressure.

Strike techniques

Although sambo is primarily a martial art, it also includes striking techniques. Sambo practitioners learn how to use hand strikes, leg kicks, and other strikes to perform takedowns and submissions. This is a component of sambo, as it helps create wrestling opportunities to bring an opponent to the mat.

Sambo striking techniques are different from those used in other martial arts, as they are specifically designed to complement fighting techniques. Sambo strikes are often used to unbalance the opponent and create opportunities for throws and takedowns.

Different styles of sambo

Over the years, sambo has evolved into several different styles, each with its own set of rules and regulations. Although the basic principles and techniques of Sambo remain the same for all styles, each variant has its own unique characteristics that set it apart.

Sports sambo

Sports sambo
Sports sambo

Sport sambo is the most common art form, and it is the style most often seen in competition. Sport sambo includes both stand-up and parterre fighting, with the goal being to win by points or submissions. Fighters wear special jackets and shorts during competition, and they are often divided into weight classes.

One of the unique aspects of sport sambo is that it allows for a wide range of techniques, including throws, takedowns and painful holds. Fighters are also allowed to strike their opponents, but only on certain parts of the body. This combination of techniques creates an exciting and dynamic style of martial art that is both challenging and rewarding to practice.

Another interesting aspect of sport sambo is the emphasis on sportsmanship and fair play. Fighters are expected to show respect for their opponents and the rules of the game; unsportsmanlike behavior is not tolerated. This emphasis on sportsmanship has helped make sport sambo one of the most popular and respected martial arts in the world.

Combat sambo

Combat sambo
Combat sambo

Combat sambo is a more practical and realistic version of this art, focused on self-defense and military applications. Combat sambo involves a combination of striking and wrestling techniques, and fighters are not restricted by rules or regulations. Combat sambo fighters wear protective gear and headgear during training and competition.

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One of the key differences between combat sambo and sport sambo is the emphasis on real-life scenarios. Combat sambo fighters are trained to defend themselves in various situations, including against multiple attackers and armed opponents. This practical approach makes combat sambo an excellent choice for those interested in self-defense or military training.

Another interesting aspect of combat sambo is the use of weapons. In addition to hand-to-hand combat, combat sambo fighters are trained to wield a variety of weapons, including knives, sticks, and firearms. This training makes combat sambo fighters some of the most versatile and versatile martial artists in the world.

Freestyle sambo

It is a hybrid style that combines elements of sports sambo and combat sambo. In freestyle sambo, fighters can use a wide range of techniques, including strikes, wrestling and parterre fighting. Freestyle sambo is often regarded as the most versatile and all-encompassing art form.

One of the unique aspects of freestyle sambo is its focus on improvisation and creativity. Fighters are encouraged to think on the fly and adapt to their opponent.

Sambo competitions and championships

Sambo has a strong competitive environment with tournaments and championships taking place all over the world. Some of the most prestigious sambo competitions include the World Sambo Championships, the European Sambo Championships and the Pan American Sambo Championships. These events showcase the best sambo players from around the world and are a great way to see top level competition in action.

World Sambo Championship

World Sambo Championships are held annually and gather sambo wrestlers from all over the world to compete in various weight categories. World Championships are held every year in different places and are considered to be the most prestigious sambo tournaments in the world. Winning the World Championships is a huge achievement for any wrestler.

European Sambo Championship

The European Sambo Championship is held every year and is one of the main sambo competitions in the world. Fighters from all over Europe compete in a variety of weight categories, and the competition is always tough.

Pan American Sambo Championship

The Pan American Sambo Championships are held every two years and bring together fighters from North, Central and South America to compete in various weight categories. The competition is always intense and this event is a great way to see the best sambo fighters in the Americas.

Mission of Sambo


Sambo is one of the most respected and effective martial arts in the world, with a rich and fascinating history. Whether you are interested in sport sambo, combat sambo or free sambo, there is something for everyone in this dynamic and exciting martial art.

( 5 assessment, average 4.4 from 5 )
Alexander/ author of the article

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