Russian Sambo – The Art of Combat Defense

Russian Sambo - The Art of Combat Defense

Here is another take on the different forms of martial arts from around the globe. You might have heard of the great Fedor Emelianenko, who is considered as one of the greatest and fiercest fighters in the history of MMA. For the uninitiated, MMA stand for mixed martial arts. Well, do you know what his background of martial arts is? The answer is Russian Sambo. Then there is another great Russian fighter who won the UFC 6 tournament way back – Oleg Taktarov. Even his martial arts style was Russian sambo. Does it sound interesting? If you are eager, then read on to know more about this intriguing style of martial arts – Russian sambo.

Killer Combat System – The Significance!
Sambo is known as Sombo in the United States and it is written in capital letters sometimes. It is a modern self-defense, combat sport and martial art system which was devised in the erstwhile USSR. It was recognized as an official sport in 1983 by the USSR All-Union Sports Committee. It was the brainchild of Anatoly Kharlampiev.

Sambo in Russian means “self-defense without a weapon”. Here is an interesting tidbit – the grappling martial art style is hugely influenced by the traditional folk styles of wrestling like Mongolian Khapsagay, Uzbek Kurash, Moldovan Trinta, Georgian Chidaoba and Armenian Koch. However, it has its roots in the traditional martial art styles of the Far East and the West.

A Brief History of Russian Sambo!Russian Sambo – The Art of Combat Defense
The mastermind of Russian Sambo was Judo Master V.S. Oshchepkov as well as his students S.V. Dashkevich, P.A. Shkolnikov, B.A. Sagatelyan, N.M. Galkovsky, L.B. Turin, I.V. Vasilyev among others. This martial arts style was promoted during the 1920-1930. Additionally, V. Spiridonov published a manual on Russian Sambo known as “Samozaschita bez oruzhyia” in 1927. During this time, the manual was specially classified for use by the KGB, Police and Military.

The modern and novel style was first-time recognized as a legitimate sport in 1938 in the USSR. Initially it was known as “Free style wrestling”. After a point, it was known as “Free wrestling,” and finally in 1946 the style was called “SAMBO.” This system of fighting is a compilation of techniques influenced from various martial art styles, such as techniques from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. This fighting system was used widely by the Soviet Army during the World War II.

Sambo was supposed to be an amalgamation of various martial arts styles known to the mankind to come up with the most powerful one yet. Living in the intersecting point of Asia and Europe, the Russians were obviously introduced to a range of martial arts via interaction with the Mongols, Tartars, Vikings, and Japanese among others. The combination of all the techniques derived from these styles acted as the building blocks to what is now known as Russian sambo.

Russian Sambo – The Three Strategies of Fighting!
Here are the three basic strategies of Sambo which are taught to the disciples, although these are actually different from the 3 traditional flavors of Sambo (namely sport, combat and self-defense). The strategies include:Russian Sambo – The Art of Combat Defense

Self –defense: Sambo oriented toward self-defense is influenced from the techniques similar to kickboxing, boxing, ground judo and stand-up Jiujitsu. Due to the large, voluminous material, the time spent devoted to face resistant opponents is not enough. Still, this aspect of martial art is not considered competitive.

One must remember that this style of Sambo must always remain a part of competitive resistance in order to give a platform of rhythm and timing to more fine motor techniques. This is achieved only when a dynamic, alive resistance is created within the fighter’s nervous system. Many fighters in the West solely train in this style of Sambo, when it was actually never meant to be trained excluding the other two forms.

Sport-Wrestling: You must know that Sport Sambo is considered to be an incredibly athletic game that is a combination of Freestyle wrestling and Judo, but excluding chokes and including leg locks. This style, however, remains hounded by politics. From one event and one organization to the next, the rules and regulations are so different that it becomes very difficult to prepare you and learn the techniques.

From a mixed martial arts perspective, the rules and regulations have become so strict and restrictive that preparing for this style needs you to become a toned-down fighter. You actually have to train yourself to practice dangerous moves, such as not developing an efficient closed guard game, or exposing the neck to strangulation.

“Combat Sambo” or Mixed-Fight: The purists will be in a tizzy when mixed martial arts is considered as one of the 3 flavors of Sambo! This was not the deliberate attempt of the Sambo founders. Remember that MMA is the mode of studying and observing the discipline. When one goes to class and works in dynamic drills, he or she faces people of diverse abilities, levels and backgrounds. As there are no defined or formalized ranks in the art of Combat Sambo, every fighter fights another fighter.

The main point is the mode in which MMA is studies is more imperative than the actual content of the class: facing and fighting other fighters of mixed backgrounds and history. Hence, this is the supreme advantage of MMA as a delivery mechanism of rhythm and timing, the necessary elements of fighting efficacy.

When it comes to selecting one of the techniques, Combat Sambo or Sambo for MMA is considered to be the most personally fulfilling, intellectually challenging and athletically stimulating.

Russian Sambo – The Real-Life Fighters!
Here are the true heavy-weight fighters who made a mark in the history of martial arts.

Andrei Arlovski
• Andrei Arlovski: He is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion. He is renowned for his 3 fights against Tim Sylvia, a former champion, where he won one and lost two fights. In his young days, he was the Junior World Sambo Champion. Additionally, Arlovski was a silver medal holder in the World Sambo Cup and World Sambo Championship. Having said that, coming to his MMA fighting skills, he is famous for his boxing pedigree and striking skills.

Aleksander Emelianenko
Aleksander Emelianenko: This guy is the younger sibling of Fedor Emelianenko, a former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion. He is a famous heavyweight MMA fighter himself. In his list of credentials, he twice became the world Sambo champion and the Russian national Sambo champion in the absolute divisions.

Fedor Emelianenko
Fedor Emelianenko: He is famously known as one of the greatest Sambo practioners and MMA fighters of all-time. Apart from these credits, he has won several laurels such as Russian Combat Championships, World Combat Sambo Championship (4 times), WAMMA Heavyweight Championship (MMA), and the PRIDE Heavyweight Championship.

Oleg Taktarov
Oleg Taktarov: He defeated David “Tank” Abbott to win the title of UFC 6 Tournament Champion, which is well-known as a historic championship battle. He is renowned for his Sambo style submissions and takedowns, apart from his submission defense and invincible toughness.

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