Sambo - Overview


Sambo is a Soviet martial art and combat sport which stands for SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya (meaning “self-defence without weapons”). It’s one of the modern form of martial arts and also has been recognized as the third style of international wrestling by United World Wrestling. It is inspired by Jujutsu, Judo, and other forms of martial art and is mostly referred as a self-defence art.

In this sport, two people fight with each other within certain rules and regulations. While playing, the players apply different blows and tricks against each other and based on their tricks, they get points. The player with highest points wins the match. The players can also win the match by successfully attempting different locks or submission tricks on each other and can end the match before time.

United World Wrestling

Sambo players go through a rigorous training phase in order to get a hold of this sport. The players must have the ability to strike and grapple in the clinch. While playing, the match demands a lot of aggressiveness. In order to excel in the match, the players need to excel in different kinds of skills.

Players need to be agile and flexible and have to learn different kinds of throws, joint locks, strikes, kicks and suffocation skills that are used throughout the match. It takes years of training and dedication to learn the art as this sport demands excellent control over all skills.

A Brief History of Sambo

Sambo was originated in Russia mostly by the individual effort of Vasili Oshchepkov and Viktor Spiridonov. Initially, they invented this art in order to improve Soviet military’s hand-to-hand combat techniques. In 1923, Oschepkov and Spiridinov collaborated with Russian government to improve the Red Army's hand-to-hand combat system.

Sambo History

In 1968, sambo was accepted as the third style of international wrestling by FILA. In 1985, the Federation International Amateur Sambo (FIAS) was founded to operate as the first official organization for Sambo which was later on divided in to FIAS East and FIAS West. In 1938, sambo became the official combat sport of the Soviet Union. In 1980, sambo was a demonstration sport at the Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia but could not make it to the list because of boycott.

Participating Countries

Even being one of the most modern forms of martial arts, sambo is practiced and played in many countries today because of its universal appeal and unique techniques. Even though it is much famous in Russia, slowly and steadily its popularity is spreading all over the world. Players from different forms of martial art have started practicing sambo.

A list of countries where sambo is practiced, played, and is quite popular are Russia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Mongolia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Serbia, Japan.