The sambo is an original art comes from Russia and that means “self – defense without weapons” . It was recognized as a national sport in the Soviet Union in 1938. It is a traditional defense or wrestling style that is born from the mixture of various types of martial arts including freestyle , judo and Greco – Roman wrestling.


What is sambo?

Sambo is a sport of contact or struggle that includes a system of defense staff which was developed in the Union Soviet . Is a type of martial art whose meaning is literally defense personnel unarmed.


What does it consist of

Sambo consists of a type of fighting that does not involve the use of any type of weapons . It is a sport that was created inspired by various techniques such as judo , Armenian kock , geogian chidaoba, Uzbek kurash and Mongol khapsagay . It is a sport whose philosophy is the defense of the same person and their loved ones with the aim of protecting other people who cannot do it for themselves.


Sambo characteristics

  • Seeks to defend the person and his family .
  • Avoid using weapons for defense.
  • It was created in Russia .
  • It is a mix of various sports such as judo , karate, and others.
  • It is considered as an evolution system in terms of combat systems.


Russian sambo was formulated in the former Soviet Union in the early 20th century.  It has roots in various types of martial arts , based on ancient styles . It was meant to be a combination of martial arts styles to achieve a more efficient sport. Living on a bridge between Europe and Asia , the Russian people were introduced to a variety of martial arts styles by contact with the Japanese , Vikings , Tatars , Mongols, and other ethnicities. This combination of styles is known today as Russian Sambo.

Vasili Oshchepkov , a karate and judo coach for Russia’s elite Red Army was one of the founders of Sambo. He wanted his men to be more skilled in martial arts techniques . He felt he could work to formulate a superior martial arts style by adding what worked with judo to what worked from native Russian fighting styles , karate, and more.


The techniques are aimed at mastering a certain movement to project , immobilize , dislocate or apply pain to the opponent. Some of them are:

  • Standing techniques : fall on the back, side and roll fall from the front. Projection on the man, hip rotation with neck control, outside mowing and leg grip with arm or other leg control.
  • Soil techniques : cross immobilization with dam, immobilization exit, immobilization chaining.
  • Dislocations : elbow, rolled arm, lever arm dislocation.

Sambo rules

  • The competition has a period of 6 minutes for adults, 5 for juniors and 4 for teachers , schoolchildren and cadets .
  • The match is won by total victory by technical superiority , by difference of points at the end of the meeting.
  • If there is no winner in time, the match is decided by the majority vote of the officials.
  • There are not allowed grips such as bending the arm behind the back, submission shoulder, wrist, neck, fingers of the hand, grabbing the canvas, grabbing the opponent’s jacket, twisting the opponent’s head.
  • Three types of technical moves score points.


There are different categories of sambo are the following:

  • Sports Sambo : it is very similar to the Olympic Wrestling , however it has some differences in terms of rules and uniform .
  • Sambo Personal Defense : it is based on the application of defense techniques against armed or unarmed attackers.
  • Combat Sambo – Developed for the military , and includes weapon practice and disarmament techniques . The competition includes the use of hitting and hand-to-hand fighting techniques .


  • Combat Sambo European Cup
  • World Championship 2017 in Russia .

Equipment for sambo

The equipment that the sambo needs includes the jacket or Kurtka , which is different from the Keikogis , which are used in other types of martial arts since it allows the practitioner of the sport to be able to insert the belt from the inside, using some eyelets, to avoid this way prevent the jacket from slipping off. The basic equipment of this martial art consists of a jacket that is generally blue or red, although different colors can be used, a belt , shorts of the same color as the jacket and Sambo shoes , known as the Sambovki.Special gloves for mixed martial arts, a helmet , a mouth and tibial protector and a shell are also needed when practicing this sport .

Featured athletes

  • Fedor Emelianenko.
  • Aleksander Emelianenko.
  • Volk Han.
  • Vladimir Putin, Russian politician and President of the Russian Federation.
  • Aleksandr Lukashenko.
  • Oleg Taktarov.

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