June 22-23 2019
Sambo is a Soviet martial art and combat sport. The word "SAMBO" is an acronym for SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya, which literally translates as "self-defense without weapons". Sambo is relatively modern since its development began in the early 1920s by the Soviet Red Army to improve their hand-to-hand combat abilities. It was intended to be a merger of the most effective techniques of other martial arts. There are multiple competitive sport variations of sambo (though sambo techniques and principles can be applied to many other combat sports). Below are the main formats that are recognized by FIAS.
- Sport Sambo is stylistically similar to old time Catch wrestling and Judo, but with some differences in rules, protocol, and uniform. More akin to Catch wrestling, and in contrast with judo, sambo allows various types of leg locks, while not allowing chokeholds. It also focuses on throwing, ground work and submissions, with very few restrictions on gripping and holds.
- Combat Sambo. Utilized and developed for the military, combat sambo resembles modern mixed martial arts, including extensive forms of striking and grappling. Combat sambo allows punches, kicks, elbows, knees, headbutts and groin strikes. Competitors wear jackets as in sport sambo, but also hand protection and sometimes shin and head protection. The first FIAS World Combat Sambo Championships were held in 2001. The World Combat Sambo Federation, based in Russia, also sanctions international combat sambo events.
- Freestyle Sambo – Created and debuted by the American Sambo Association (ASA) in 2004. These rules differ from traditional sport sambo in that they allow choke holds and other submissions that are not permitted in sport sambo such as certain neck cranks and twisting foot locks. Freestyle sambo, like all sambo, focuses on throwing skills and fast ground work. No strikes are permitted in Freestyle Sambo. The ASA created this rule set in order to encourage non-sambo practitioners from judo and jujutsu to participate in sambo events.