What is COMBAT SAMBO?
As the matter of fact, first there was a Combat Sambo… Formalised in the 1920s in the Soviet Union, Combat Sambo was classified for years and was purely employed by Soviet special forces and select army regiments. The fall of the Soviet Union saw the declassification of Combat Sambo in early 1990s. The public was finally able to see the full array of techniques and disciplines that had previously only existed in rumour and folklore and martial arts fanatics devoured any and all information that was released.
This explosive “birth” of a total combat sport coincided with the introduction and huge growth in popularity of the new concept of full-contact-all-mixed-martial-arts competitions, as showcased by Rings, Pride, UFC, StrikeForce, MMA and Bellator amongst others.
SAMBO was tailor made for this form of “anything goes” combat and it was almost inevitable that a big pool of world-class Sambo athletes would join these combat platforms and dominate as unrivalled Champions with Volk Khan, Sergey Kopilov, Nikolay Zuev, Oleg Taktarov and of course, Fedor Emelyanenko being just a few of the many.
Unsurprisingly, many of the previous “total combat champions” rapidly turned to SAMBO training and methods in an attempt to retain their dominance. Previously, expertise in one martial art could be skillfully deployed to gain victory over your opponent, given the right opportunity. But suddenly, with the wide ranging striking, grappling and wresting skills displayed by SAMBO experts, no other fighter was safe on his feet or on the ground.
By the late 1990s, Combat Sambo had finally arrived in the public arena, and was now fully establishing itself. There were a few experiments with the uniforms, protection, rules and regulations, and after successful trials in a few tournaments in 1996 and 1997 in Moscow, there was the establishment of regular National, Continental and World Championships for both Sport and Combat SAMBO since 2002. Fedor Emelyanenko remains the unrivalled multiple Combat Sambo World Champion, who proved the efficiency of the Sambo skills on the various fighting platforms as Pride, UFC, M1 and MMA.