Sambo, is a type of wrestling using takedown, strikes, throws, and joint-locks it also teaches defense against various weapons.


It originated in the Soviet Union/Russia.  Sambo (Sombo) is an acronym for SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya. This is a relatively new sport of martial arts and combat sports; this development was introduced during 1923 by the Soviet Red Army in order to improve their hand to had combat. The Russians were introduced to a variety of martial art styles through contact with the Vikings, Mongols, Tatars and the Japanese, and many more, this plus many traditional fighting styles, such as Japanese Karate and Judo, in addition, traditional folk wrestling styles, such as Mongolian Khapsagay, Georgian Chidaoba, Tatar Köräş, Armenian Kokh, Romanian Trîntǎ, Uzbek Kurash and Azerbaijani Gulesh, is a merger of some of the most effective martial arts techniques, and served as the building blocks, to the creation of what today is referred to as Russian Sambo.


Two Russians Vasili Oshchepkov and Viktor Spirodonoy were the pioneers of the Sambo style of fighting. Oshchepkov wanted his men to be trained in the best and most proficient of all the martial arts techniques. He had a second degree black belt in Judo from training with his mentor Jigoro Kano, thus making him one of the very rare non-Japanese people to hold such a auspicious distinction for his time.  Oshchepkov felt with his knowledge and experience he would be able to formulate a martial arts style that was superior to any other he had come across, by utilizing his knowledge of Judo and what worked well from the Russian native wrestling styles and Karate, plus the other traditions.


During the political purges during 1937 Oshchepkov was executed after been accused of being a Japanese spy, this was ordered by Stalin. Oshchepkov spent a large part of his life in Japan training under Kano Jigoro who was the founder of Judo.  Spirodonov and Oshochepkov developed independently two different styles of fighting, but eventually merged the two styles to form the Sambo style.


Anatoly kharlampiev, who was a student of Spiridonov, is often thought of as the founder of Sport Sambo, Sambo was officially recognized as an official sport by the USSR, All-Union Sports Committee.


Once the techniques of Sambo were perfected and catalogued they were utilized by the military, Soviet Police, and many other organizations, there were many changes to suit each group’s needs.


Some of the well known practitioners of Sambo fighting style and renowned for their takedowns which combine wrestling and Judo maneuvers, leg locks, and ground control techniques. The goals of Russain Sambo will vary from one person to another depending on the style used.  Sambo teachers how to end fights very quickly, this is done by getting an opponent to the ground, then applying strikes or fast submission holds.


There are various offshoots that are now recognized but five are the most well known:  Freestyle Sambo, Combat Sambo, Self-Defense Sambo, Sport Sambo and Special Sambo. Each has various rules and techniques that they employ.

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