What is Sambo?

A Brief Summary

Sambo or SAMBO(an acronym for SAMozshchita Bez Oruzhiya the literal translation of “Self-defense without Weapons”) is a Russian Martial Art and Combat sport that is relatively young compared to other Martial Arts styles. The art was developed in the early 1920’s with the intent of improving the hand to hand combat skills of the Soviet Red Army. The forefathers credited with giving birth to the art of Sambo were Viktor Spiridonov and Vasili Oshchepkov. Sambo is a well-rounded and efficient Martial Art that combines Wrestling takedowns, Judo throws and many submission holds native to Jujutsu. Combat Sambo developed and utilized for the military utilizes the use of punches, kicks, elbows, knees, headbutts and groin strikes. Combat Sambo was introduced as a competitive sport in 2001 when Sambo’s governing body the International Federation of Amateur Sambo(FIAS) introduced the first Combat Sambo World Championships.


Sport Sambo

Sambo is and has been a very popular Martial Art outside of the United States for quite some time. Practiced by Men, Women and Children throughout the world, only in the last decade has Sambo become more sought after state side due to the surge in popularity of Mixed Martial Arts and the success Sambo athletes have in MMA. Still a rarity to find Schools and Academies in the U.S., the growth and interest in Sambo has seen the art progress with annual conventions, workshops, tournaments and seminars with top foreign and domestic teachers and competitors.


Two female Sambists, grip fighting.

Two female Sambists, grip fighting.

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