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Russian army wrestling celebrates its 70th anniversary









YouTube - Sambo 70 Anniversary TV.wmv


Russian army wrestling celebrates its 70th anniversary

October 2008

The sport which combines different ethnic styles of wrestling, and takes its name from the Russian words for 'Unarmed Self-Defence' began in the Soviet Union in 1938. It is now so popular that the Russian army teaches it as its primary self-defence method.

14 wrestlers arrived in the very heart of Moscow, for the highly competitive 74 kilogram weight category. With most of them prize winners, at recent World and European championships, competition was of a high standard. Off the mat, the competition was eye-catching enough to attract a host of stars.

World famous martial artist and actor, Oleg Taktarov, had been a sambo practitioner for years before stepping up to the Ultimate Fighting cage - where he won a world title. He was on hand to pay his due to the sport that gave him his start. Also present was former Boxing World Champion, Kostya Tsyu, who confessed sambo training is in demand among pugilists.

“Definitely, I used some elements of sambo during my boxing career... I can't explain in detail how it worked, but there are some elements of wrestling in professional boxing,” he added.  

Ukraine's Four-time world champion Viktor Savinov defeated all his opponents and won the tournament.

“All those who competed here this time around are very strong wrestlers – world and European champions. Also, it was tough on all of us using the new golden throw rule. Thankfully I used it just in time and won!” said the winner.

December 24, 2007, 12:35

Unique home-grown martial art dazzles Moscow

The Russian fighting style known as 'sambo' is probably not a sport that many people have heard of. Originating in the Russian military, it's principally a cross between kick-boxing and judo, with some other martial arts elements thrown in for good measure, and is gaining popularity around Russia.

The word 'sambo' is an acronym of the Russian expression for ‘unarmed self-defence’. There are five different styles of the sport, which are all based on kick-boxing, judo and wrestling.

Combat sambo however is more similar to mixed fighting, which is taking the U.S. by storm. Competitors are allowed to kick and punch their opponents and a number of martial arts are used.

The bouts are each five minutes long, though injury time-outs are allowed. As in judo, there is a points-scoring system with competitors given marks for throws and holds.

The XIII Combat Sambo World Championships took place in Moscow last Friday. It saw 16 nations competing in seven weight categories ranging from 57 kilograms to the heavyweight division of over 90 kilos.

As expected, Russia dominated the tournament, taking first place in the overall team event.

One of the stars of the sport, Shamil Zubarov won his third gold medal and increased his enviable record to 151 wins with no losses. He says he's ready for a new challenge and will soon try his hand at mixed fighting.