Sambo is a martial art of Soviet origin.

    When Lenin occupied the political power of what was known as the Soviet Union, he formed a new army, the red army. This army lacked a uniform and formal combat system, so Lenin commissioned a group of specialists in combat sports and martial arts to collect and design a martial art for the benefit of the army and the Soviet people.


    This group of specialists traveled throughout the geography of the Soviet Union collecting martial arts techniques and native fighting ways in the area. Specialists were also sent to China and Japan to collect essential techniques of judo, karate and kung fu.

    Later, after several meetings between the specialists, Sambo began to be used in the State Security Forces.

    In the year of 1938 the famous slope arises that is similar to the judo called «Sambo fight» and this is accepted by the Sports Committee of the Soviet Union.

    After the 40’s the sambo begins to gain great popularity in the world, in fact, the FILA (International Amateur Wrestling Federation) recognizes sambo as one of the four most practiced fights in the world, along with judo, Wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling. In 1967 the first international sambo championship in the world is held.


    Sambo is a single martial art but has several aspects or sub-styles.

    Since its inception Sambo was designed for a martial art of military and police defense but over time and the influence of martial art such as judo or the native fighting ways of the former Soviet Union, the variant of “Sports Sambo or Sambo Fight” was developed . There is also another variant called «Combat Sambo«, its form of combat is very similar to the fighting style in MMA competitions, since they are worth fists, kicks, projection techniques, strangulations and techniques or dislocation keys. Fedor Emelianenko is a great exponent of this aspect and has repeatedly been champion in MMA competitions.



    • Sambo Fight:

    Similar to Judo, with a certain olympic fighting style. The competition is similar to Judo, but with some differences in rules, protocol, and uniform.

    • Combat Sambo:

    It combines Sambo Fight with fists and legs hits similar to Muay Thai. Its sports variant is very similar to MMA but with its own uniformity (Kurka, tights, shin guards, gloves, helmet and boots).

    • Sambo Self Defense:

    Designed from the two previous styles, but for the purpose of survival against a real attack, outside the competition. Self-defense method without rules, in which simple and fast techniques prevail.



    This is one of the most famous and well-known slopes of sambo, this sambo is very similar to wrestling or judo, hits and kicks or strangulations are not allowed in this mode of sambo as it is a grip sport.

    Primarily, sports sambo is divided into several categories by age, we will name it in this order from the youngest to the oldest, with its combat duration since they all have different combat timing:

    • Children-school children — 3 minutes of combat
    • New hopes-cadets — 4 minutes of combat / For women it’s 4 minutes
    • Senior- hopes — 5 minutes of combat for female and male
    • Veterans — 4 minutes of combat / 3 minutes for the female
    • Veterans (+65 years) —- 3 minutes


    Competitive sambo fights are marked by numerical points. There are different ways to get a victory in a sports sambo match, these are the following:

    • Total victory: This is that a competitor «A» manages to project or bring to the ground his opponent preventing competitor «A» from falling to the ground.
    • Technical superiority: when the situation of total victory does not occur, it is decided by the score obtained by the competitors, this score is expressed in numbers.
    • A projection or immobilization made to an adversary may be worth depending on its execution. If a projection is made where the opponent is brought to the ground and touches the entire back to the mat but the one who executes the projection also falls to the ground (This happens because of the projection effect), the referee will award 4 points to the one who executes the projection . If a competitor manages to immobilize his opponent for 20 seconds on the ground the referee will give him 4 points.
    • If the opponent is projected but just the middle of the back (only a portion of the opponent’s back touches the mat, not all), it will be scored by the referee by 2 points for the competitor who performed the technique. Immobilizations that last more than 10 seconds and less than 20 will be scored for the immobilizer with 2 points.
    • If the opponent can be brought down but he barely touches the floor with the buttocks, chest, shoulders or belly, it will be scored with only 1 point. This point is also obtained by the passivity of the fighter, if the opponent does not attack and is very defensive, the referee will notice it and award 1 point to the competitor who is most offensive.
    • Victory by abandonment: This victory occurs when a competitor executes a dislocation technique or painful key to his opponent and is in pain expressing his surrender through a scream or tapping.

    If there is a tie of numerical terms, the victory is awarded to the competitor who has executed the most valuable techniques (4 points).


    The combat sambo unlike the sports sambo, by obligation wears a different clothing that includes boxing helmet, shin guards, gloves of total contact (the fingers must be exposed to allow the grips), rigid suspension, garment designed to protect the genitals.


    The score is numerical just like the sports sambo and the ways to get the victory are as follows.

    • Total victory: this is obtained by knocking down the opponent through some projection, hit or kick. All this preventing the competitor who executes the action falls to the ground, in the event that he or she falls it is not considered total victory. Total victory is also considered as abandonment of the opponent by some strangulation, key or dislocation that his opponent is applying.


    • 4 points: this is due to take down the opponent through a projection, hit or kick, unlike the total victory, the one who executes the action falls with the adversary, if this happens the referee will score 4 points in favor of the one who executes the technique. The referee will also award 4 points in favor of the competitor who manages to immobilize his opponent for 20 seconds.
    • 2 points: when a projection is executed, kick, hit that knocks the enemy aside or sideways. The competitor who manages to immobilize his opponent for 10 seconds will also be awarded.
    • 1 point: For any hit or projection that causes the opponent to fall to his knees or to a side in a very disguised way.

    In the combat sambo the same criteria as in the sports sambo apply, if the time is up and a competitor has numerical superiority over the other, he will be victorious by decision.


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