Literally translated as "self-defense without weapons," the word "SAMBO" is a portmanteau for samozashchita bez oruzhiya.

This martial art and combat sport was intended to be a merger of the most effective techniques of other martial arts.

There are multiple competitive sport variations of sambo formats that are recognized by FIAS.

  • Sport sambo is stylistically similar to old time catch wrestling and judo, and in a lot of ways influenced by them, but with some differences in rules, protocol, and uniform. More akin to catch wrestling, and in contrast with judo, sambo allows various types of leg locks, while not allowing chokeholds.
  • Combat sambo Utilized and developed for the military, combat sambo resembles modern mixed martial arts, including forms of striking and grappling.

Similar to wrestling, a sambo practitioner normally wears either a red or a blue competition outfit. The kurtka (куртка) or sambovka (самбовка) as it is called, looks similar to a Judo gi top and belt, but has wrestling style shorts and shoes which match the uniform's color. The sambo uniform does not reflect rank or competitive rating.

Sport rules require an athlete to have both red and blue sets to visually distinguish competitors on the mat.

Opponents wear different colored belts as a means of identification. A wrestler can win the match outright by making a perfect throw from a standing position so that his opponent lands on his back or by securing a painful submission hold which forces the opponent to give up.

Failing this, the wrestler can win by scoring more points than his opponent during the 5-minute match for Men Categories and 4-minute match for Women Categories. The bout is supervised by a referee on the mat and a judge and mat chairman off the mat.

Category 1
Compulsory Sports
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