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Posted on February 17, 2012 , by junowebdesign
Continuing our tour of wrestling styles from around the world, today we’re heading to Eastern Europe and Azerbaijan to look at Sambo wrestling. This is a diverse wrestling style that concentrates on fast groundwork and throwing skills.
Sambo literally translates as self-defense without weapons. It is a relatively recent form of wrestling and was only developed in the 1920s by the Soviet Army as a way to improve their hand to hand combat.
The founders of Sambo deliberately looked for the most useful and adaptable combat forms from around the world to make a valuable military hand to hand combat technique.
It draws on a huge range of other wrestling forms, was intended to be a blend of folk styles and martial arts. From Greco-roman and freestyle wrestling to Japanese judo, karate and akido, there’s something here to interest everyone.
The ultimate aim of Sambo was to be able to stop an armed or unarmed opponent in the least time possible. Though improvisational moves often come before standard techniques, refined power and strategy are central to this style.
There are three recognized variations of Sambo. Sport Sambo is most similar to Olympic Freestyle Wrestling or Judo. Combat Sambo resembles modern mixed martial arts, and includes many forms of striking and grappling.
Freestyle Sambo is the third variety, and was created by the American Sambo Association in 2004. The rules here allow choke holds and submissions from Combat Sambo, and like all Sambo styles it teaches the ability to master natural body movements.
Though very different to collegiate wrestling, Sambo has many of the same qualities of physical and mental strength. It encourages thinking one step ahead of your opponent and channeling all your knowledge from training into competitive matches.
If you’re interested in this style, it’s worth taking a look at the American Sambo Association – they run informative events all over the country.