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What is Combat Sambo? How Is It Different from Sambo and BJJ?

What is Combat Sambo? How Is It Different from Sambo and BJJ?

What is Combat Sambo?

Sambo is a fighting sport founded in Russia and based on a blend of several styles of martial arts and has been a flourishing sport at this time, especially in MMA.

But have you heard about Combat Sambo? In what ways can they be distinct from each other? And are they any different from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

If you’re interested to know more about the mentioned sports, this post is ideal for you. Learn about Sambo and Combat Sambo and the differences between these two and the other Martial Arts disciplines.

What is Sambo?

Sambo is one of the many martial art styles and a combat sport developed in Russia. It was in the 1920s with the two Russian wrestling trainers; one studied Judo with the renowned Kano Jigoro in Japan. 

It was first created for the Soviet Army to defend their selves without firearms and finish a fight promptly. Sambo eventually evolved into a sport competed in by individuals worldwide.

Sambo incorporates striking (for combat only), takedowns, throws, holds, and submissions. It has a mix of ground fighting and grappling style, much like Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, and other forms of self-defense and martial art.

Although acknowledged as a sport in the USSR, it does not participate in the Olympic Games. Despite this, it is often used in mixed martial arts (MMA) today.

Goal of Sambo

This combat sport pits two competitors against each other while adhering to a set of guidelines and restrictions.

During the game, the participants fight using different grappling and striking skills like locks, strikes, throws, kicks, and chokes. The winner of the match is the one who obtains the most points. 

To win the game outright, you must have an advantage of at least 12 points. Depending if you’re standing or not after a throw or your opponent’s position, you will also gain a point from four to one.

You may defeat them by making them submit. It should take at most five minutes to complete everything but possible to finish earlier.

What is Sambo Meaning?

SAMBO is an abbreviation for the SAMooborona Bez Oruzhiya, also known as samozashchita bez oruzhiya, which translates directly as “defense of the self without the use of weapons.” 

Because of its straightforwardness and simplicity, “Sambo” was adopted.

What’s the Difference Between Sambo and Combat Sambo?

To put it simply, Combat Sambo, alongside Sport and Freestyle Sambo, is among the most well-known forms of SAMBO. Some Sambo sports forbid strikes. However, head and body strikes are allowed in Combat Sambo.

The gears also stand out as a significant distinction. Sambo fighters wore only a jacket (kimono type known as “sambovka”), boxer shorts, and boots in a match. 

Combat Sambo, on the other hand, involves striking and punching. Therefore, practitioners wear extra headgear, mouthguards, and gloves. Some training and competitions make use of shin pads and a groin guard.

History of Sambo

Sambo originated in the early 1920s as a hand-to-hand combat program developed for the Red Army of the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union adopted Combat Sambo to reinforce its special forces and showcase its capabilities to the world at the height of the cold war. This martial arts style emphasizes using one’s hands for attacks and the ability to beat off multiple attackers.

Sambo was created initially via the efforts of two people: Vasili Oshchepkov and Viktor Spiridonov. Vasili Oshchepkov was trained in Japan by Professor Jigoro Kano. 

Originally two different systems, Spiridonov’s and Oshchepkov’s techniques later merged to become Sambo. Spiridonov had planned to combine all of the world’s combat styles into a flexible method. Oshchepkov concentrated on developing a combat style to train the Soviet military.

Later, Anatoly Kharlampiev, a Vasili Oshchepkov student, developed the sport as well. His efforts paid off in 1938 when the Soviet Union officially recognized this kind of martial arts as a sport.

Today, the sport continues to grow in popularity due to MMA fighters such as Khabib Nurmagomedov, that use his sambo skills in his fights.

Different Types of Sambo Explained

Sport Sambo

a picture of two people playing the sport of sambo.

Sport sambo is a grappling art that shares common characteristics with Judo and Wrestling. In contrast to Judo, however, Sport Sambo permits using leg locks but not chokeholds.

Some techniques used in this style are grappling, throwing, takedowns, lock legs, and submissions. In addition, striking is not practiced or allowed in this type of Sambo.

Combat Sambo

Combat Sambo integrates strikes and punches taken from other martial arts such as Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Judo, and Wrestling, in contrast to Sport Sambo.

In the same way as competitors in mixed martial arts (MMA) utilize their elbows, knees, and headbutts to strike, you may also use these to attack your competitor.

For this reason, Combat Sambo fighters wear head guards and gloves when they compete.

Freestyle Sambo

The American Sambo Association (ASA) pioneered and popularized freestyle sambo in the United States in 2004. When you mix Sports Sambo with strangles and chokes, you get Freestyle Sambo.

Chokeholds, neck cranks, and other submissions forbidden in Sport Sambo are acceptable under the rules in Freestyle. But, contrary to Combat Sambo, it prohibits striking.

Sambo vs BJJ

In a fight between BJJ vs Sambo, who could win?

Although both are combat and grappling-based sports, the significant difference is that Sambo, specifically Combat Sambo, includes striking.

Because Sambo places such a strong focus on competition, stand-up strategies and takedowns are essential in the sport.

While ground fighting is less fundamental to Sambo, it is what BJJ is.

Ground combat and submission grips are the primary emphasis of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) sport, which doubles as a functional martial art for self-defense. BJJ might have the advantage if the fight occurs on the floor.

Here is a video to learn more about BJJ vs Sambo that involves a two highly skilled martial arts athlese – one from a bjj background and one from a sambo backgrou:

Sambo vs Judo

The martial arts of Judo and Sambo have several similarities with each other. Both share the same fundamental principles and techniques and emphasize grappling and bringing the opponent to the ground to gain an advantage.

Judo served as one of the foundations for the development of Sambo. However, it seeks more submissions and quicker responses in any way possible because Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, and other martial art forms also influence it.

On the other side, Judo focuses on more conventional throws and maintaining control when the opponent is on the ground. As much as possible, it makes you avoid engaging in violent behavior. Practitioners will maintain composure even in the most challenging circumstances and react appropriately.

Here is a video of a fight between Judoka and a Sambo fighter.

Sambo vs Wrestling

Wrestling is a kind of grappling sport that focuses only on pinning the opponent’s shoulders to the ground. 

On the other hand, Sambo allows submissions as a legitimate method, along with throws and takedowns.

In Sambo, additional regulations permit striking (Combat Sambo). Also, competitors may use their uniforms to bring their opponents to the ground. However, in wrestling, such tactics are strictly prohibited.

Common Sambo Techniques

Common Sambo Techniques differ within the three types. Still, they are primarily similar in techniques found in Judo, Wrestling, and Jiu-Jitsu.

In Combat Sambo, strikes are allowed, and the use of elbows and knees in techniques is permitted. In Sports and Freestyle, a practitioner can’t implement this skill. 

Both Combat and Freestyle allow chokes and strangulation.

Leg locks, Sambo knee bars, throws, and takedowns are some other techniques utilized in Sambo.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Sambo Better than BJJ?

(Combat) Sambo permits strike, but Brazilian jiu-jitsu does not allow such attacks, making combat sambo more realistic. It makes Sambo more similar to MMA and more effective in self-defense scenarios.

Is Combat Sambo Effective?

As its primary purpose suggests, Combat Sambo is a very effective method of self-defense and a sport. Due to its nature as a fighting sport, learning the art may foster self-discipline and a more active lifestyle.

What is Combat Sambo – Conclusion

Sambo is a martial art and combat sport that combines techniques from Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, wrestling, and Aikido. 

It was created in the Soviet Union in the early 1920s by Vasili Oschepkov and Anatoly Kharlampiev. Sambo is now practiced all over the world and has been recognized as an Olympic sport. 

The main difference between Sambo and Combat Sambo is that Combat Sambo allows strikes with fists, elbows, knees, and kicks.

 If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating martial art or are curious about trying it out for yourself, we invite you to schedule a discovery call with us today. 

Our team of experts would be happy to answer any questions you have and help you get started on your journey toward mastering Sambo!

Thanks for reading, and see you at the next one!

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