What is Combat SAMBO?
Grandmaster Galperin Judo Master V.S.Oshchepkov and his students I.V.Vasilyev, L.B.Turin, N.M.Galkovsky, B.A.Sagatelyan, P.A.Shkolnikov, S.V.Dashkevich, and others created and promoted SAMBO during the 1920s and 1930s.  Also, in 1927 V.Spiridonov published a manual called “Samozaschita bez oruzhyia.” At that time, the book was classified for use by the Military, Police, and KGB (Russian Secret Police). V.S.Oshchepkov

This new martial art system was officially recognized as a legitimate sport in the USSR in 1938. At first it was named  “Free style wrestling.”  Later it was called “Free wrestling,” and in 1946 was renamed “SAMBO.” This is an acronym for “Samooborona Bez Oruzhia" which means  “Self Defense Without Weapons.”

                This system is a compilation of techniques from many martial art styles, including techniques from Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. During World War II, the system was widely used by the Soviet Army. SAMBO experts also acquired many techniques and tactics from criminal street fighters, and a number of these techniques were included in Combat SAMBO.


Today SAMBO consists of three components: Sport SAMBO (Olympic sport), Self-defense SAMBO, and Combat SAMBO.

  • Sport SAMBO is similar to Judo, but with some differences in rules, protocol, and uniform. 
  • Self-defense SAMBO is similar to Aikijujutsu because it is intended to be entirely defensive against attacks by armed and unarmed criminals. It is also designed for specific professions, such as taxi drivers, bank employees, bodyguards, various law enforcement agents, etc.  It is also very useful for rape prevention and children’s self-defense.
  •  Combat SAMBO is a very aggressive system designed to prepare an individual to be effective in any situation. The purpose of Combat SAMBO is to “survive.” Combat SAMBO includes techniques from both Sport and Self-defense SAMBO, but uses them in different ways. It includes techniques that are dangerous and prohibited in sports. The Russian Military, Police, special Crowd Control units, Marines, and others have employed Combat SAMBO for all aspects of self-defense and close combat. 

Combat SAMBO is constantly evolving. With its ever-growing arsenal of techniques adopted from many martial art and fighting forms, it is one of the most comprehensive self-defense and survival systems in the world.