Sambo is a Russian Martial Art which is a hand-to-hand combat system that was originally taught to the Russian military. The red army utilized this martial art as an art of empowerment and self-defense in the former Soviet Union. Sambo means “self defense without a weapon.” This fighting system comes in a variety of styles including self-defense, combat, freestyle, sport as well as Special Sambo which is reserved for law enforcement and the army.
There have been a lot of foreign influences integrated into this martial art and these influences consist of grappling, wrestling, combative fencing and jacket wrestling. In fact, Jigoro Kano‘s, who is the founder of Judo, teachings were utilized in many different techniques and philosophical formulations. Vasili Oshchepkov was one of the founders of Sambo who became a martial arts expert after being a student of several different martial arts, including Judo. As a Russian student of Jigoro Kano, Oshchepkov employed some of his teachings to create his own martial art. European styles of wrestling and Italian fencing techniques were also used in the development of Sambo.
Sambo is a native wrestling art that was used to train many military officials, secret agents, police, crowd control, psychiatric hospital staffing, commandos and border control. Many political connections have been significant factors for the formulation of the earliest framework for Sambo.
Today, this martial art is a folk-wrestling style sport. Its induction as a sport occurred in 1938 by the USSR committee and became part of a solider-drill for every military member. Members dress in a jacket, shorts, and a belt of various colors. Sambo continues to be considered the most influential physical sport born from Russia.