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Sambo is a type of modern martial art originating in the former Soviet Union and which has recently become very fashionable due to its rise in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), where some famous fighters such as Khabib Nurmagomedov have used their techniques.


The history of this discipline dates back to the first half of the 20th century, where the communist leader Lenin commissioned a group of experts to create a combat system that would characterize his Red Army.

Those in charge of this mission traveled the world and collected oriental combat arts such as jiu-jitsu, kung fu, karate or judo, to combine them with other indigenous ones, such as Armenian koch, Georgian chidaoba and Mongolian khapsagay. Thus they managed to form their own martial art that was declared the country's official sport in 1938.

Sambo styles

  • Combat sambo: it is the style most similar to the original, in which disarmament techniques are even practiced with sharp weapons or firearms.
  • Sambo wrestling: it is similar to judo, although with some differences: for example, in sambo wrestling all knee and ankle dislocations are allowed, but strangulations are not.
  • Sambo personal defense: based on the application of self-defense techniques, whether the attackers are armed or not. It is very similar to judo, jiu-jitsu and traditional karate.


  • Throws: the most common are the o goshi (hip throw), the kouchi gari (inside throw) and the ippon seoi nage (over the shoulder throw).
  • Grips: they are similar to those of judo, among which the kumikata stands out, which is the basic grip.
  • Takedowns: they are essential because through them it is possible to take the opponent to the ground to be able to perform submission techniques. The ouchi gari, the kouchi gari, the morote gari and the uchi mata stand out.
  • Submissions: the most common are the juji gatame (a type of arm lever), the leg lock and the leg triangle.
  • Defense: it is essential to block the movements of opponents and counterattack.


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