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Sambo is a form of Russian martial arts that is utilized for self-defense, physical fitness, and competitions. It is an acronym for SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya which means “self-defense without weapons”. This sport is known for three moves: ground control skills, takedowns, and leg locks. The very goal of this martial art is to end the fight quickly.

Sambo is similar to judo and jujutsu but also incorporates many of the most effective different martial art styles. It became an official sport in 1938 with the help of USSR All-Union Sports Committee.

This martial art was founded by Vasili Oshchepkov who was a karate and judo trainer for Russia’s elite Red Army and Victor Spiridonov who had an extensive training in Greco-Roman and other styles of wrestling. Although both were working independently, eventually, their styles were combined and thus SAMBO was created.

There are three main styles of Sambo.

There are also other less known variations:

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