Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - SAMBO - a self-defence system and sport

Sambo – is an acronym for the words in the Russian language “self defence without weapons”. Sambo was born in the Soviet Union in the den of the Special Forces, and during the period 1921–1991, when the USSR broke up, it became very popular. The word sambo became so famous that the citizens of Russia chose a Master of Sport in sambo and judo as a their President. The first notion of “self-defence without weapons” is to be found in the book entitled “Manual of Self-Defence withot Weapons According to the System of JuJutsu” V. Spiridonov. It was written in 1927 and was sealed as confidential for NKVD agents only. Sambo is a system that consisted of the best methods,tricks, grips used in the all knows systems of self-defence in the world. Sambo is a universal means of self-defence, in wich even a weak person can find a useable technique. The whole Soviet system of self-defence consists of two parts, sportive and combat. Until when the USSR broke up, the combat techniques were secretive and deeply hidden from people. The same time the sportive part was satisfied with golden medals in sambo, judo and no-rules fighting. By 1921, Spirydonov constructed the core of a new system that consisted of the best Martial Arts of the time. He wrote: “the art of self-defence helps to become victorious by all existing means, that’s why during self-defence you cannot follow one sole system, which doesn’t encompass all the variety of scenarios and encounters in life, and it’s necessary to apply everything useful as long as it leads to victory”. For the first time in the history of self-defence he classified techniques and named them.