Wednesday, January 26, 2011


In the North American grappling world, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has exploded over the years.  New schools are popping up everywhere, and it seems everyone in the martial arts has at least some familiarity with Jiu Jitsu.  The rise of MMA has certainly helped BJJ’s popularity; there would be no UFC, Strikeforce, et cetera without Rorion Gracie and his daft marketing of his family’s martial art. 

But Brazilian Jiu Jitsu isn’t the only martial style used with devastating effectiveness in the cage.  The Russian martial art of Sambo is a core system used by numerous champion MMA fighters, most notably Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski.  Known mostly for its leg submission holds and dynamic throws, Sambo is a complete martial art used for sport, streetfighting and military combat by the Russian army.  It’s very old, very popular in the former Soviet Union and very badass. 

Like most grapplers in America, I’ve only had limited exposure to this martial art.  Unfortunately, Sambo hasn’t taken off the way BJJ has due to the paucity of schools and qualified instructors in this country.  But whenever you see a grappler use a nifty leg lock that rips some poor fool’s knee in half, you can bet his victorious opponent had some training in the Russian martial art.  It’s a joy to watch. 

Recently, the Sambo Worlds took place and, thanks to internet video, we can all enjoy these matches straight from Russia.  We here at DSTRYRsg have been watching so many of these Russian videos that we’re wondering if we should learn to speak the language.  I can’t get enough of seeing this stuff but – more than watching it – I want to learn it too.  If there are any qualified Sambo teachers in these parts, hit me up.  The Dictator wants to be like Fedor. 

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