I believe it is. I know R.O.S.S. is fairly Sombo based I have been told from it's practitioners. I also know Oleg Taktarov participated regularily in tournaments in the military while he was there. Aside from that I do not know if it's is Military tournaments they are doing or civilian.

I know that there is a strong tourny scene among Sombo players in North American.
The Sombo70 club runs about three tourney's a year. Sombo is big in Russia but is practiced among some of the other Slavic countries. Mark Densberger is the foremost part of Sombo action in the states and abroad.look up for more info on Sombo
it's good to have you on board. Your order is going out this week.

The current (Nov. 2003) issue of Black Belt has an article on Combat Sambo featuring Vincent Ornales.
The current issue of Budo (Dr. Christian Harfouche of Shorite-Ryu Tai Jutsu fame on the cover) also has an article on Sambo, detailing some of the basic techniques.
The Throws and Take-downs of Sombo Russian Wrestling, by Geoff Thompson (Summersdale Publishers, 2001)

This book is part of a series of grappling books by self-defense instructor Geoff Thompson. The other books in the series, according to his website, are The Throws & Take-downs of Judo, The Throws & Take-downs of Freestyle Wrestling, and The Throws & Take-downs of Greco-Roman Wrestling. There are 87 numbered pages, plus ads for other books by the author; the pictures are black-and-white. Vadim Kolganov contributed a brief section on the History of Sombo.

Mr. Thompson is perhaps best known as an ex-bouncer. He now has a number of books out, including a novel, plus videos, CDs, etc. In fact, there is a Sombo Russian Wrestling video available at his site.

The focus of this book is "vertical grappling," and in particular take-downs from the clinch. The stated focus is on self-defense, though the techniques are all demonstrated with the fighters wearing a judo-style jacket and shorts.

The writing is simple and clear, as though directed at a low reading level. There are occasional jokes thrown in that don't quite seem to work, but they are minor distractions. There is a profusion of run-on sentences but I did not notice many typos.

Mr. Thompson believes in the value of grappling, though he considers it a second-best strategy--one to be used when striking fails. On the modern ascendancy of fancy kicking arts, he writes: "The fundamental movements of the grappling arts, so often ignored due to the 'ugly duckling' syndrome, have risen to the surface and the swan of real combat has blossomed." Grappling systems have been tested, and they work--unlike certain trendy martial arts, he implies.

He also makes a good point when he writes: "A lot of what happens in floor fighting[...]is wholly determined by how you got there in the first place.[...]we tend to practice ground fighting from a neutral position where both fighters have an equal start. In a real situation thee is no such luxury[...]." He further states: "[...]many opponents in a live scenario will not allow you to throw them cleanly, they will grip you as though their very lives depend upon it and drag you to the floor with them[...]." This then explains why he has written a series on take-downs; it will be much easier to be victorious in grappling if you start from a dominant position, and that is determined by the take-down...a take-down which your opponent will want to prevent from happening. The moral of the story, then, is that a good take-down is the first step to successful ground-fighting. This isn't the first time I've seen this point made but it came across particularly well here.

I liked the discussion of different scenarios, such as whether the opponent has on a T-shirt, no shirt, a heavy jacket, etc., and the fact that slight variations of the techniques were usually demonstrated. Ten techniques are shown, each in its own short chapter (plus variations on these technqiues and an introductory chapter on gripping).

Unfortunately, there were too few pictures per technique. In Chapter 6, for example (Single Leg Pick-up, Minor Inner Reap), there are two pictures for the main technique--the pictures seem to have the wrong handedness for the description in the text in this case--plus one picture for a variation. This is simply too little, especially since the technique descriptions are generally modest in length (one or two double-spaced pages--often just two paragraphs).

The techniques were fairly similar to one another, often based on reaching down and doing a leg or ankle pick-up as the first step. I thought that his omission of tips on this starting move was a real missed opportunity.

Overall, I came away feeling as though I had learned nothing very special about Sombo from this book. The use of the judo jacket for a hand grip but the absence of clothing to grip at the leg was somewhat novel for me. We are told that these are his favourite Sombo techniques and the ones that are least duplicative of throws from judo and other common grappling arts. (To me they seemed quite similar to ideas from Judo, with the added emphasis on grabbing the leg or ankle). Adding to this the frugality shown with regard to pictures, I find myself hard-pressed to recommend this book. I am not sure what niche it really fills. Of course, I might have a different view if I saw it in the context of the entire Take-downs series plus Mr. Thompson's other books, including the six-book ground-fighting series.
Is sombo (sambo) still practiced as a competetive, judo-like sport in Russia

I would say that most people in russia who train in judo also trains in sambo

Sambo is now starting to grow popular in America

David Rudman,
9-times champion of USSR in Sambo,
2 times champion of Europe in Sambo
Champion of the world in Judo
Founder and first trainer in Sambo-70 school in Russia
Author of 6 books about sambo

Designed a system of teaching sambo and begun writing a series of 25 book where he want to ilustrate this system.
This system consist of Russia's old system slightly altered it to adapt for US.

Also he started teaching Sambo again, now in New York

For more information about sambo
go to
Originally posted by Yakov
I would say that most people in russia who train in judo also trains in sambo

Ah, so it is still fairly widespread then I gather!

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