Wednesday, November 05, 2014


Sambo the ideal Grappling Sport for Children

I ask many Judo Coaches why they do not encourage there players to participate in other Jacket Grappling sports like Sambo, Kurash, Belt Wrestling, BJJ etc. and I get the same answer they prefer the purity and traditions of Judo. What traditions? The founder of Kano never originally entertained Competitive Judo so is that the traditional Judo they aspire to? Or is it the Judo of the first Olympics in 1964 when there was just Waza-ari and Ippon and referees wore Judogi and Kids could only grade to 3rd Mon is that the traditional Judo they mean? Or is it the Judo of Starbrook, Jacks and Adams where there was Koka Yuko Waza-ari Ippon, Chui Shido etc. where the Tatami had 1 metre demarcation area and referees wore Blazers is that the Traditional Judo they mean? Or is it the modern day Judo of multi Coloured mats, Coloured Judogi and rules where you get penalised for throwing a person. No the only traditional part of Judo today is Kata which was there from the beginning and how many teach or practice that? Sadly it is only taught and practised to pass a grading and with the practitioner knowing very little about why they are doing them. Judo like most sports evolves sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse. Judo in truth is nothing more then an Olympic Jacket Grappling sport.

Part of the decline of Judo is it rules as soon as youngster’s steps on the Tatami they are restricted and not on health and safety reasons but because of the rules of the sport.  

I had great pleasure and great results from teaching Judo in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s but I looked up my lesson plans of those halcyon days of Judo and realise half of what I was teaching is no longer allowed in 2014 that does not say a lot about Judo.

That is why I recommend Sambo to all Juniors there is a wider range of techniques which they are allowed to do, this allows them greater involvement and brings out natural talent rather then stifling their creativity. So the enjoyment level is a lot higher and if they enjoy themselves they stay. I am not saying stop Judo in fact Sambo can compliment the Sport, the Eastern Europeans who start with Sambo then move on to Judo do not do to bad.

I recently looked through the Internet there seems to a great deal of people advertising Sambo and Combat Sambo who I have never heard of or seen, this proves to me that Sambo has become very popular and well known, with people jumping on the band wagon to cash in on our success but contributing nothing least of all knowledge of the Sport
We must concentrate on the Juniors to expand the sport, so I will be reintroducing the BCSA Sambo Grading syllabus my two Sambo Coaches Keith Costa and George Loscombe (Both have trained in Russia) will be organising a junior grading for BCSA members.
An other thing that has been brought to my attention some people want to participate in Recreational Sambo like Judo, so I will introduce a non competitive Sambo Grading System for Adults based on Technical Ability. I also intend to introduce Sambo Patterns similar to Judo Kata. Sambo can compliment other grappling sports but it needs to be recognised as a sport with its own dynamic it is a sport that can accommodate people from all walks of life and ability.

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