Monday, May 04, 2015


Why wear Sambo Boots

In Judo, BJJ, MMA it has always been the case you done your discipline in bare feet while Wrestlers would wear hard sole Boots and Samboists would wear soft soled boots. Since my introduction to Sambo in the 1970’s on most occasions I have worn Sambo Boots even when training in Judo, obviously I could not wear them in Judo competitions. Many Judoka would complain that I allowed Judoka to wear Sambo boots in competitions I organised. The complaints were they encouraged kicking and that you did not have the control you get with bare feet. All of which is entirely ridiculous you watch the World Sambo Championship and tell me they have no control as for kicking they are soft soled and why would anyone want to kick just because they wear Sambo boots?
So why did I encourage their use? Quite simply Health and Safety, they help prevent the spread of foot complaints such as athlete’s foot plus they protect foot, toes and ankles. As I said most of the time I would train with Sambo Boots but on one occasion I did not and this resulted in me nearly losing a toe. I attempted a foot sweep and misjudged it; the toe next to my big toe caught my opponent’s leg and snapped. Not just snapped but went round 180 degrees so facing the opposite direction, luckily enough my mother pulled it back in place immediately, which with adrenalin pumping was painless but the following hours and days was a different matter. The injury needed treating every day by a nurse for a week. Some year later while teaching a group of doorman something similar happened where a big toe was snapped in half with the bone poking out, macabrely we took a photo.
The reason I have brought this to your attention is just a few days ago leading Sambo referee Colin Carrott was training without boots and yes you have it he snapped a toe with the bone poking through. All the injuries occurred because all of us did not wear Sambo Boots if we had we would not have had the injury.

The late great Geoff Gleeson would often comment to me that the silliest thing to happen to Judoka was an injury in training just because wearing protective equipment such as kneepads, ankle supports etc. was considered unmanly. That piece of advice has stayed with me a pity I did not heed it when I broke my toe

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