Thursday, June 04, 2015


Want to be a Champion

1974 IBF Multi Nation

When I was training and competing at a reasonable level in the 1970, 1980 and 1990 the training was very hard but I had plenty of sparing partners which were available in Judo and Wrestling. At that time all there was in the grappling disciplines were Judo and Wrestling, many of these would also compete in Sambo/Sombo competitions. Judo was at its peak in those days with nearly every town and Village having a Judo club in fact in my town of Sittingbourne there was about 8 clubs the smallest would have about 40 members and the largest my own Young Judo Club had several hundred now we have just the YJC and one other.

As the years went by more people wanted to get involved in other forms of grappling but did not like the heavy throwing of Judo and Sambo. So to fill this gap Brazilian Jiu Jitsu appeared which mainly deals with ground play. This style became very popular throughout the World and when something becomes popular and other Jiu Jitsu organisations brought in their own forms of grappling, then we got the meaningless MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) this was all things to all men it had no structure and no rules anyone could claim to be a MMA coach and clubs appeared every where in Gyms, Barns, Garages etc. Out of this MMA swamp some organisations did appear with some creditability and they would preface their name followed by the Tag MMA. Recently a group have come with what some would claim is what original MMA was and that is Submission Wrestling. SW is least tells “what it says on the tin” is what it is and I am sure those who had the original ideal of MMA will turn to this revived Wrestling discipline
Posing 2005

Now the reason I have made these comments is that some of my Samboists and Judoka have whined there is not enough training places anymore and as I mentioned compared to my day that may be true if you want to stick only to your own discipline. Yet if they stopped whining and took a side ways look they will realise that they can train at other grappling disciplines to improve their own specific style. Taking part in other disciplines competition keeps you match fit, it also does not put pressure on you to win as participating is a training exercise, by visiting other club sessions can open your eyes to other means of improving your own skills. Obviously if you are a Samboist you should train in as much as possible and please do not say competing in other styles is confusing because of the different rules. I competed in Judo, Sambo, Wrestling, Lucha Canarias and never once got confused. Would a Rugby player playing football be confused NO and what about a 11 side football player playing 5 side would they be confused NO

With regard to the British Sambo Team they should be trying high standard competitions in Judo and Wrestling and not restricting themselves to this country only. If you want to be a top competitor you have to put work into it, you have be single minded, if you are a coach and that interferes with your training stop coaching. Some may say that is selfish and that is true but to be a World Class athlete you have to be focused on yourself. A World Class athlete can achieve a lot of accolades when they are successful but the have to give up a lot as well, yet not all those Players who train just as hard but will not succeed, their sacrifice is even the harder

Martin Clarke
FIAS Sambo Grandmaster
Judo 8th Dan
Jiu Jitsu 6th Dan

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