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Last Update:
October 10, 2002

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Welcome to the Site of
SAMBO BC Canada and

Student Recreation Centre
The University of British Columbia
Vancouver BC Canada

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Map of Canada (English)
Map of Canada (French)

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Sport Sambo Borba Sambo
Picture provided by Igor Kurinnoy (in blue)
Moscow, Russia. See also Igor Kurinnoy's
Sambo Lessons.

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Kures (Kazakhstan)

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Tchidaoba (Georgia)

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Kurash (Uzbekistan)

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Khapsagai (Yakutia)

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Combat or Military Sambo


Sambo is a martial art and sport of Russian origin. Sambo, mostly spelled "Sombo" in the U.S.A. and "Самбo" in Russian, is the acronym of  "Самозащита без оружия" (Samozatchita bes orujiya) literally translated into "Self-defense without weapons."

Note: 1. Sometimes "Самооборана без оружия" (Samooborana bes orujiya) is used. Оборана (oborana) is a synonym for защита (zatchita) both translate as defense.
2. The Cyrillic or Russian letter "C" is  pronounced as an English "S" (also as "Ç" in French) and the  "б" is an English "b."  "САМБО"(in capital letters here) should be pronounced as  "SOMBO" or "SAMBO"   Samo = auto(self,) zatchita = defense, bes = without, orougia = weapons.  [We'll settle the sambo - sombo issue later.]

Sport Sambo has been derived from Japanese Judo by Vasilij S. Otschepkov who was born on Sakhalin Island in the far east of Russia. The sport has been "russified" through the influence of various Russian traditional  wrestling styles.  Kharlampiev and  Spiridonov have also contributed to the evolution of  Sambo.  On November 16, 1938 Sambo was recognized by the All-Union Committee of Physical Culture (USSR.) That day is considered as the official birthday of sambo. 

Sambo is much more western then oriental in its tradition and style.

The uniform consists of a jacket called  "kurtka" in either red or blue with a belt of matching color.  The kurtka has four large buttonhole-type openings to insert the belt which therefore keeps the kurta in place. The kurtka also has protruding epaulets on either side of the shoulders to allow for strong grips.  It has a tighter fit then judo gui's or kimonos. Tight shorts of matching color and sambo shoes with suede soles are also part of the uniform.  (Instead of holes for the belt certain manufactures sew 3 or 4 loops for the belt.)

During a competition the two opponents wear kurkti of different color.   Thus every competitor has two sets of kurtki and shorts; one red and one blue.   Sometimes reversible red and blue kurtki are worn. ("kurtki" is the plural of "kurtka")

Opponents shake hands before and after a match instead of bowing.

In Russian the sport is usually referred to as "борьа самбо" (borba sambo) which translates as "wrestling sambo."  We are posting the sport rules in four languages on our rules page.

Sport Sambo has a distinct additional discipline referred to as "Combat Sambo."  Combat Sambo has the same origins as sport sambo but includes chokes, holds, moves, throws, and kicks and strikes which are illegal in sport sambo.  Sport sambo is different from combat sambo.


Vancouver BC Canada

The Sambo classes were started at the University of British Columbia on September 1997 on the initiative of the coach, Master of Sport in Sambo Vadim Slavin, merely one year after his arrival in Canada.

The sambo club is the youngest of some 25 different martial arts classes offered at the Student Recreation Centre of the University of British Columbia.  This is the largest variety of martial arts offered by one organization in Canada and probably even in North America.  Many sambo members are university students but we encourage anyone interested to join the club.

Sambo classes:
08:30 pm - 10:00 pm
08:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Saturday 03:00 pm - 04:30 pm
Sunday 01:30 pm - 03:00 pm

During the weekend classes we often are joined by judo, wrestlers, or other martial art members. This shows the interest the club has generated for the sport of sambo.

We are the only active club in Western Canada and possibly in the entire country. We started to train in judo kimonos when kurtki where not available. Now more students get kurtki. As you will see from the pictures, we train bare feet because this is required in the Japanese dojo tradition. We follow the "barbo sambo" rules but you will notice from out pictures that we do allow chokes in out training but not for competitions. We allow and teach chokes in our training so that our students will be able to compete in judo and brazillian jujitsu too.

UBC SAMBO also includes training in SUBMISSION WRESTLING, a rapidly growing and one of the most complete and realistic styles of wrestling.

Oleg Taktarov visits and promotes our club and sambo with seminars and demonstrations. Oleg Taktarov was world champion in sambo and in various martial arts: refer to almost the bottom of our Home Page and also to the picture galleries.

Some martial arts students, wrestlers, and judo members of UBC join our training in order to learn specific sambo techniques.  We have had club guests like a former student of Sambo-70 now residing in Vancouver. Some other sambo practitioners live in Vancouver and came from Russia and its neighboring countries. We hope to renew their interest in sambo.

If you practice sambo or are interested we invite you to visit us or to participate as a guest.
Do not hesitate to contact us. Email:


Promote our club.
Help promote sambo in our area and anywhere.
Promote a good cooperation between clubs, organizations locally, nationally, and internationally.


We invite you to email or send us the names of your sambo clubs or organizations. Include some information and addresses or pictures and we will post your data on the internet. For as long as possible we can make a page for your sambo club on the internet.

This page will be updated  regularly.



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For Information:
2225 West 41st Ave. #18056
Vancouver BC

Canada     V6M 4L3
Phone & Fax 604-
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Last Update: October 10, 2002

Please do email me if the Cyrillic (Russian) letters don't show up properly.
Thank you!

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Copyright 1999 Luc.C.Claes