Sambo is an acronym for Samooborona Bez Orushia, which is Russian for "Self Defense without weapons". It is a system of hand to hand combat against both unarmed and armed opponents. The self-defense part of Sambo is based on body movements and locks with a few punches and kicks. There are two commonly seen styles of Sambo, sport Sambo (also called Sambo Borba or Sambo Wrestling) and Combat Sambo. Sambo is comprised of techniques from varieties of Russian national wrestling, Tartar wrestling (kurjaga), Tuvin kuresh, Yakut hopsagaj, Chuvash akatuj, Georgian chidaoba and other USSR national systems as well as wrestling techniques from Greco-Roman wrestling, Catch-as-Catch-Can Wrestling, jujitsu, judo, aikido and karate.

Sambists compete in heavy duty grappling jackets called Kurtkas. A match is over when one competitor has thrown the other to his back and remained standing, or has applied a submission hold against the arm or leg and made his opponent give up from the pain by tapping the mat or the other Sambist.

Sambo was created in the 1930's as a method of hand to hand combat for the Soviet military after the Russo-Japanese War. A sport form of it was created, and has now become an International Sport.

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