Sambo historical question
I was reading this interesting article (Technique Talk: Ricky Lundell and the ethics of heel hooking) and there I found the following statements:
So, is it any proof of Sambo's early focus on leg attacks, and because of its military origins? I had understood that Sambo's emphasis on leg attacks had its origin in the late 30's soviet policy of obscuring Judo's role in the developement of the art.
The game of sambo was based on leg locks originally. It was based that way because sambo was made for war time combat. Basically the idea was if you are fighting somebody in war and your weapon malfunctions and you somehow knock them to the ground, they fall back on their back and there you are in guard, right? You're standing over them.
You can either try to pass their guard and get on top of them and work to a submission and then get stabbed in the back by a bayonet or you can try to grab the legs directly in front of you which have shoes on and try to submit them very quickly using their legs.
Their take was: We need to attack the legs; we need to have takedowns and attack the legs as fast as possible to leave our opponents helpless in a war time situation. That's why you see them with the gi top and then shoes on.
Last edited by DCS; 9/15/2015 6:27am at .
I don't quite get the reasoning behind submitting a wartime combatant. Surely carrying the technique through to incapacitate the opponent would be more of a thing? Or is that what's meant be submitting in this context?
Don't know for sure, but would assume it means carrying through. I had always heard that the logic was if they injured the leg, you now cannot walk unassisted. As such, you've diminished the mobility and fighting effectiveness of the unit over and above what you would normally get from disabling one member
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SAMBO of which time period, and of which purpose? I spent several years going through Soviet manuals of different time periods. There is pre-World War II, post-World War II, sport SAMBO, police SAMBO, and then specialty training for direct action (assassination, overcoming guards, etc).
Documents from the 1920s look a lot like Japanese jiu-jitsu. This was when the new Soviet Union was synthesizing various Western and Asian martial arts. The body of training was still in development and manuals look pretty similar to a lot of self-defense manuals today. The 1930s was when the NKVD published a two volume encyclopedia of SAMBO methods, which ranged from basic training (sport SAMBO) right on through to how to knife people. In between the extremes were all kinds of grappling, submission moves, kicks, punches, gun take-aways, bayonet defense, etc.
The NKVD was an organization that included police functions, espionage, prisons and the gulag system, internal war (suppression of revolts), and border security.
Post-World War II training is where things get more streamlined, and manuals become simpler. The inventory for general military training is smaller, with special troops getting the basic set, plus additional tailored training according to the specialty. Reconnaissance troops had extra training on how to overcome someone, take control of them, hog time them, and then carry them away for interrogation. Combatives training manuals become tailored to the work role.
My suspicion is that to best answer your question, you might ask about the context (sport, police, regular army, special troop), and the period being discussed (pre-World War II, post-World War II). And then examine Soviet-era manuals for that time period that have been scanned and are available on Russian websites. There are a lot of military hobbyists in Russian who have take the time to reproduce the body of period published Soviet government work in high quality PDF documents.
Disabling the legs while the opponent can use both hands to access weapons seems a bit dubious.
Mrtnira is correct, as far as my understanding is concerned, that sambo was originally pretty Japanese-jiu-jitsu-ey, although its progenitors were judo and Greco-Roman specialists. The earlier technique videos do have a lot of tactical disarmament and military-type applications, but I would still venture to say that the primary objective of sambo at any stage of its development was to throw. It became codified into a sport in the 1930s by Anatoly Kharlampiev, and it was at that time I would assume that the other influences became more prominent (qartuli chidaoba, Mongolian wrestling, kurash, etc), all of which are purely wrestling arts... Literally zero groundwork or submission work. Therefore, the idea that sambo was originally focused on leglocks is pretty dubious, IMHO. I would even argue that the emphasis on leglocks is a *sort of* uniquely American thing... Different schools in the former USSR emphasized different techniques, just like any MA school here, and a lot of the guys that brought sambo over here (Taktarov, Yakimov, etc.) were personally interested in leglocking themselves, so we have the perception that leglocks occupy a larger part of the sport than they really do.
I asked Igor Kurinnoy this exact same thing (more or less) a few years ago, but in the context of "why does sambo allow leglocks, but not chokes", and he said that the original creators of sambo thought that chokes generally took too long to incapacitate an opponent, while a quick leglock would impair their ability to walk immediately. I don't buy into that 100%, but I understand where he's coming from.
Understand that I'm by no means an expert, but I'm very heavily involved in sambo as an athlete, referee, and delegate in the Congress, so I have access to the sport in a lot of ways that other people don't... Take it for what it's worth.
Catch wresting influence maybe?
Originally Posted by blackmonk
Personally, I don't think so, but maybe. The history of catch wrestling in the US is a little weird and racked with controversy, so I'm always skeptical.
Originally Posted by DCS
Sambosteve or Kris Iatskevitch would be more qualified to answer that question, for sure.
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