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  1. #1
    sambosteve's Avatar
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    Congrats to the other Serge

    On December 17th and 18th, Serge Gerlach travelled to NYC and tested for the NY Combat Sambo full instructor certification.

    Serge has trained sambo since 1999, beginning under my coach Alexander Barakov, continuing under myself after Alex's return to Russia, as well as training with Igor Kurinnoy in the US and Moscow. Serge has also cross trained in BJJ and Judo. I have trained with Serge since the mid 1990s staring with grappling and san shou. Serge later began Combat Sambo after I introduced him to Barakov.

    The exam which Serge took was the final in the NYCS 4 exam series toward an instructor cert and was very demanding. It encompassed both a technical exam and fighting exam. In addition, persons testing need to have demonstrated competative success, which Serge has done honorably over many years - including the heavyweight bronze medal at the 1997 Gene LeBell World Grappler's Challenge in Toronto, Canada; a gold medal (2004) and silver medal (2006) at the United Gracie Tournament in San Francisco; a bronze medal at the 2005 Unity Classic Sambo Tournament; and a silver medal at the 2005 and 2007 North American Freestyle Sambo Championships.

    Serge was inspirational during his exam demonstrating 100s of flawless techniques. During the fighting sessions, he had to face off against opponants in six successive 5 minute rounds: sub wrestling, sport sambo, freestyle sambo, combat sambo, MMA, and weapons sparring. During these rounds he fought myself, Anthony Sansonetti (Team Renegade coach), and some of my top students including Alexius Pheonix, Max Sedikh, Vadim Vaschuk, Jon Sichel, and Ken Gibson (2 time Ring of Combat Veteran).

    While we all knew beforehand that Serge was worthy of an instructor cert, he showed his true spirit and guts during the 2 days of testing.

    Serge is the man. He is also the first person I have tested through to full instructor rank. I am very happy for Serge and proud to have trained with him for so long. He has been a staple of helping to put sambo on the west coast map!

    Congrats to Serge! I will post pics and vids soon.

  2. #2
    sambosteve's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    Goju - Joe's Avatar
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    Congrats Serge !!

  4. #4
    Kentucky Fried Chokin's Avatar
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    Congradulations Serge! So is this his first cert? Because I thought he was already an instructor?
    Last edited by Kentucky Fried Chokin; 12/19/2008 3:37pm at .

  5. #5
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    CoffeeFan's Avatar
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    Congrats Serge! You the man!

  6. #6
    Snake Plissken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sambosteve

    Awesome Job, Serge...and doin' it in style in the Michael Bolton ****. LOL

  7. #7
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    Ming Loyalist's Avatar
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    nice work serge!
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
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  8. #8
    sambosteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentucky Fried Chokin
    Congradulations Serge! So is this his first cert? Because I thought he was already an instructor?
    He already is an instructor running his own program, but he never got a full instructor cert from me specifically (this is not an ASA thing, it is an in house thing at NYCS). For example, my student Reilly Bodycomb runs a program and has not taken the final test yet either (but he has started the process as well). In any event, Serge tested for asstistant instructor years ago.

    There are no universally accepted ranks in sambo as we know. Many coaches teach without "certifications" or "ranks". But, what this certification says is that as far as NYCS and I am concerned, he is top notch and fully qualified in all the diverse areas of combat sambo...not just the sport stuff for example. He went the extra mile to go through the process and gain proficiency in the different ranges of sambo.

    Not having this cert does not preclude anyone from teaching. And, at my club, the process of testing for this certificate (which takes about 7-8 years) is totally optional. For people who want to go the extra mile, and get that official documentation from me. The cert is like a seal of approval so to speak.
    Last edited by sambosteve; 12/19/2008 3:56pm at .

  9. #9
    Naszir's Avatar
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    Well done, Serge! Was there anything you would have preferred to do differently during the test or worked harder on beforehand?

  10. #10
    sambosteve's Avatar
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    Serge is still here in east coast for the holidays. I don't think he knows I started this thread yet. I will let him know. I am sure he has some comments about the test. Especially since he is walking through the metropolitan museum righ now with two black eyes and a nice gash on the bridge of his nose...LOL

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