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sum yung gai
7/08/2008 5:43am,
I'll try to skimp on the long-winded narraitive here and get down to it...

Today I went with a friend (a bodybuilder) to a Gym in my area that he was thinking about signing up with. The Gym in question had been (at least to the best of my knowledge) a very old-school Weights, Boxing, Wrestling and Judo Gym. I figured while I was there I might ask about the classes, just in case they've got something I'd like to take up that doesn't conflict with BJJ.

What I found was something very different from a tradition, Rocky-esque Gym. Aside from the aforementioned classes, they also offer Hapkido, Ju Jitsu (traditional Japanese), Karate, Kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do and Badminton (I **** you not). But here's the kicker... a big-ass sign in the lobby extolling the virtues of Russian Combat.

If SAMBO had managed to get a foothold in New Zealand, I probably would have had to flip a coin to pick between it and BJJ. Unfortunately it hasn't, but here was me thinking I'd hit the jackpot and found a place in my area that actually does SAMBO. So I asked a few questions to the guy at the desk...

"So... Russian Combat? Is that like SAMBO, Systema (please, don't let it be Systema, I thought) or something along those lines?"

To which the clerk (who seemed very uncomfortable at the thought of having to actually answer a question) replied...

"Uuuh... It's a mix of a bunch of styles!" Then he mumbled something about the instructor being ex-Russian Army and a black belt in Aikido.

The way they're pitching it is emphasising that it is, in fact, Russian Combat (which for all I know, could be any damn thing) and contains groundfighting, defense against knives and defense against multiple opponents. With extra emphasis on the fact that it's Russian.

I'm still trying to figure the whole thing out, as I haven't been brave enough to phone the Russian instructor. Has anyone else here ever seen or heard of anything like this... a vague, eclectic style that can fend off multiple opponents with knives while you're on the ground and is deadly by virtue of its Russian-ness?

Don't get me wrong... if it is SAMBO of some kind, I'd love to sign up. But I'm getting a big-ass bunch of red flags. The club lets you have a couple of free classes, so I'm thinking I might take them up on it next week and do somewhat of a mini-investigation.

tharuz
7/08/2008 7:10am,
In Soviet Russia

Foot Locker teaches YOU!

In all seriousness, that's a shitload of red flags, and I don't think it's SAMBO or anything worth you giving up BJJ.

remember, BJJ has the concept of rubber guard nowadays.

thank you Eddie Bravo.

EDIT: Could you give me a better description of the gym?

You could take 1 year off BJJ to train in weightlifting, kickboxing, box, wrestling, and judo.

the judo and wrestling will supplement your BJJ.

Gezere
7/08/2008 8:31am,
There are several "Russian" styles out there, many are a variation of combat cambo which is a bit different. There is A LOT of politics and confusion out there on it. There are several guys here than can explain it a bit but for the most part its a big mess.

Virus
7/08/2008 9:03am,
I reckon they do the Systema and they were just too ashamed to admit it.

MrBadGuy
7/08/2008 9:16am,
Why are you even posting here, when you should be training there? Why haven't you signed up for the badminton yet?!

ysc87
7/08/2008 10:34am,
Why are you even posting here, when you should be training there? Why haven't you signed up for the badminton yet?!

You mean ballet dancing.
He said "Russian," not "cornhole-munching ass banditry." **** badminton, it's gay.


Sum yung gai, go get your tutu and start training with these guys. And take videos. Lots of videos.

DdlR
7/08/2008 12:59pm,
If SAMBO had managed to get a foothold in New Zealand, I probably would have had to flip a coin to pick between it and BJJ. Unfortunately it hasn't, but here was me thinking I'd hit the jackpot and found a place in my area that actually does SAMBO. So I asked a few questions to the guy at the desk...



I'm assuming that you're in Christchurch and that this was at the Chricton Gym. I was there a couple of years ago and asked around about the Russian Combat classes, but unfortunately wasn't there long enough to check them out myself.

IIRC the instructor's name was Vladimir and it sounded like he was teaching combat SAMBO: if so, it would probably be something like this -

YouTube - combat sambo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBjin8zNUWc)

In any case, I don't think that he was teaching Ryabko Systema. On that topic, you need to understand that there are many different styles of modern RMA, basically (IMO) all descended from the SAMBO development program that was carried out in the former USSR throughout a good chunk of the 20th century.

BTW, I heard a lot of good things about the Chricton Gym itself, and their martial arts programs in general.

Big_Boss
7/08/2008 1:16pm,
Why are you even posting here, when you should be training there? Why haven't you signed up for the badminton yet?!
Badminton, Badminton!
**** yeah!

Permalost
7/08/2008 1:24pm,
When do they find time to teach boxing, wrestling, judo, hapkido, jujutsu, karate, kickboxing and tae kwon do?

DdlR
7/08/2008 1:35pm,
When do they find time to teach boxing, wrestling, judo, hapkido, jujutsu, karate, kickboxing and tae kwon do?

The Chricton Gym was set up in the 1920s, basically as a sort of local community alternative to the YMCA. It's a big building with a wide range of facilities - more like a YMCA than a storefront martial arts school. AFAIK it's run as a non-profit.

Squerlli
7/08/2008 1:38pm,
Fucking communist bastards.

I was a communist for about one year. After that I don't know what the **** I was till I moved to the states.

Wow, I is teh old.

sum yung gai
7/08/2008 3:53pm,
I'm assuming that you're in Christchurch and that this was at the Chricton Gym. I was there a couple of years ago and asked around about the Russian Combat classes, but unfortunately wasn't there long enough to check them out myself.

IIRC the instructor's name was Vladimir and it sounded like he was teaching combat SAMBO: if so, it would probably be something like this -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBjin8zNUWc

In any case, I don't think that he was teaching Ryabko Systema. On that topic, you need to understand that there are many different styles of modern RMA, basically (IMO) all descended from the SAMBO development program that was carried out in the former USSR throughout a good chunk of the 20th century.

BTW, I heard a lot of good things about the Chricton Gym itself, and their martial arts programs in general.
That's the one, dude! So you reckon it's legit? Although I've heard good things about the Boxing and Wrestling side of the gym, the Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do and Karate classes make it look like a bit of a mixed bag. If it's combat SAMBO... **** yeah!

I've got no intentions of giving up BJJ... it'd be supplemental. Thanks for the heads up!

Badminton FTW!!!

ETA: I just wish the guy at reception had been a little more forthcoming and told me which styles this Russian Combat was a mixture of. It's all his damn fault that I've gone and started this thread. Once I learn some badminton, I'm gonna bring it to him...

DdlR
7/08/2008 4:25pm,
The receptionist probably just didn't know much about that particular class.

IIRC the Crichton gym also has a good, old-school judo program.

I just went back and had a look at an email exchange I had with one of the "Russian Combat" students at the Crichton gym. He described the chief instructor (apparently there are two) as an "ex-Spetznaz Navy SEAL" - I'm not sure what he meant by that - and mentioned that they like to keep the classes small. Anyway, he seemed to be enjoying it.

Never having seen a class there, I can't really recommend it or otherwise, but assuming that it is some form of Combat SAMBO, I'd say it would be at least an interesting, self defense oriented supplement for your BJJ.

If you do go along, post a report here or PM me - I'd be interested to hear a bit more about what they're doing there.

sum yung gai
7/08/2008 4:36pm,
Sure thing, dude! I'll probably give Vladimir a ring today and feel it out a bit more. As far as the Judo goes, they only run two classes a week... one's for juniors and they both conflict with BJJ schedule-wise. It seems damn near every martial arts class in Christchurch runs at that same time Monday to Thursday, which is damned inconvenient.

There's also a Wrestling class that I could squeeze in if I were that way inclined. My takedowns are pretty sucky at the moment, so it would probably behoove to pick it up. Anyways, thanks again for the feedback... I'll let you know how it goes!

vigilus
7/08/2008 7:43pm,
You mean you asked a clerk-type dude a question he had NO idea how to answer and he pulled an answer out of his ass?
As if!
That NEVER happens

SFGOON
7/09/2008 1:35am,
"Russian Combat" is actually something very specific.

It begins the night prior, with a vodka bender which results in the requisite hangover. Upon awakening, "cure" the hangover with sardines, half a pack of filterless cigarettes, and an onion eaten raw. This is your warm up.

Next, get on public transportation. It can be a bus or it can be a train, as long as it's crowded and dirty. This is your "Octagon."

St. Petersburg rules state you can start the fight as soon as you enter the bus by either grabbing a female college student and grinding on her then dealing with her father/brother/boyfriend, or you can shove someone else who has already completed the warm up.

Moscow rules dictate you must first ride the train or bus long enough to get motion sickness, at which point you fight with Law enforcement or an opponent who has already completed the warm up.

First one to leave the bus/train loses, though you will retain points for the next round if you curse and throw bricks or rocks at the departing public transportation.



In all seriousness, I'm interested to hear how it goes for you. Russian Martial Arts are a different experience - Russians are some of the best coaches in the world. Enjoy!