Monday, January 25, 2010

Sombo Training Junior 12 and above plus Seniors



A Governing Body recognised Event
Sunday January 30th 2010
Swale Martial Arts Club
127 East Street
Kent ME10 4RX

Cost £10
10am till 1pm,

This will be a mixture of tuition and fighting and will be ideal as introduction for those grapplers who want to experience Sombo for the first time plus a good workout for the more experienced Somboist. This session is open to men and women plus youngsters 14 and over. Money and entry to the above address by January 21st 2010. Those who have to travel are welcome to in the Dojo on the Saturday night free of charge.

Sombo Training Sunday

Let me know if you can attend and do not forget the first aid course

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Judo Rubbish

They told us that the new judo mat area and new rules would take us back to the Golden Age of Judo the 1970's. This match was terrible all I saw was few attacks with bad Maki Komi's, do Judo players not realsie that Judo is more then Grip Changing and the winner was decided by a disqualification who had the cheek to riase his arms in triumph. All you Judo players who a sport where where you can throw use ground work and get submissions Try Sombo have a go at the British Sombo Championships

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

World Masters & Squad Training for 12 and over

World Masters Sambo Wrestling Championships

Prague Czech Republic

October 22nd – October 25th

To be considered to compete for the British Team you must enter the British Open on April 11th 2010 no other competition will be considered. The same applies for those wishing to enter the Senior Worlds in Tashkent Uzbekistan in November.

Sombo Squad Training
Sunday January 31st

Seniors and Youngsters
12 years and above

Good introduction to Sambo/Sombo

A Judo Vid from Russia very good

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Community Amateur Sports Club

If a Sports Club registers with the Inland Revenue as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) they are the entitled to 100% Business Rates relief. This is a big help to those clubs who trying to survive in today’s economic climate. Rumours recently have been flying around that the next Conservative Government will be stopping this, if this was true it would put an extra £9000 on the running costs of our Martial Clubs effectively closes us, My parents Nobby and Margret Clarke started the Young Judo Club in 1957 and we one of the oldest clubs in the country it would be disastrous to see it close.

I contacted the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Sittingbourne & Sheppey Gordon Henderson he in turn forwarded my concern to the Conservative Shadow Sports Minister Hugh Robertson this is his reply


It is absolute rubbish. We actually have plans, when the public finances allow, to enhance the CASC scheme

This is brilliant news for CASC Clubs

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SMAC Presentation

Warriors Sport CombatSombo

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Distance Learning and Camcorder Examination

I have just read a thread from one of those Martial Arts Discussion Groups, these groups would be a useful tool if they did not allow people to have Pseudonyms, and as soon as you allow this you know you end up with a group of people insulting each other. Any sensible debate must would name the contributor and state their experience/qualifications, Bibliography etc so the reader can asses the legitimacy of a discussion/argument etc. Most who hide behind a false name are normally cowards who want to insult and condemn others without the worry of retribution.

This particular individual ridiculed Distance Learning and Camcorder Examinations as he/she was using a false name I could not check on their experience or ability in all probability it was a Wanabe who has read lots of books etc but never done anything.

So let’s evaluate Grading’s, Belt Promotion, Rank Advancement call it what you will it means moving up through the Belts/grades. Traditionally they would be done in front of a Panel of Examiners normally Black Belts or one very high ranking teacher, the student would be asked to perform various techniques laid down by the organisations syllabus and if performed to the standard expected of that organisation that they would advance to the next Grade. Some would also require a certain degree of fitness or in the case of Judo some Judoka could grade on their competition ability.

25 years ago this would be the norm but it had its drawbacks:

1) Some Individual Rank exams would take hours, with the exam being more of a test of the physical and mental endurance rather then a Test of a candidate’s technical ability.

2) Having sat on examination panel in the past for sometimes for 12 hours your concentration begins to drift and you miss things

3) The higher the standard the more techniques needed the longer the exam, with candidates starting well but finishing poorly.

4) Because of 3 failure would be high and safety of the candidate would be put at risk

5) As I mentioned exam could take hours, how does that relate to practical Martial Arts/Combat Disciplines? A Competitive Match i.e. Judo, Sambo etc at most would last 10 minutes, Kata even shorter and if you were learning just for self defence reasons, fights do last hours.

The technical age is upon us you get DVD instructional discs, you can download from the Internet, you can use photographs taken by yourself on your own computer the same for camcording, you can be in contact with your instructor any where in the world via email and web cam. So why not use this technology to enhance your Martial Arts/Combat skills, link this together by attending courses arranged by different instructors and you can only improve.

So what are the benefits of Camcorder Grading?

1) You can do the exam at any time and any where in the World

2) You do not need to be tired down to any one organisation, although I would put a caveat on that by saying that you need to be proficient in one discipline before trying to master other systems and beware of those who will tell you they have invented a totally new system, Check out how old they are, how long they have been practising, who they trained with, their record. Those of have very high grades in opposing styles i.e. 10th Dan Judo, 10th Dan Jiu Jitsu, 10th Dan Aikido, 10th Dan Karate etc and only in their mid forties, I actually saw this in an advert.

3) The camcorder is all seeing unlike the Human eye it does not miss things and can be watched time and time again

4) As the candidate can take hours, days and even months preparing the Disc/Film there is no reason for any technique to be wrong.

5) Because of 4 the standard will rise and techniques will improve because the candidate can see his/her faults and keep rectifying them till they are perfect

6) The candidate will always have a record of their exam, so in years to come if anyone questions your ability you can say when I took my Promotion Exam this is what I done. You always hear from older Black Belts “In my Day it was far harder to become a Black Belt” most of the time that is untrue and is said to boost their own ego.

Disadvantages of a Camcorder grading is you lose human interaction between examiner and examinee, for competitive grades say in Judo a lot more proof would be needed i.e. recording all matches won and lost, stating name, grade, weight how you won or lost, all of which would need to verified by a senior official of the tournament .

I have being doing Camcorder Examinations for many years I doubt if I was the first to do this but I was definitely one of the first and have examined hundreds of people. Can the idea be abused of course it can, someone can easily set themselves up as an examiner but it is only lazy people who get caught, those who do their homework and check the examiner out will not be conned. Are the examinations expensive Yes, do you automatically pass NO. On these two issues I can only speak for myself, when someone applies to do a camcorder grading I tell them the price and also tell them for that price if they fail they can retake the exam at no extra cost.

Camcorder grading and distance learning are hear to stay and in the future there will be hundreds on the net but remember you first heard it from Martin Clarke

Go to

Tuesday, January 12, 2010



A lot of people are under the impression that an IBF Judo Dan Grade automatically becomes a Coach and a Referee this is completely incorrect. When you receive your Dan you would have been examined on your Personal Ability whether it be on your Technical Knowledge or your Competitive Skills. No where in the syllabus does it test your ability to Coach others.

To become a Coach you need to take an exam within the IBF Coaching System. To become an Instructor you can take the IBF Proffeciency Exam both can be seen on the IBF Web site

Monday, January 11, 2010


IBF UK Judo Coaches AGM
This years AGM was a very cold one but we were pleased to see the turnout especially with the Snow problem as usual the meeting was held at the IBFUK HQ in Sittingbourne and we had people travel down from Bedford and Nottingham.
The meeting was just a 2 hour affair and a Cold one at the Heating at HQ decided to pack up but we all survived. IBF UK President Martin Clarke 8th Dan started the meeting by giving his Annual address. He went on to say that Judo World Wide was on the decline and we all needed to improvise to keep the Art going, the Olympics being held in London 2012 was having no affect on Sport in general the only people who benefiting from the London Olympics are the Construction Companies and foreign workforce and he felt our main hope was for the GB Judo team to win a hatful of medals at the event. Members were reminded that the IBF was the only association to offer so many Martial Arts and Combat sports under one license, he felt members were not taking advantage of that. Youngsters today are very much influenced by CAGE FIGHTING this Combat Form has become global spectator craze and has led to lots of people watching but with very few people taking up the Martial Arts. Most people you speak to who want to Cage Fighting do not realise that most good fighters start in a traditional Combat Discipline something like Judo. To make your Judo Club different try a different discipline once a month, let the youngsters try Sombo, Kurash, Submission Wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, keep your main discipline of Judo and remember variety is the spice of life. Pankration is the latest thing which the IBF do it is a mixture of Judo and semi Contact Karate kids will love it. Support for Judo competitions was essential and needed everyone working hard to get Judoka to events. Also mentioned was that everything will now be done over the Internet including membership something which has not increased for the 3rd year running.
In the past the IBF has always run its own First Aid programme this is no longer good enough and he informed all Coaches they must have recognised First Aid award before Coaches Insurance will be issued, the IBF has organised an HSE Emergency First Aid for the Workplace this is limited to 16 people and already Martin Clarke, Trevor Davies, George Holbrook and Russell Dodds are booked in.
After the President had finished the Chairman of the Judo Technical Committee John Clarke 5th Dan took over the proceedings, his first task was to introduce Ian Parker 3rd Dan on to the committee. The main discussion revolved around the IBF Multi Nation Judo Tournament to be held in Hastings. The only other main item was the new Dan Grade Syllabus Technical Dan (Blue Stripe Standard) Competitive Dan (Red Stripe Standard) Dan Gold Standard the latter being someone who completes both Blue and red Standard, this can all be seen on the IBF Web Site. This new scheme went down very well with the membership and felt it would attract more people to do IBF Judo; one major difference is that Competitive Grades no longer need to know the Japanese Terminology for technique but will still have to do the complete Nag No Kata. All went away feeling elated that things are moving and at least the IBF is coming out of the recession.
Next for IBF Members is the Sombo/Judo Training session on Sunday January 31st 10am till 1pm let us know if you are coming.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Carl Tolbert USA

Congratulations to Carl Lee Tolbert USA on his 1st Degree CombatSombo registerd with CombatSombo International

Carl holds other grades as well
1st Dan Judo
1st Degree Combatsombo
Blue belt 4 stripes BJJ (WBJJA Instructor)
10+ years freestyle and Greco wrestling

You can find Carl's full CV at

Peter Rebscher Germany

Congratulations to Peter on being awarded his 1st Dan Judo with the Classical Martial Arts Society and his 4th Degree Sombo Wrestling with CombatSombo International

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Three are First Sport CombatSombo Instructors

Sport CombatSombo Instructors Course

Sittingbourne January 3rd 2010

Well 2010 has taken of with a bang for CombatSombo members, not only can we offer CombatSombo and CombatSombo Wrestling (Sombo Freestyle) we can now offer Sport CombatSombo as well.
For some time now I have been working with our Insurance Broker to get cover for Sport CombatSombo and I am pleased to say that with some modification to the rules which you can find at, the Insurance company has agreed to insure us. To coach Sport CombatSombo you must be an IBFBCSA member, Sports CombatSombo Coach and be covered by IBFBCSA PI Insurance. Part of the agreement is that I Martin Clarke Founder of the CombatSombo system must be personally responsible for maintaining standards. So my first job was to take my most effective Sombo Coaches and qualify them accordingly. Colin Carrott Warriors Grappling Academy Sittingbourne, Ian Parker and Russell Dodds all passed the course with flying colours and become the only 3 coaches in the UK licensed to teach Sport CombatSombo along with me Martin Clarke.

Sport CombatSombo is a mixture of grappling and striking or rough translation would be a mixture of Kickboxing and Judo/Sombo. CombatSombo was invented and founded by Martin Clarke and was recognised by the International Body FIAS in 1990 as a style of Sombo, it also is a registered Trade Mark and is recognised by the UK Governing body for Sombo the British Sombo Federation. With the collapse of Communism the eastern block came up with their own system which they called Combat Sambo or Sambo Combat this is a much more vicious system and allows a lot more dangerous Techniques which are outlawed in the UK. The British Sombo Federation does not recognise Sambo combat or Combat Sambo as it does not meet the criteria of a safe Sport for All

More information

Saturday, January 02, 2010

What is a Black Belt Grading

It is interesting how becoming a Black Belt is so different from organisation to organisation and how it can be used to gather new members and to be used as a political tool.
I run several organisations all of which have a high standard of examination; my recent fore ray is to form an Examination Board like the Boards that organise GCE, degree etc, I came under a lot of criticism for this move. Yet the board works and is called the Classical Martial Arts Society it is not affiliated to any organisation and is totally independent. CMAS offers nothing more then the chance to be examined if successful you will receive a Certificate stating that the CMAS has considered you worthy of the grade indicated. How do you grade simple either by Camcorder or produce legitimate documentation and proof of your ability which is checked.
Why is there a need for the CMAS? For many years I have been asked to verify grades from people all over the World which I have steadfastly refused to do on an adhoc basis with new technology such as Camcorders, Internet etc it came easier to grade someone who was a member of my organisation but many did want this they asked for something Independent as most Martial Arts are riddled with politics. So we now have the CMAS.


Many people have jumped on the band wagon to make Money out of the Martial Arts I do not have a problem with this as long as they maintain standards and do not profess to be something they are not. To try and get round this problem they invent a new style of Martial Art and some are very good and genuine but the majority are not. For overnight someone who may have been a mediocre 2nd Dan/degree Black Belt in a legitimate style become a GrandMaster in his own style overnight. Some say he or she is a conman not really they have started their own style and they are masters of it, what you can say What experience do they have and how long have they been involved in the Martial Arts and then make a judgement. I find it amazing the amounts of people I have taught and graded now claim to be Grandmasters and a higher grade then myself.
What brought this all on was the fact recently I received a two certificates (I have copied a section but have not include the name of the organisation) awarding my 7th Dan Jiu Jitsu my present rank is 6th Dan and 9th Dan CombatSombo. To my knowledge I have never met anyone form this organisation so how can they know what my ability is and more then that they awarded me a grade in CombatSombo a style I developed myself over 20 years ago and is registered in my name. By definition I hold no grade in CombatSombo as I am the founder and more importantly we do not use Japanese terminology so the wording should have been Degree. This is not the first time it has happened and not just me but my mother 30 years ago received a certificates awarding her 7th Dan Kung Fu she had never done Kung Fu in her life.
So do I accept these grades of course not but one must ask the question how many out there have?

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne