Friday, November 15, 2013

British Sombo Coaches visit St Petersbrurg


The BSF sent 7 Coaches to St Petersburg Russia for extensive week of Sambo & Combat Sambo Coaching; they were Robin Hyslop and John Sharpe Scotland, Barry Gibson England Northwest, Russell Dodds England Midlands, Keith Costa, George Loscombe and Colin Carrott England Southeast. The International Body FIAS financed the whole trip. Chairman Martin Clarke had met with FIAS President Shestakov in June and after much discussion this was one of the ways to further the advancement of Sombo/Sambo in GB.

Below you will find reports from some of the Coaches, what I found interesting the amount of people who were training and the fact it was free. I am not a great believer in free training, as I believe it demeanours what we do and puts little value on Sports but training at an affordable price is a completely different ball game. Russia coming from a Communist background has a tradition of Free Sport and successful sportsman because they have such a wide base. So my question is should we spend so much money on Olympic Standard Sportsman, with some spending most of their youth on Government subsidy, then becoming Millionaires at Tax Payers expense, if they are successful also should all Tax Payers money go into just the successful Olympic Sports? There used to be a Sports Council slogan “Sport for All” this is no longer the case; sport is more then just a vehicle for a Government to gain International prestige.

Report from Saint Petersburg By Keith Costa

On the 26th October a team of coaches from Great Britain Robin Hyslop, John Sharpe, Barry Gibson, Russell Dodds, Colin Carrott, George Loscombe and myself Keith Costa travelled to Saint Petersburg Russia to train, to take part and observe coaches techniques at one of the premier Sambo clubs in Russia. The trip was funded by FIAS and was quite an honour for myself to go as I had never done anything like this before and I am quite sure all the others felt the same.
Having been involved with Sambo for quite a number of years and travelled with Mr. Martin Clarke to the congress meeting a few weeks earlier, once we arrived I began to realise how important a trip this was. Not just for the training but for the honour of the British sombo federation. On visiting the venue on the Sunday morning we were shown all around it and I must say I was very impressed with it, three halls seven mats in all. Two judo areas, two wrestling areas and a rather impressive main hall containing three full size sambo areas. The whole venue looked quite impressive from the outside with statues of former champions from judo and wrestling, they even had a small museum containing pictures mementoes going back many years.

The afternoon on the Sunday was taken up by a tour of the summer palace of Peterhof, which was badly destroyed during the Second World War and has been restored by the Russian federation. The tour continued into Saint Petersburg itself but at this time of the year it gets dark quite early. Luckily on the Thursday we were able to continue the tour of foot on a very nice day visiting some impressive buildings, and a trip on their metro system which was an amazing site with huge chandeliers hanging down from the ceiling.

The training days consisted of 2 sessions a day one at 10 am and the other at we had asked to be shown lots of legs locks they did this very well indeed. On the Wednesday we had a top referee from Saint Petersburg turn up to go over some of the rules and regulations as part of the coaching course. Their training sessions seemed very relaxed a structure that was quite a surprising to me but they all seemed to just get on with it. Right from an early age it’s seemed to be installed into them this is what you do and by the time they are adults it’s just a progression. Discipline, fitness, technique and a understanding of what is expected. Sessions for the club started at 9am going right through the day till 10 pm with Sambo, Judo, Free style wrestling, Greco roman, Jiu Jitsu, Karate and Taekwondo. We were told many people come from all over to train there as it produces many champions and I can quite see why with huge numbers through the day personnel training given when and where needed.
The whole experience was very much an eye opener and a pleasure to be involved in it, to train with 23-year-old world champion who we found out was retired from top flight competitions. To be taught by the coaches Sergey Zverev, Alexey Savelev, Alexander Igorevich and referee Alexander Mitelkov and to welcomed by them and all the other players that were there and the assistance that Rasul Shirinov our interpreter, also a big thanks to the British Sombo Federation for selecting me this.  

A Report By Russell Dodds

We arrived in St Petersburg and met by our interrupter Rausal from FIAS we went to visit the Sambo school from the distance as we were walking over the river bridge we were told it was in front, there was a huge building even now I still thought there will only be using part as we got nearer outside the school was full size bronze statues of world champions from the club or very important players connected to the school

When we got in I was amazed to see two full side judo mats in one hall, the middle room had three full Sambo mat and the end room had two full size wrestling mats 
I started to sink in what we were in for in following days 
All day long all the mats are busy with classes of 50 people from Judo, Sambo, Free Style Wrestling on each there must have been over eight hundred players training though out the day.

I started to feel nervous   as we walked over the bridge to the dojo, we entered the school and it was busy already .one mat 1 you had Russian women squad members throwing sand bags to each other only using one arm it's only when they stopped you realized how heavy they must have been .we changed and was introduced to some of the coaches for the week  
I expected there to be some sort of hostility from the Russians with the English training at there club but everyone made us welcome before every session most people would walk along the line shaking our hands 

Our morning sessions where with our Russian coaches with the elite players helping out, these were very demanding training sessions with so many techniques crammed into the sessions   
The evening sessions we're a main class and the mats were full
Everyone from a early it's drilled in to them the warm ups And then continue with pretty much the same routines though the school, it’s not to dissimilar to my warm ups but a lot more intense, most of the week we have worked on leg locks and arm locks knowledge that the coach have you can see why they are so far ahead 

All lessons were two hours long and the hall is kept at a very high temperature 
The training is at I very intense pace but you never see any of the Russians stopping for drinks 
On some of the session in the morning elite players just drill there own techniques 
Many fighters on the same mat MMA, Sambo, Free-Style Combat all doing there own thing very surreal to be part of this 

I feel honoured to firstly begin picked by the British Sombo Federation to go on the course 
On how well we were made welcome by the coaches and fighters in the school and were so very helpful

To FIAS for arranging it for us and sending their employees Rausal to interrupter and look after us for the week such a big help

Russell Dodds
Bedford grappling academy

St. Petersburg 2013
What a week that was! Seven training sessions in four days, I never knew my legs could bend into so many different positions!
Thanks to FIAS, I had the honour of travelling to St. Petersburg with six of my fellow coaches from around The United Kingdom, for this coaching opportunity. Calling my first impressions of the gym an eye opener, doesn’t do the place justice. There are three halls, containing two and a half full size judo mats, three SAMBO and two freestyle wrestling mats, which are in constant use from ten o’clock in the morning, through to ten in the evening, six days a week. To take part in a training session with over fifty students on the mat, including various World Champions was overawing.

I spoke to one eighteen year old champion, who trains five days a week and twice a day if leading up to a competition. This, he said, was the norm rather than the exception! No wonder they are so good.
Training methods did not seem to vary from what we do in the UK, although the focus and dedication of all those who were training was 100%, from the youngest to the oldest. (On the subject of the oldest, there was not many over thirty something’s training, it would seem most retire before they get to this age!) The coaches were more “hands on” then our British counterparts, something we would not get away with here in the UK.

As a referee, I was extremely interested in a 45 minute seminar that was put together for us, going through some of the rules of both sport and combat Sambo. All who attended have now been brought up to speed, and I for one, will go into the next competition even more confident than before.
The friendship of the Russian Samboists, on the mat, was a far cry from that of the population on the streets of St. Petersburg or of those in our hotel. It seems to me that once they get to know you, they can be warm and friendly, but until this point, they come across as un-smiling and serious individuals. (Mind you, it rained heavily every day we were there, so perhaps they haven’t a lot to smile about!)
In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent there, learnt more than I thought possible, and would urge any-one who gets an opportunity to do this same sort of thing in the future, to grab it with both hands.
Colin Carrott.

 Firstly i would like to thank the BSF for asking me to represent them at a coaching course in St Petersburg.

This was a trip i was looking forward to going to and training with some of the worlds best, After our long journey south on the train to London and tube to Heathrow where we met Barry sleeping on a cafe bench, Myself and Robin decided to to the same at least for a few hours. A few hours went past and the terminal got busier. It was time to meet up with the rest of the team with a hearty full english in a cafe. Our flight went via Franfurt aiport where we spent a couple of hours catching up on each others banter. Of to St Petersburg we went where we were greeted with our translator Rasoul, In the taxi we went to our hotel to find out that it wasn't the hotel on our invitation. I must admit it wasn't the best but Rasoul did help us out and smooth out a few problems. I think moral was a bit low in the camp at this time and we asked to see the gym the next day. 

Sunday morning we took the 15 minute stroll down to the gym, Well all our morals and doubts went out the window, This place was amazing, we firstly went in to the Judo hall where there were 2 full size mat areas and more, the balcony above was like a little museum to all previous people who had trained there. Mostly world champions Olympic champions and the list goes on. We then went on to the Sambo hall, Well there was 3 full size mat areas and low and behold there was a large picture of Fedor on the wall. Moving onto the wrestling hall there was then 2 full size mat areas there, We then went on a little round to other parts where we saw pictures on Putin on the wall, thus finding out that this was his gym and where he trained. At this time all of us were on a high and looking forward to our next days training.

After we had some lunch on the Sunday we were shipped of on a bus to see some sights of the city, our first stop Peterhof palace well what can i say ive never seen as much gold on a building in  my life before, this was where there was hundreds of fountains but unfortunately there were switched of as it was coming into there cold season. we then had a tour of the palace it self, this was out of this world gold everywhere. I would recommend to see in the summer. Following on from the palace we were taken into the city centre where we found a large number of people at a concert, we found out that the next day that the winter olympic torch was coming through. As myself and Barry were wearing team GB jackets we then were getting people coming and wanting photos taken with us, didn't help that Rasoul had told them we were world class competitors. 

Monday morning and our first training session was looming and i felt there was a bit of nervousness among the camp, after the 15 mins walk down to the gym wee got changed and got on the mat for a little warm up, We were then introduced to 2 coaches Sergi and i forget the others name, There CV was second to none, Multiple word champion and a Russian federation champion. as we got on with the session it was interesting to find out other ways of doing things and methods of transitions. After the first session we were all on a high and jackets that were soaking with sweat as we had all worked hard and that fact that the gym was heated to around 30 degrees. After our session we went back to the hotel for a freshen up and some lunch, i must admit the food wasn't the best but i got by. Later that afternoon some of us went down to see some of the kids training, well i couldn't believe my eyes in the sambo hall alone there around 30 to 40 kids on each mat area over 100 in 1 hall hall they were all working very hard with little nonsense and the standard from them was very high. As this session went on there was a couple of kids who stepped out of line and what we saw was quite hard to swallow if we had done this in the UK we would have been jailed. But the kid got up and got on with it as if it never happened and probably learned not to do it again. As we walked into the judo hall it was full to as was the wrestling hall there must of been over 250 kids on the mats in all 3 halls. And we in the Uk wonder why they always win, Start young train hard and be committed. 

As the week went on we were being so much stuff that it was hard to take it all in good job we had some video cameras etc, I think we will be watching through them over and over again. As we finished a session one day we were told that FIAS president was in the building, This also was the gym where he trained as well. As this was Rasuals boss he asked him if we could al get a photo with him and he was more than happy to oblige, he asked us all how we were enjoying it etc. It was good that he spoke good English as well. 

As the week flew by i think we were all reminiscing what we could take back from this and take back to the Uk, As coaches we have seen a different side to training and hopefully we can use it here in the Uk, Hopefully wee can put it into practice here and hopefully get some team members up to the class of these eastern block countries. 

After our last training session we had some good will gestures to give to the coaches, a couple of bottles of Whiskey and some Scottish badges, We  also had a union jack to witch we all signed and maybe it mite be on show over there? We also presented Rasoul with a little gesture as well a nice bottle of coniac a Scottish badge and a Red Star Sambo hat. The coaches also said that we were welcome and visit anytime we wanted, maybe we could pop along at the worlds!!!

To sum the whole trip up it was amazing to visit such a highly regarded gym, train with the Russians, grapple with them and be taught by the worlds best. 

Thanks goes out to the BSF, The St Petersburg combat centre of excellence, Rasoul without him we would have been lost in translation and for helping us out with any other problems we had, And for the GB coaches for the great company spent over there. 

Regards John Sharpe

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