Monday, November 04, 2013

Just Different

Sombo-Judo-MMA and so on

The years have not been to good for those interested in Grappling Arts especially the more traditional ones like Judo, Olympic Wrestling and Sombo participation in these sports seem to be declining well that is true to a point. So why has this happened obviously the Public as a whole no longer want to train hard to achieve anything, the computer age has made us locked on the quick fix. People want instant fame, instant gratification and instant success; programmes like the XFactor, Big Brother convince people there is some instant source for all those things I have mentioned. Also we have the upsurge of interest in Cage Fighting, this has taken over from Pro Wrestling as the most popular Ring based spectator sport but it has not increased participation in any of the grappling /striking arts. I hear you say what about MMA? Well what of MMA can anyone tell me what that is? Some say it Strike/Grapple with no GI, some say it is an extension of Submission Wrestling and even some striking styles say it is just a mixture of different styles of Karate, Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do. Both these fighting style are not even recognised as sports by the UKSport mind you neither is BJJ, which I find surprising, as it is a very popular Jacket Wrestling style. With in my own Club we do Amateur MMA this is a recognised format of the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) although not recognised as a sport by UKSport, they do recognise the British Wrestling Association as the governing body for various wrestling styles. So if those of you claiming to do MMA you should contact the BWA and join and least you will get some legitimacy.

What I have noticed is that many grapplers are prepared to try other styles, which I believe is a good thing. In my younger days back in the 1970’s I was International Judoka to get a better edge to my Judo I tried Sombo and Freestyle Wrestling and how I was criticised by the Judo Fundamentalist. They were convinced that my Judo would be ruined by doing these other Grappling styles, they would say how would you cope with the different rules, it would be confusing. What a load of rubbish as I said at the time if I played Rugby and Football would I pick up a ball in a Football game NO, if I played Rugby and Cricket would I tackle a batsman going for a run NO. My experiences with all 3 Grappling disciplines enhanced all of them, plus I met a lot of new people and travelled to different parts of the Country. My introduction to Sombo in the 1970’s led me to where I am now 40 years on. When I was selected for the BJA Olympic Judo Squad I could not compete in the other sports purely for the fact I did not have the time.  Judo in the past had an arrogant attitude in that Judo was superior to all other forms of Martial Arts instead of accepting Judo was just different.

I have notice in the World of Sombo in GB more and more players are coming from all sorts of grappling background and by doing this many Sombo players have tried other forms of grappling. When asked why they tried Sombo/Sambo most have said the rules are very easy to understand, this was especially the cases with Judoka who felt the recent International Rules changes in Judo had complicated the sport, some of the older Coaches said that Sombo/Sambo was nearer to what they were taught in Judo back in the 1970’s. Combat Sambo the Strike/Grapple section the Sport has encouraged a lot of MMA Strike/Grapple players to have a go mainly because of the most successful Cage Fighter Fedor Emelianenko who started his Career in Sambo and Combat Sambo. Although a lot do not like fighting with a Jacket most agree that the rules are easy to follow and they have access to compete for GB in respectable World Championship.

 So let all the Grappling Discipline support each other No one style is better then another they are “Just Different”

Martin Clarke
8th Dan Judo
6th Dan Jiu Jitsu
FIAS Grandmaster

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