World Sambo & Combat Sambo Championships
75th Anniversary of Sambo
St Petersburg Russia
November 21st - 25th
I have been attending World Championships since 1985 first as competitor and then as an official each year it gets better. This year we had 80 countries competing from all over the World every continent was represented. When I first entered a
F.I.A.S. Worlds there was all Eastern Block Countries and a few Western Block countries and 95% were white males, compare that with today where there is complete diversity of races and sexes and the biggest advancement has been under the administration of President V Shestakov
You can see full reports and medal results at the FIAS web site
http://www.sambo-fias.org/ or watch at http://www.fondsambo.com/
The venue was the Yubileyny Sports Palace and what a venue. 3 full size mats on a raised platform, 3 massive TV’s in the middle and end of the area, plus TV’s placed around the building. You never missed any of the action in fact they had large TV screens throughout St Petersburg. The event was host to packed audiences.
The opening ceremony is always at the end of the 1st day and in true Russian style we had a military march on of all the nations flags, then a song from a Russian National Celebrity finished with the Russian National Anthem sung by the St Petersburg Choir plus many speeches. A special medal was struck to celebrate the 75 years of Sambo and Martin Clarke was one of just of a few to be presented with this award, President Putin was due to present the medals but was delayed. The security around his arrival was phenomenal and Martin was checked several times
On the Saturday night was the Grand 75th Sambo Anniversary Banquet, this was held at the Radisson Park Hotel. This is a 5 star Hotel where all the athletes and officials stayed. All the top officials from around the World were invited to this prestigious event. The tables were laden with food and drink all at the expense of FIAS, this was accompanied by demonstration by acrobats, speeches and the rest of the evening we had a string quartet playing for us. This was a really memorable event
The British Team of 12 was sponsored by FIAS who paid our flight and accommodation. Sadly out of the 8 original players only 5 attended, one dropped out 5 weeks ago, one had a knee injury a week before the event and one informed us 3 hours before take off. Because of the lateness of their withdrawal FIAS could not reclaim the flight and this caused us considerable embarrassment and could affect future financial aid from FIAS. What was most annoying was that in the case of the person who only gave us a few hours notice was that he prevented us getting a reserve. This was a rather selfish act and his conduct is being investigated by the BSF and in future the BSF will have to look at more penalties for those who fail to show.
The British Team consisted of Martin Clarke BSF Chairman, Robin Hyslop BSF President, Russell Dodds ESF President, John Sharpe Coach, and Valerie Clarke BSF Vice President. Competitors Bradley Belsey, Casey Belsey, Jamie Marzetti, Danny Carrott and Kerry Penfold.
Bradley Belsey fighting u57k broke his collarbone in the first minute but carried on for the full 5 minutes only losing 3pts to 1pt a very brave fight. Sadly the rest of the team fared no better with no one getting a win. The competition at this level is extremely hard and our team had the misfortune having hard draws and unless you lose to a finalist you do not come back in the repercharge. Our competitors have to realize that if you want to win World Class medal you need to put a lot more effort into training. Sadly the two entrants we had for the Combat Sambo never participated.
The standard of fighting this year was extraordinary in the past you could always get the odd fighter who was an easy draw but not anymore, I suggest you all take time to view some of the video clips. I am always asked what were the best fighters, well all of them were good but the fight I enjoyed the most was in the preliminary rounds in the u90k Combat Sambo Class between Vyachestay Vasilevsky Russia v Sebastian Libebe France. I have seen Sebastian fight many times he is a dynamic explosive fighter but the Russian was also a bit special winning all his matches. Once this fight started Sebastian was dominating the Russian couple of times he rocked his opponent with a powerful punch, I had seen him knock out a competitor with the same punch in an early round. All the British Team was on the edge of the seats could the Frenchman upset the apple cart and reach the final? NO Sebastian put in a lazy right leg kick which was caught by the Russian who the planted a straight right punch knocking the Frenchman out, Sebastian went on to take a Bronze. I have come to like the French Team they always provide Top fighters in all categories and I always cheer them on. Hopefully we will take a team to their Paris Tournament we can learn a lot from them.
As I mentioned early the standard was excellent we expect that from the Eastern Block Countries, yet countries like France, Nigeria, Venezuela and the Caribbean were all getting very close to the medals. Once again proving Sambo is becoming a true World Wide Sport. The biggest advancement I have seen is in the women’s group they are producing some spectacular Sambo every bit as good as the men.
It was interesting to note that many countries Judo and Sambo organisations’ have amalgamated to form one organisation; this is the way forward for Sombo/Sambo in GB an organisation that covers all the Jacket Grappling Disciplines. I have even suggested it to the British Judo Association that they encompass Sambo, Kurash, BJJ and other Jacket Wrestling styles under their banner as they are most probably the largest Combat Organisation in the country, sometimes you have to put personal ambitions to one side for the benefit of your sport. I started Judo in 1955 so was disappointed when I heard so many Judoka at the World Sambo Championships complaining about the new rules of Judo and how restrictive they are compared to Sambo. My own small organisation International Budo Federation UK still use the rules of 10 years ago, those in power like the IJF are like most government institutions can sometimes loose touch with the ordinary member.
The FIAS President Mr. V Shestakov made a very prominent remark in his speech, stating that the International Judo Federation, the International Wrestling Association (FILA) and FIAS are all working together in harmony this I believe will bring more and more success to our various sports
So what of the future for the BSF, well we have 3 major Tournaments in 2014 April British Open in Bedford, July Scottish Open in Dumfries, September English Open and British Trials for Presidents Cup Bedford, October Presidents Cup London. Also Colin Carrott will be organising a Southern Counties Championships in Folkestone, National Coach John Clarke will be organising monthly competitions and training at the BSF Centre of Excellence.
On the International scene we have been invited to tournaments in USA, Belgium, France and Germany the latter three will be affordable as they are weekend jaunts with Belgium it can be done in a day. Robin Hyslop hopes to organize another weeks training in St Petersburg and Russell Dodds has been invited to take a Coaching Team to Georgia. The three major events of the year will be in May European Championships in Bucharest Romania, November World Championships Narita Japan, October President Cup City of London England