Black belt in Sambo

I was wondering, after seeing some of Steve's vids, I noticed he has a black belt. I thought there are no belts in sambo?

Steve is probably a black belt in judo as well. Maybe.
Plus, it distinguishes instructor from student.

I have been competing in sambo for many years.

On the whole sambo does not have a grading system.
However a percentage of instructors have incorporated a belt system since the late 70's. For the critics on the forum; No it is not just american or english instructors that employ a grading system. I can name several well known sambo practioners who employed a belt system at one time.

It has become more fashionable today not to have a grading system. It doesnt really exist that much today.

For instance in 1991 i witnessed david rudman oversea a promotion of someone to so called black belt level. David Rudman, a russian is thought of as the number one authority on sambo in the world. He is a russian national treasure.

Finally before we have the whole sombo or sambo debate. I have letters sent to be from sambo-70 in russia (the largest and oldest sambo club in existence) in which its logo said 'Sombo-70' not sambo- 70. So at one point the adopted the term also.

For people like me who have been involved in sambo before it became popular with the ufc, it is really funny who blow this kind of thing out of proportion.

However my opinion is that there is no need for a grading system. A grading system just leads to sand-bagging in contests and the withholding of information. As a sambo instructor i have not employed a grading system. You show your skill level on the mat.

"blow this kind of thing out of proportion."

Dimball seemed to be asking a very simple, and reasonable question. I answered in kind. You may have 'projected' a little there, but that was a very fair question.

Matt has pretty much summed up everything. I don't need to add anything about the belt rank (or lack of) system. On my visits to Sambo-70, I have seen Sambo-70,Sombo-70, I have a warmup that has Sambo-70. To me it's much to do about nothing.

So....there is nothing wrong with Steve wearing a black belt...right? (not that he cares what we think)

Are there beginner/intermediate/advanced divs in regional comps? Because, if total beginners, who really want to compete, under your scheme would have to compete with the best, wouldn't they? I really don't know.

Also, are students affected by lack of a grading system? I have heard some grumbling over the lengthy white belt rank in bjj. A local bjj club now uses stripes in lieu of color. Which, of course, amounts to the same thing.

I am not talking about skilled guys now. But new people learning the art. I know skill guys probably don't give a damn.

'Dimball seemed to be asking a very simple, and reasonable question. I
answered in kind. You may have 'projected' a little there, but that was a
very fair question.'

Yes the question was fair. I was projecting a bit. Normally when this
comes up on the forums the usual 'there are no grades in REAL SAMBO'
posts arise. I just wanted to add the above before it all started. There
nothing wrong whatsoever with asking that question.

With reference to the division in sambo competitions:

It often varies with the organisation holding the contest. In most cases
a beginner, intermediate and advanced catagories are employed. I have
rarely seen it catagorised as beginner white to green, intermediate
green to brown, advanced black belt and up. Normally based on years
of experience and background.

In all honestly due to the lack of exposure of sambo in england, there
is only enough demand for open division competitions. In reality only
relatively high level competitors enter these events, and they are often
not suitable for beginners. With a greater demand, a larger number of
divisions based on experience would be added. It was tried in the past,
but there were not enough competitors in each division to make it
worth while.


Thank you very much for the answer. I hope to compete in the near future in s?mbo. I am looking forward to it.

Thank you

Regarding the "black Belt" I wear. I do not have a BB in judo. I wear the Black belt, not because it is a rank in sambo, but because my coach gave it to me when he had me start teaching. Also, In this country it is simply easier for newbies who come in to the club....they recognize the symbol. When I train outside the club, if I am not teaching, I wear red or blue. So essentially, the belt I wear has "in house" meaning. Nothing more.

Not like my opinion should matter, one way or another, but that makes sense to me. I hope you are good Steve. (as in doing well)


I like your reasoning.