A Reminder of what CombatSombo is?
Every few years I have to remind people what is CombatSombo and the fact I developed the system. Yes the fact that I say I am the inventor of the system seems to upset some so called experts, who continue to maintain that CombatSombo is a Russian style of Martial Art. So let me correct some of the misunderstanding yes I have used the Sombo as part of my name solely because I use much of the grappling techniques of Sombo and Judo in my style and putting the word Combat in front of name is not unusual I believed I was the first to do this in 1983 but I was corrected as someone from the USA back in the 1950’s used Combat Judo. Sambo is a Russian Self defence Sport and was started in the early 1900’s and I am very active with International Sambo and FIAS being placed in the Top 10 of the most influential people in the World for Sambo. Pre the break-up of the USSR the word Sambo meant all concepts Sport and Military self-defence, with the collapse of Communism many ex soviets wanted to make money from their expertise. The first time the Self Defence of Sombo was seen was in the USA and was called Military Sambo several magazine carried articles eventually they realised my name was more suitable I refused them permission to use the word CombatSombo because I wanted to keep control, they eventually used the word Combat Sambo. Now when I registered the name in 1988 with the British Trade Marks Registry I stupidly only registered it the UK not World Wide but I can stop people in the UK using the word CombatSombo or wording similar i.e. CombatSombo, Combat Sombo. Combat Sambo something I have done on a few occasions and something I will continue to do.
So why am I so paranoid about the name CombatSombo well quite simply it is my Philosophical approach to it (please read below) this make it entirely different from the Russian Combat Sambo who system is extremely more violent and more suited to the Military a very effective system if you are a Soldier but I want to teach CombatSombo as an educational system to make better human beings so the two styles are not compatible. Some people use the word Sambo Combat which I think distinguishes the difference a lot better. Finally CombatSombo was accepted by the World Governing Body FIAS in 1988, the first FIAS Combat Sambo Commission was started in 1992, something I was invited to serve on but I declined, The Soviet Union Collapsed in 1985 I started CombatSombo in the 1983.
So is CombatSombo big in the UK No it is very small and that is intentionally I have only trusted a few people to carry on my work here but over the last 8 years I have suffered with bad knee and hip and have been restricted to walking with a stick. The good news in February 2009 I had a new knee and March 2010 I had a new hip and now I am in fine fettle, I am back teaching Sport CombatSombo, Sombo Wrestling and in September will be starting CombatSombo classes, plus I will be teaching at the annual Summer camp and hope to run CombatSombo Instructors course in December.
CombatSombo will remain pure because the system was developed by me (Martin Clarke) and is owned by me (Martin Clarke) If in the early days of Martial Arts the traditional styles had been registered you would not have so many bastardise forms and so many inflated grades with overrated Chief Coaches believing in their own hype. Recently I saw a 40 year old claiming to be a 10th Dan! yet that particular grade was reserved for old men who had spent in access 50 years in the Martial Arts, someone who had contributed more then the average who was recognised throughout the World a rare Martial Arts Practitioner. CombatSombo will have that purity
As you can see by my cv which is enclosed I have been involved in the Martial Arts/Combat Disciplines since the age of 5 (1955) I was born in 1950. I have always enjoyed the competitive side of Combat and I have won medals at international and national level at Judo, Sombo, Jiu Jitsu and Free Style Wrestling. I have also been a keen advocate of the Founder of Judo Jigaro Kano, in one of books he made the following statement “Judo is more than just a sport or Martial Art, it is a means of Physical and Cultural Attainment” in other words “it is a way of producing better human beings” I apply this philosophy to all my Martial Arts and Combat Disciplines. Grappling sports I feel help you achieve this by teaching us such simple things as:
Respect (all grapplers have respect for there opponent, note I use the word opponent not enemy, they may not always realise it)
Duty of care (this is a must as if some of the techniques are very dangerous that we could damage our opponent. This is not we trying to do we are trying to win but not at the expense of an injury).
To abide by the rules (competitions have rules not only to keep the activity as safe as possible but to make contest equal)
In my CombatSombo system I try and introduce people to a Self Defence/Combat Discipline system that has a set of morals. Unlike other systems I advocate control and restraint. My aim is not to turn people into Barbaric Animals with no consideration for others. After saying all this I am a practical man, I realise that self-defence has different degrees. Dealing with a drunk is different to dealing with several assailants with weapons. Although my system teaches techniques that can maim, they are only to be used in extreme cases. Remember no one has the right to cause life long disablement to another human being.
To do CombatSombo you need to be healthy and fit, we
encourage our members to take regular excise and grapple on a regular basis. To
understand any self-defence you need to practise in as near real situation as
you get. To advise any one to get involved in a Pub fight to test their
techniques would be immoral and irresponsible, so the nearest I can offer is
some sort of controlled fighting, i.e. SportCombatSombo, CombatSombo Submission Wrestling,
Sambo. Remember there is no easy route to becoming
a proficient CombatSombo Practitioner.
They say that 'Impersonation is the highest form of Flattery'. Well that certainly is the case when it comes to CombatSombo. I invented the name CombatSombo in 1983 to register with the public my particular system of Combat. I registered it as a trademark with explanation " CombatSombo is a self Defence grappling system". It took many years plus many meetings to get the Trademark but I did, it then took further years for the International Governing Body for the Sport of Sombo/Sambo to accept it. You will find below a copy of letter which confirms what I say, what is unique about this letter it signed by the Founder of FIAS Mr Fernando Compte at the time when there was only one International Body. My mistake was not to register the name CombatSombo/CombatSambo on an International basis. At least in the UK the system is pure and protected. So what of the other Combat Sambo, Combat Sombo unless they are affiliated to CombatSombo International they do not do CombatSombo. They may claim to have authority from some Russian Master, this may be true but what they do may be a Martial Art but not CombatSombo.