Sambo, Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) are close cousins. Anyone who knows the history of Sambo, Judo and BJJ know that they have common roots—Mitsuyo Maeda was a Japanese Judoka, who transmitted the art to Brazil. Over the years, the three systems have diverged, with Sambo being about throws, armlocks and leg attacks, Judo being more of a stand-up art, while BJJ emphasizes controlling the opponent on the ground.
Because they have become highly specialized, an increasing number of BJJ practitioners cross train in Judo and Sambo to improve their takedown game, while Sambists and Judoka train in BJJ to improve their newaza (the Japanese term for ground techniques).
Many may wonder, how a sambist would do against a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner? The answer is simple, they just apply their skills, and the fact that mat time in Sambo is limited makes the Sambist go for submission set ups faster & without giving people time to react.
One might think the upper hand would be in a leg lock department but Sambist also have very effective arm locks as well. What’s the secret? It’s all the technically correct and fast drilling. Words “technically correct” means flawless execution.
Ivan Vasylchuk, is a former world champion in Sambo from Ukraine. He is a Master of Sports, and Sambo World Champion, and gold medalist at the SportAccord World Combat Games. He is also a purple belt in BJJ.
In this video, he shows how he competed last weekend at the IBJJF European Masters Open in the purple belt master division (over 40 years old). In BJJ competition under IBJJF rules, Judo black belts cannot compete as white belts. They have to be at least a blue belt in BJJ. The same goes for Sambo and Wrestling practitioners who have international success.
Vasylchuk won the tournament with relative ease, displaying some spectacular throws and sharp submisions in the process. He dedicated his win to the people of Ukraine.
If you’re ready to add more Sambo to your leg lock entries and your BJJ in general check out Vlad Koulikov’s new Sambo for BJJ instructional from BJJ Fanatics. What you will find is that Sambo may be the perfect compliment to your BJJ as Vlad will share the takedowns, positions, and submissions that will make your progress skyrocket whether you are a young competitor or the average practitioner who has to go to work in the morning, who is looking for an edge on the mats.