What is Sports Sambo?
There are multiple competitive sport variations of Sambo (though Sambo techniques and principles can be applied to many other combat sports). Below are the main formats that are recognized by FIAS. Sport Sambo is stylistically similar to Freestyle Wrestling or Judo, but has some differences in rules and uniform. Sambo focuses on throwing, ground work and submissions, with (compared to Judo) very few restrictions on gripping and holds.
A Sambo practitioner normally wears either a red or a blue jacket kurtka (куртка) or sambovka (самбовка) similar to a gi top, a belt and shorts of the same color, and sambetki самбетки(ru) or bortsovki/борцовки(ru) (Sambo/wrestling shoes). The Sambo uniform does not reflect rank or competitive rating. Sport rules require an athlete to have both red and blue sets to visually distinguish competitors on the mat.
In many countries, a competitive rating system is used rather than the belt color ranking system used in judo and jujutsu. Various sport organizations distribute these ranks for high levels of competition achievement or in some cases coaching merits. People who have earned these ranks are known as ‘Masters of Sport.’ FIAS is the main institution that can grant a Sambo ‘Master of Sport’.