What should someone coming to their first Sambo class expect?
Anyone thinking of training with us should know that Sambo classes are not for beginners, intermediate/advanced level competitors attend.
The content of classes will depend on where we are in the year, and what else is going on. For example, if we have people who are competing in MMA, then the class will be geared towards them. We will focus on Combat Sambo or Sambo for MMA, depending on their needs. Alternatively, if we have students who will be competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu No Gi then we will address that, and focus on appropriate techniques etc. for them.
Both Sambo for MMA and Combat Sambo suit those training in BJJ No Gi and MMA. Combat Sambo, where you train in the Gi top, is not as popular as Sambo for MMA and so we focus less on that. However, we incorporate it when and if students want to, or will benefit from it.
As mentioned, in Combat Sambo you wear the Gi top. You also wear shorts, MMA gloves and shin pads. It’s just the top that makes a difference. In Sambo for MMA, you don’t wear the Gi top, just a rash guard and shorts. Also, in Combat Sambo, we wear shoes, it’s okay to wear wrestling boots but Sambo shoes have thinner soles. Sambo shoes are more like gloves, they have thinner soles and so you feel more. So, for example, toe holds feel different.
Those joining our Sambo classes need to know the fundamentals of any grappling martial art: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (ideally to blue belt level), No Gi, Judo or Wrestling, and if you’ve been competing in those sports then you are ready to go. Even if you haven’t competed, but your level is decent then you’ll be okay. If differs slightly from person to person.
If you don’t have that knowledge, then come to Beginner Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Novice No Gi and/or Wrestling Fundamental classes. These are the beginner classes in all the grappling disciplines. Attending MMA sessions is less helpful as you focus on striking skills too which aren’t what I’m looking for. We can then build on the skills you learn there.
Why should I train Sambo? Is it good for self-defence?
Sambo is the best sport for self-defence, any martial art is great for self-defence but Combat Sambo is the best. We wear a Gi top, in real life we usually wear a top/jacket of some kind, and what we do in the sessions is that we tick all the boxes.
We use everything, kicks, punches, knees, we wrestle, ground and pound, there are submissions…. There is a very permissive set of rules, and most of the submissions are allowed whereas in other disciplines they are not. Headbutts are allowed as well. So you can use all the tools in the box to defend yourself and attack. In classes we don’t actually headbutt each other, but I explain how you would use them, and simulate these situations. Headbutts are under-estimated, it is a very different technique, and can be stronger than a punch.
What sort of people come to your classes and start training with you?
Sambo is popular in the world of MMA because of champions such as Khabib Nurmagomedov and Fedor Emelianenko. They represent the sport of Sambo at the highest level. Sambo is mainly for those who want to train MMA and they like the skills it offers in order to build their arsenal for MMA. It’s also for those who want to learn how to take people down. If you want to learn submissions, and some of them are vicious, then Sambo is the sport to learn. Sambo has many applications across many different fields.
How fit do I need to be? What happens if I want to throw up during the class?
Students need to be reasonable, if you don’t feel well then let me know, sit on the side, and take some time out. If something takes you by surprise then the toilets are nearby and please aim properly. Sometimes you just have a bad day, and don’t feel your best.
You have to be reasonably fit to join Sambo classes, otherwise you won’t be able to do the warm up. Warm ups involve lots of specific gymnastic exercises and some acrobatics. These enable you to practise how to use your body, to be explosive, and to do things without hesitation. They improve the way you move, and the way in which to use your body. Everything can be learnt.
How do beginners progress/how do you track this?
When people compete, then that is the true test of their Sambo skills. When they fight MMA, BJJ etc. you can see the benefit then.
What equipment will they need to buy and when?
You only need shorts (with no zips and/or buttons) and a rash guard. We have spare MMA gloves here, although it’s always good to have your own kit. You will also need a mouth guard. And please bring wrestling boots if you have them.
What sets your classes apart from other instructors? What will I gain by training with you?
My background speaks for itself, I’ve done this for a long time and have trained with the best, learnt from the best, and had the best trainers in the world. My training partners have included the best people in the world at this sport, such as Fedor Emelianenko, Alex Emelianenko, Roman Zentsov and many others. Back in the day, I was a member of the Red Devil fighting team and had the best instructors, the best team mates… For more detail on Silviu please go here
What’s the community like at LFF? What sort of people train here?
It’s an awesome community, we are driven by the same energy, we love sport, we love to learn, are open minded, easy going, but very disciplined. I love the place. I think all our regular members will say that the energy here is great. There’s a natural selection to us, if LFF is for you then it becomes a second home. Training here will ensure you develop, not only from training martial arts but also from being part of the strong authentic community here, that has real authentic values.