With in the new FIAS (Federation International Sambo Federation) there is a lot of misinformation being banded about. Everyone is aware that it is a Russian Sport or is it surely it should really be called a Sport of the ex Soviet Union as in In 1938, it was recognized as an official sport by the USSR All-Union Sports Committee. My history of the USSR is not that good and maybe somebody can correct me in saying the Red Army was not purely Russian as In 1918, Vladimir Lenin created Vseobuch or General Military Training to train the Red Army under the leadership of K. Voroshilov. Plus we are told that Sambo consists of many styles of wrestling from across the ex Soviet Union and its satellite states but this is conjecture on my behalf and I expect I will be corrected.
What does concern me how Sambo since the inception of FIAS under the leadership of Fernando Compte has changed? The numbers of member’s countries since its inception has changed dramatically, when FIAS was formed although small it was a much more representative organisation of the whole of the membership. On the FIAS.Council where representatives from Spain Fernando Compte, USA Josh Henson, France Etteniene Labrouse, Italy Georgiou Delasandro, Great Britain Herbert Jacob, there was just one rep from Bulgaria and the Soviet Union. Today only 5 Western Democracies out of the 15 Council members are represented? In 1985 Sambo claim was to be an international Jacket Wrestling style which first saw light under FILA now it is seen a Russian dominated sport. In terms of numbers and quality of World and European Competitions this domination is a good one, especially as since the collapse of the Soviet Union and Communism there is plenty of money available to FIAS, could never understand those who were part of the Soviet Union and organisation that believed in the State (The people) owning everything suddenly collapsing and all these Russian Millionaires appearing on its demise I expect something else I will be corrected on.
What the main purpose of this article is to let people know more about British Sombo. Up until 1986 Sombo/Sambo/Cambo was part of the British Wrestling Association and the reason I have used 3 names was because there was controversy over the name Sambo in the English name Sambo was a derogatory name for Black people. So in the Mid 1970’s it was decided to use the Cyrillic wording of Sambo which was Cambo and the C was pronounced as an English C, in the 1980’s American Josh Henson came up with the name Sombo which was accepted by all the English Speaking nations. In 1985 the BWA decided to have a Sub Committee entitled British Sombo Wrestling with the following: Chairman Martin Clarke, Vice Chairman Trevor Roberts, General Secretary Brenda Jones, Treasurer/Registrar Alan Kontozi, Committee George Proffer, Ken Hooper, Trevor Davies, Brian Wellsman.
With the formation of FIAS in 1985 this group under the auspices of the BWA were affiliated. In 1986 Martin Clarke was given permission to take Sombo from the BWA and form a British Organisation which was called the British Sombo Federation and in 1986 at the inaugural meeting of the BSF the following Committee was elected Chairman Martin Clarke, Vice Chairman Trevor Roberts, General Secretary Brenda Jones, Treasurer/Registrar Alan Kontozi, Committee Trevor Davies, Brian Wellsman, Dave Boulding, Valerie Clarke, Tony Bull. The BSF was automatically accepted into FIAS
Some interesting facts:
1) BSF has had 4 chairs Martin Clarke, Brenda Jones, Alan Kontozi, and Robin Hyslop
2) BSF has had 3 Presidents Martin Clarke, Brenda Jones and Robin Hyslop
3) The position of President was not introduced to the BSF till January 2000
4) In 2001 to raise funds for the British Team Life membership was offered to members for £50, the following are BSF Life Members Martin Clarke, Valerie Clarke, David Boulding, Ian Durie, George Fitzgerald, Robin Hyslop, Alan Kontozi, Paul Sawyer, Stephen Sweetlove
5) The BSF have organised 22 British Open’s, 1 European Championships 1989, 1 World Championships 1992
6) Brenda Jones and Alan Kontozi qualified a FIAS International Referees in 1985 at the World Games, Brenda went on to become Referee Exceptional.
7) Martin Clarke is Britain’s only FIAS GrandMaster he also served on the FIAS Council as a member, Treasurer and European President
As you can see the BSF has distinguished heritage and a democratic organisation and if you want to see our International Medal results go to our Web site