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Tactics of SAMBO Wrestling

By A. Kharlampiev

State Press, Moscow 1958

Translated by Scott Anderson*

From the Author

During the writing of this book, many training techniques and study aids were devised to portray a unified system to instruct the beginning SAMBist to reach the highest levels of athletic skill demonstrated by master SAMBists.

SAMBO tactics seems to be a subject of interest to practitioners of other wrestling styles. However, SAMBO is a brilliant, ongoing experiment with so much more to be studied and developed.

With pleasure, I thank my highly decorated and energetic fellows from the Moscow SAMBO Institute for their dedicated advice and criticism of this book.


SAMBO tactics were born in the earliest forms of the national wrestling styles of the Soviet Union. With the advent of SAMBO itself, the studied and managed development of this wrestling style contributed greatly to wrestling tactics. As SAMBO skills and tactics matured, the sport grew and adopted a coherent scheme for development.

Obviously, flaws in SAMBO training must be corrected by well designed training regimens or possible defeat is but a step away. Therefore, this book outlines tactics as an organic part of SAMBO wrestling to be linked with SAMBO techniques, excellent physical conditioning, and the strong will to win of the quality athlete. However, no one book can cover all of SAMBO. Finding an excellent coach or exemplary role model to guide one's training is the best means of exploiting the technical school's SAMBO curriculum.

Distinguished wrestling performance demands that the SAMBist pay avid attention to the tactical portion of the curriculum. This is achieved by drilling the basic curriculum techniques and learning the ploys to convert these techniques into reliable skills that when executed in matches dissipate nervous energy, waste little energy in their execution, and defeat the opponent. Proper execution relies on learning the basic material, remaining vigilant for the opening to use the techniques, and possessing the firm and lasting will to win. Without this character and moral development, the SAMBist will lack these qualities to exploit his tactical knowledge.

This book examines the tactics for the SAMBO wrestler to employ in his matches.

Chapter 1 The Standard Situation
Chapter 2 The Offense

Chapter 3 Enduring Pursuit to Clean Victory or Victory by Evident Advantage

*Disclaimer and note about the translation from the translator:

"Apparent textual errors are most likely not Anatoly Kharlampiev's fault but my own. I do not speak or read Russian. This translation was produced based on a English/Russian dictionary, a hand held translating computer, and my own imperfect knowledge of sombo."