Chinese athletes came to Russia to train in sambo
What is the best place for sambo training? Sure enough, it is the country of its origin!
What is the best place for sambo training? Sure enough, it is the country of its origin! According to this logic, the delegation of eleven Chinese sports specialists came to Moscow to participate in the seminar, specifically to take part in the training camp, hosted by FIAS.
Within 15 days from February 18 until March 4, they studied theory and practice of a new martial art in order to tell about it in their home country. FIAS website got all details of the training course and visited one of the trainings of the Chinese specialists in Moscow.

The seminar was organized on the base of the leading sporting institute of Russia and Europe - State Central Order of Lenin Institute of Physical Education (SCOLIPE). In one of the gyms at 9:30 am sharp, the training begins: one half of the gym is occupied with local wrestler students, on the other one the visitors from Celestial Empire bunch together. They`ve been studying sambo subtleties for more than a week. Today they are going to learn about peculiarities of refereeing.

Professor Sergey Tabakov, executive director of FIAS, manages the training and the seminar as a whole. SCOLIPE's Ph.D. student Ge Xiaolong took on the role of an interpreter, assistant and demonstrator.
Professor Sergey Tabakov, executive director of FIAS, manages the training and the seminar as a whole. SCOLIPE's Ph.D. student Ge Xiaolong took on the role of an interpreter, assistant and demonstrator.

Having arrived in Moscow from China to study, he discovered sambo 4 years ago and have been practicing it under the guidance of Sergey Tabakov. For the seminar attendees he provides guidelines and serves as an example to look up to. Curiously, the subject of Ge Xiaolong's thesis work is "Active methods of sambo coaches training in the People`s Republic of China".

"In this regards work on this seminar for me is a true sign of faith", - said Chinese Ph.D. student.
"Work on this seminar for me is a true sign of faith"
The training starts with the revision of theoretical skills according to the results of the previous training days. Chinese specialists, who represent different branches in their home country, have to answer some questions of specially prepared tests. Armed with pens, they bow their heads over sheets and get down to work. Some points come easily, some of them involve difficulties. On the whole, the seminar attendees get through tasks within the timeframe specified. Degree of success will be measured after verification of test results.
While preparations for practical training on the mat are under way, we are having a moment with one of seminar attendees. Gong Maofu represents Chengdu Sport University, in which he is the director of martial arts academic and research unit.

"Wushu is a national sport in China. I have been going in for martial arts since early childhood. Then I enrolled at the gymnasium and earned a degree in physical education with an emphasis on wushu. After gymnasium I became a coach-instructor at the university and now I work as the director of martial arts academic and research unit", - Gong Maofu told us.
"I think that our students will like sambo"
According to him, there are various training courses on martial arts available at Chengdu Sport University, including wushu-sanda, mixed martial arts (MMA), jujitsu and many others.

"Unfortunately, until now we didn`t have sambo among the martial arts. I know that this martial art is very popular all over the world, but in China it is still a new style of martial arts and very few people know about it. That is why we went to Russia to get acquainted with this sport and learn about its subtleties and contrasts to other martial arts", - stated the specialist.

Gong Maofu said that sambo training in Moscow comes natural to him.

"I`m familiar with fundamental techniques of dozens of various martial arts, that is why it was quite easy for me to adapt to sambo trainings. Yet I understand that now we are studying sambo basics, when it comes to a higher level there are certainly far more subtleties, - he noted. – I think that our students will like sambo. It`s a good sport, which is comprised of the best techniques of various martial arts. In addition, many sambo wrestlers successfully perform in MMA, what provides ancillary publicity and authority to this sport. I think we need about 3-5 years make sambo quite widespread in China. Of course, in this regards it`s very important to make major efforts, International Olympic Committee acknowledgement of sambo will contribute to its development in China. The most important thing is that sambo is very close to our hearts, hence it stands a good chance to become popular in China".
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"I think we need about 3-5 years make sambo quite widespread in China"
According to Gong Maofu, on his return to China after the seminar he will demonstrate sambo technique to his students in the first place.

"It`s important for me to understand their reaction. If they get interested, I plan to establish a sambo club in the University. Our University in China is similar in size to Russian SCOLIPE, where we are now. We have many students, I think many of them will get interested in sambo, a new sport for them, - he said. – I studied history of sambo and wrote certain theses on that subject. I think my goal for the near future is to translate sambo rules into Chinese in order to make it easy for those, who will take interest in sambo. As soon as I come back, I will definitely get down to it".

This conversation proves that during the seminar Chinese specialists obtained not only a good part of skill and knowledge, but also a great motivation boost. Ge Xiaolong, Chinese sambo wrestler in Russia, said that this factor could play a leading role in each particular attendee`s desire to develop sambo in China.
"Of course, it`s impossible to become a sambo expert within a fortnight. One can only touch it and feel it. This particular acquaintance and first impression can contribute to seminar attendees' inspiration and enthusiasm to practice sambo and develop it in China. Unfortunately, China lacks materials on sambo, that is why it`s very important to organize such travelling seminars", - emphasized SCOLIPE's Ph.D. student.

Speaking about sambo prospects in China, Ge Xiaolong noted that combat sambo is very similar to Chinese national marshal art wushu-sanda, which is extremely popular all over the country. There are many other martial arts, which can serve as a base for those who want to practice sambo. However, in order to become a mastermind it`s not necessary to be a master of martial arts. As the seminar has shown, a track athlete or a basketball player can also get into sambo spirit and develop it at a local level with due desire. In order to get overview of refereeing practice on the mat, please, refer to the photos from our gallery.
"Typically, we hold travelling seminars in different countries. There are both advantages and disadvantages, - said Sergey Tabakov. – We have been nourishing the idea of holding long-term seminars in Russia for representatives of other countries for a long time. This is the first shot and one of top priorities for us, - it`s necessary to work on the technology as a whole, including visa assistance, registration, food, accommodation and logistics. And certainly the seminar`s content (lectures and practical courses) is also very important".

According to FIAS executive director, within a short space of time it`s very hard to demonstrate sambo`s diversity.
"We have been nourishing the idea of holding long-term seminars in Russia for representatives of other countries for a long time"
"Our goal was to demonstrate various aspects of sambo, so that attendees could compare it to some Chinese martial arts, which are more familiar to them. Moreover, it was very important to teach people with different levels of training perform specific exercises within a short space of time, like self-spotting technique, partner`s spotting during the performance and other tricky techniques, - Tabakov pointed out. - We noticed that there were not only martial artists, but also those who went in for and trained other sports (for example, track and field and competitive sports). It`s good to know that they didn`t feel out of place. This once again confirms that the program planning was rational".

According to FIAS executive director, China is a very complicated but much needed direction in international sambo development.

"It represents both manpower and financial resource, it`s a good opening for sambo development and settlement in Asia as well. Moreover, it contributes to sambo promotion into Asian calendar. Chinese sportsmen took part in sambo competitions within the program of 2016 Asian Beach Games, they proved themselves to be very active athletes", - said Sergey Tabakov.
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"FIAS President Vasily Shestakov pays great attention to the development of Chinese region"
He also emphasized that FIAS President Vasily Shestakov pays great attention to the development of Chinese region. Due to Moscow and Lausanne offices interaction this seminar was held in Moscow. From now on, it is planned not only to develop this direction, but also to enhance work in other fields, connected with popularization of sambo in China.

As for Moscow seminar itself, the final step for all attendees was running the competitions, during which each of them could be either a competitor or a referee. Sporting specialists took part in all kinds of competitive activities, such as weighting-in, draw procedure, performance and refereeing. At the end of the seminar, each participant was individually interviewed in order to check how much he had learnt. Following the results of the event, each Chinese specialist received a participation certificate; they were off to China with impressive sambo handouts, which would be useful in solidifying gained knowledge and skills.
Following the results of the event, each Chinese specialist received a participation certificate; they were off to China with impressive sambo handouts, which would be useful in solidifying gained knowledge and skills
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