Sambo is relevant not only in the era of import substitution
The first European Games in Baku helped Sambo to take one more step towards the Olympic program, the president of the All-Russian Sambo Federation, Sergey Yeliseyev, stated in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza on the sidelines of a press conference dedicated to the 14th International Sambo Tournament for the prizes of the President of the Association of Employees of the Law Enforcement Bodies of the Russian Federation, Aslambek Aslakhanov.
"We participated in the World European Games in Baku, and there sambo was represented equally with other Olympic sports in the program. We were watched and compared with all kinds of sports that were represented there. If you compare us with other kinds of sports, the evaluation was very high. It is not my personal assessment, this appreciation of many Olympic committees from different countries, including the head of the European Olympic Committee, Patrick Hickey, who was engaged in sambo a little bit and participated in such competitions.They gave a positive appreciation to the organization of the event, and the colorful and very interesting fighting itself," Eliseev said.
The President of the Federation reminded that the final in sambo was attended by senior officials of Azerbaijan. "The President of Azerbaijan visited the final match with his wife Mehriban Aliyeva, who headed the organizing committee of the Games in Baku. Our representative was vice-president Dmitry Rogozin. Now he heads the board of trustees of the Sambo Federation. It gives great importance to the status of these games, including our king of sport."
According to him, "it was not only noted at the competitions that sambo is a kind of martial art, but also a good deed by an athlete from Belarus. When the Belorusian athlete won the final fight against his Azerbaijani athlete with the help of a painful hold and his opponent was injured and couldn’t leave the scene of battle independently, the Belorusian athlete carried him out to a doctor. This act was shown on many mass media and it deserved the good, positive feedback. Therefore, we always fight on the mat, but in life we are friends. Therefore, we convinced once again that the fight was over, but friendly relations continued."
Yeliseyev believes that "expectations are extremely high. Now we intend to be included in the Olympic Games. Our application will soon be considered by the executive committee of the Olympic Committee. I hope we will receive this recognition, and after two years our kind of sport can be considered by the International Olympic Committee for inclusion in the program of the Olympic Games."
The Commissioner of the President of the Russian Federation for Children's Rights, Pavel Astakhov, also believes that sambo will be an Olympic sport: "Sambo is a traditional Russian form of martial art, not only at the time of import substitution. It is science, not just a kind of sport, which is being developed in order to make our fighting men the strongest and most nimble, who could defeat their opponents even in close combat. You know this story how it happened. Every boy who joined the army at the age of 18 (I had such an experience at the age of 18) overcomes this, because soldiers were taught the form of unarmed combat. It is the art of self-defense without weapons, which has been worked out, created, established, and now it exists on the territory of Russia."
Astakhov said that he inspects many disadvantaged children's institutions, but even there children are engaged in combat training and sambo: "Not thousands, but millions of young boys were saved from crossing the crooked step, because they had been engaged in sambo. I am sure that young people are interested in it. It is serious support for young children, not only boys, but also girls. By the way, I saw girls in the Pskov division who could leave any boy in the dust. Certainly, the traditional kind of sports should be strongly supported."