Combined Martial Arts – from kick boxing to judo
The discipline is perhaps one of the most unique on the Planet.
All of the competitors at the Russian Championships are members of the country's law enforcement agencies. They might have been in competition amongst themselves here, but this certainly isn't a hobby for them.
The various martial arts skills they pick up are used in their day jobs, especially in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.
“By practicing this sport, the members of Russia's law enforcement are getting training in a number of different martial arts to help them with their work. However, the sport isn't violent, as all those who compete in the ring work as well. Today, he might be competing as a sportsman, but tomorrow, that person will be on the job, and we don't want them to be injured,” said Oleg Ufimtsev, President of Russia’s Combined Martial Arts Federation.
Combined Martial Arts features a mix of different disciplines, ranging from Kick boxing to Judo. However, there is one slight difference.:
There are two rounds of three minutes in each fight.
The first round sees the competitors battle it out, concentrating on codes like Kick boxing, and Djiu Djitsu.
While for the second period, they take off their protective gear, and disciplines like Judo and Greco Roman Wrestling come to the fore.
The hard part for the fighters is making sure they're capable of holding their own in both rounds.
In addition to the male competitors, there were around 20 women's teams taking part in the competition.
The sport is in its infancy, and is only six years old. And while Judo has Vladimir Putin as its advocate, this fledgling sport is supported by president Dmitry Medvedev.
Combined Martial Arts is growing in stature, with over 400 competitors from 72 regions around the country competing.
And its president hopes to spread the sport globally.
“We're trying to develop the sport abroad, and at the last championships, a large delegation from Vietnam came to watch, and were really impressed, and asked us to send some instructors to help the sport to develop there. Countries from the CIS are interested, as are the Germans. If the war in Ossetia hadn't started, then I'm sure teams from France, Romania, and Hungary would have competed, but hopefully they will turn up for the next World Championships,” Oleg Ufimtsev said.
Combined Martial Arts may not have the same appeal as Ultimate Fighting yet, but it does play an important role for Russia's law enforcement agencies.