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20 Mar, 2009 10:50

Russia’s Special Forces wrestling champs decided

There are countless martial arts around the world. With some countries priding themselves on a style developed exclusively in their homeland: in Japan it's karate, in China Kung Fu, in Russia – it's Sambo.

In English, the word Sambo means ‘self defence without a weapon’. The combat variation of the sport is used widely by the army's Special Forces and was made famous by the ultimate fighting championship legend Alexander Yemelyanenko.

The Yemelianenko brothers used the combat style of Sambo to become undisputed champions in the world of mixed martial arts.

However there are at least a couple of sides to this discipline. One is brutal and full-contact and the other is ‘sport sambo’ (which is aspiring to become an Olympic event) which is somewhat similar to judo – focusing on throwing, ground work and submissions.

The Russian championship finals are a high-level competition where almost every tie includes a World or a European champion.

In the 52-kilogramme category it was Siberian Denis Cherentsov who easily overcame Aidos Yusupov with 9-1 in the first final of the day.

“This victory is the result of many years of hard work. I'm not the only one responsible for this win. It's all thanks to my coach, relatives and friends. All I could really do is follow their instructions to the tee,” Denis Cherentsov said.

Muscovite Nikita Kletskov came out winner in the 68-kilogramme category.

His opponent Sergey Shibanov beat him last year, both at the Russian and European championships, but the tables turned in 2009 and Kletskov got his first rematch.

“Over the course of last year I was second in seven different competitions. It was a kind of streak. I started to wonder whether victory would arrive at all and I was really worried. But it came to me today. And I'm very happy it finally happened,” Kletskov said.

The last bout of the night in the 90-kilogramme category was between European champion Alsim Chernoskulov and 2004 world champion Eduard Kurginian.

Chernoskulov managed a couple of throwing points in the opening moments.

But as it turned out, they weren't really needed as the bout was over after just two minutes.

“Victory never comes easy. It takes a lot of hard work not only by me but my coaches as well. I was actually planning to end this bout with a forced submission and was really surprised when I got a few points as well. But I know my opponent pretty well and expected this outcome,” Alsim Chernoskulov said.

Sambo is gaining in popularity all over the world. And it's possible to see how far its development has gone at the next world championships in Greece.