A Style of Wrestling

Bruce Gabrielson, PhD
Southern Maryland Wrestling Club
Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
1994 US SOMBO Team Coach


This handbook, written in 1994, is a formal attempt to describe sport SOMBO wrestling. I have compiled it from various sources including my own experience in both JUDO competition (Black Belt) and in SOMBO competition, plus many years of officiating and teaching. The intent of this document is to help stimulate interest is this unique combination of wrestling and martial arts. I have avoided the combat form of SOMBO herein as this subject is too large to cover in a smaller text.

The handbook provides guidance for both coaches and wrestlers about various aspects of SOMBO and wrestling in general. Coverage includes rules, scoring procedures, referee signals, moves, and comparisons between SOMBO and other wrestling styles including JUDO. A great deal of SOMBO's concentration on throwing techniques evolved from JUDO, hence the many referenced moves. Hopefully, in the future, this book will be upgraded to provide accepted requirements for belt promotions, information on the sport's organizational status, and some of the basic combat techniques.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - History of SOMBO Wrestling

Chapter 2 - Match Logistics
Age Groups and Bout Length
Mat Set-up

Chapter 3 - SOMBO Scoring Methods
Ways to Score
Mat Wrestling

Chapter 4 - Technical Evaluation Criteria
One Point Techniques
Two Point Techniques
Four Point Techniques
Total Victory Techniques
Referee Scoring Signals
Belt Requirements

Chapter 5 - Moves
Scoring Throws (with links to specific details)

You can email me if you have questions or comments.