Monday, 2 December 2013

Martin Receives FIAS Award

Martin Clarke receives FIAS Award

Martin who is chairman of the British Sombo Federation received special medal at the World Sambo 
Championships in ST Petersburg Russia. The medal was to celebrate the 75th year of the birth of Sambo, the Russian Jacket Grappling Sport, only eight other people received this award throughout the World. This was a great honour for Martin and he received the award from FIAS President Vasily Shestakov in front of packed worldwide audience.

He was in very good company  and the only one who was not part of the Ex Communist Block here are the following recipients:

1 Ceslovas Eserskis - the first World Champ. 1973 (Lithuania)
2 Ivan Tikhomirov - Hon. trainer (Russia)
3 Murat Khasanuv - 11 times World Champ. (Russia)
4 Fedor Emelianenko - 4 times World Champ. (Russia)
5 Djeikhun Mamedov - 7 times World Champ. (Azerbaidjan)
6 Haltmaa Batulga (Mongolia)
7 Vasil Sokolov (Bulgaria)
8 Aleksey Shor (Russia)
Martin is no stranger to receiving awards from FIAS in 2008 World Championships he was presented with a Gold medal for services to International Sambo, he was also presented with another medal for being in the top 10 of most influential Sambo Personalities in the World.

After the award ceremony Martin commented, “ I am pleased that my wife Valerie was here to see my award but I was saddened that my parents Margret and Nobby were no longer with us to share my pride in receiving this excellent award. For it was them who started me Judo in 1955 at the age of 5 that led me to Sambo”

So why has Martin been honoured in such a way. He started Sambo in 1975 under the auspice of the British Wrestling Association and in 1984 he was asked by the BWA to form a team for the World Games, which was to be held in London 1985. The team was very successful, 4 Bronzes, 1 Silver, 1 Gold. Martin’s competition success in Sambo was World games Silver, World Championship Silver, World Masters Silver plus World Masters Judo Gold, World Jiu Jitsu Silver, Moscoe Olymic reserve 

FIAS was formed in 1984 Martin has been a member since 1985, in 1986 he founded the British Sombo Federation, he has been a Executive Committee member of FIAS, FIAS Treasurer and in 1989/90 was FIAS European President.

Martin has always supported FIAS and sometimes will criticise some of the things FIAS EC  do but has always believed in strengthening the organisation, he is a firm believer in that under the Presidency of Mr Shestakov FIAS has advanced tremendously. He like the rest of the BSF look forward to the day Sambo becomes and Olympic and Commonwealth Games sport

Well Done Martin

Keith Costa

BSF Secretary

Monday, 11 November 2013


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Warriors in Russia

Warriors in Russia

Members of the Warriors Grappling Academy based at Swale Martial Arts Club East Street Sittingbourne have just returned from a weeks training in St Petersburg Russia. George Loscombe, Colin Carrott and Keith Costa are all Judo/Sombo Coaches at the club, George is also a fully qualified MMA and Combat Sambo Coach. The three were part of a 7-man delegation selected by the British Sombo Federation to attend the course, which were an all expenses paid trip paid for by the International Amateur Sambo Federation (FIAS)

The course consisted of training in Sombo, Judo, and Combat Sambo and also took in Rules of the Sport, all came back with certification from the Russian Federation, and the only Russian Federation certificated Coaches in the UK. While in Russia FIAS President Shestakov, who is a member of the Russian Duma and personal friend of President Putin, came along to see the progress of the British Coaches and commented this furthered the unique bond of Somboist in GB and Russia, he also commented on how the Club in Sittingbourne had been the mainstay of Sombo in GB since the 1970’s.

This course was designed so Coaches can train high standard British Sombo Players for the UK biggest ever Sombo event in the City of London next year the “Presidents Cup” in respect of President Putin. The event will be organised by the Positive Russia Foundation and The British Sombo Federation and many people from the Warriors will be involved in this event

Those interested in Judo, Sombo, Combat Sambo, MMA, Karate should visit or email  or Harry Lewis

St. Petersburg 2013
What a week that was! Seven training sessions in four days, I never knew my legs could bend into so many different positions!
Thanks to FIAS, I had the honour of travelling to St. Petersburg with six of my fellow coaches from around The United Kingdom, for this coaching opportunity. Calling my first impressions of the gym an eye opener doesn’t do the place justice. There are three halls, containing two and a half full size judo mats, three SAMBO and two freestyle wrestling mats, which are in constant use from ten o’clock in the morning, through to ten in the evening, six days a week. To take part in a training session with over fifty students on the mat, including various World Champions was overawing.

I spoke to one eighteen-year-old champion, who trains five days a week and twice a day if leading up to a competition. This, he said, was the norm rather than the exception! No wonder they are so good.
Training methods did not seem to vary from what we do in the UK, although the focus and dedication of all those who were training was 100%, from the youngest to the oldest. (On the subject of the oldest, there was not many over thirty something’s training, it would seem most retire before they get to this age!) The coaches were more “hands on” then our British counterparts, something we would not get away with here in the UK.

As a referee, I was extremely interested in a 45-minute seminar that was put together for us, going through some of the rules of both sport and combat Sambo. All who attended have now been brought up to speed, and I for one, will go into the next competition even more confident than before.
The friendship of the Russian Samboist, on the mat, was a far cry from that of the population on the streets of St. Petersburg or of those in our hotel. It seems to me that once they get to know you, they can be warm and friendly, but until this point, they come across as un-smiling and serious individuals. (Mind you, it rained heavily every day we were there, so perhaps they haven’t a lot to smile about!)
In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent there, learnt more than I thought possible, and would urge any-one who gets an opportunity to do this same sort of thing in the future, to grab it with both hands.
Colin Carrott.

Report from Saint Petersburg By Keith Costa

On the 26th October a team of coaches from Great Britain Robin Hyslop, John Sharpe, Barry Gibson, Russell Dodds, Colin Carrott, George Loscombe and myself Keith Costa travelled to Saint Petersburg Russia to train, to take part and observe coaches techniques at one of the premier Sambo clubs in Russia. The trip was funded by FIAS and was quite an honour for myself to go as I had never done anything like this before and I am quite sure all the others felt the same.
Having been involved with Sambo for quite a number of years and travelled with Mr. Martin Clarke to the congress meeting a few weeks earlier, once we arrived I began to realise how important a trip this was. Not just for the training but for the honour of the British Sombo federation. On visiting the venue on the Sunday morning we were shown all around it and I must say I was very impressed with it, three halls seven mats in all. Two judo areas, two wrestling areas and a rather impressive main hall containing three full size Sambo areas. The whole venue looked quite impressive from the outside with statues of former champions from judo and wrestling, they even had a small museum containing pictures mementoes going back many years.
The afternoon on the Sunday was taken up by a tour of the summer palace of Peterhof, which was badly destroyed during the Second World War and has been restored by the Russian federation. The tour continued into Saint Petersburg itself but at this time of the year it gets dark quite early. Luckily on the Thursday we were able to continue the tour of foot on a very nice day visiting some impressive buildings, and a trip on their metro system, which was an amazing site with huge chandeliers hanging down from the ceiling.
The training days consisted of 2 sessions a day one at 10 am and the other at we had asked to be shown lots of legs locks they did this very well indeed. On the Wednesday we had a top referee from Saint Petersburg turn up to go over some of the rules and regulations as part of the coaching course. Their training sessions seemed very relaxed a structure that was quite a surprising to me but they all seemed to just get on with it. Right from an early age it’s seemed to be installed into them this is what you do and by the time they are adults it’s just a progression. Discipline fitness, technique and a very big understanding of what is expected. Sessions for the club started at 9am going right through the day till 10 pm with Sambo, Judo, Olympic Free Style wrestling, Greco Roman, Jiu Jitsu, Karate and Tae kwon Do. We were told many people come from all over to train there as it produces many champions and I can quite see why with huge numbers through the day personnel training given when and where needed.
The whole experience was very much an eye opener and a pleasure to be involved in, to train with 23-year-old world champion who we found out was retired from top flight competitions. To be taught by the coaches Sergey Zverev, Alexey Savelev, Alexander Igorevich and referee Alexander Mitelkov and to welcomed by them and all the other players that were there and the assistance that Rasul Shirinov our interpreter. Also a big thanks to the British Sombo Federation, for selecting me .  

Monday, 4 November 2013

MMA in Sittingbourne

Warriors Grappling Academy

Try Amateur MMA

Every Wednesday  
Swale Martial Arts Club 
East Street Sittingbourne 

Our Club is registered with the British Wrestling Association the governing body for the Sport

Amateur Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that incorporates striking (both standing and on the ground) and wrestling/grappling techniques. As governed by FILA, it is practiced within a safe and regulated environment which relies on a fair and objective scoring system and competition procedures similar to those in force in Olympic wrestling.

Despite its tremendous popularity, MMA is facing various legitimacy issues due to the lack of sanctioning by the national sports authorities and the lack of universal rules that would protect the athletes' physical and psychological integrity. FILA considers that the implementation of an amateur variant that could guarantee a safe training environment and a competition systems complying with the Olympic standards has become an urgent necessity for all athletes wishing to engage in a professional career. Through the mandatory use of protection gear and limited impact rules (especially regarding ground and pound), FILA intends to offer a safe and educational sport that can satisfy athletes with both recreational or professional goals. 

With its combination of stand up and ground techniques, amateur MMA represents a great form of self-defense, which is particularly recommended for the training of police, security, and military forces. Amateur MMA is practiced with board shorts and an optional rashguard along with approved protection gear that includes head gear, shin protectors, and gloves that allow grabbing and holding the opponent for a comfortable application of grappling techniques.I thought it was but others differ for example

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Fernando Compte


The Founder and Father of FIAS (Federation International Amateur Sambo) Fernando Compte has sadly died.  Fernando took Sambo from being just a Sport of the old Soviet Union to a World Wide Sport. It was in Madrid (Spain) June 13, 1984 that Fernando started and organised the inaugural meeting of FIAS and Great Britain was part of the first ever Committee with Bert Jacobs from the British Wrestling Association serving as a member. In 1986 the British Sombo Federation was formed by Martin Clarke the current Chairman, he served in several postions on FIAS as Treasurer and European President. Yet none of this would have happened without Fernando Compte. Fernando was an extremely generous and likeable person, always immaculately dressed. The test of his generosity came when the BSF organised the World Championships in Herne Bay Kent, one of the teams a large one, left without paying entry fee, hotel and travel. The BSF was left to pay all of this as the event had been a financial loss it was me Martin Clarke who was expected to pay the hefty bill, Fernando saw that I was upset and paid the bill out of his own pocket.

I will remember Fernando with great affection and great respect, a good friend. An icon in the World of International Sport.

REST IN PEACE Fernando Compte our prayers go out to his family

Martin Clarke
BSF Chairman

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Some Old Photo's

Late Mike Illott from Oxford Final of The BJC Open British Sobel Centre 1975? I won Gold he won Silver O93k. He was a great Judoka and brilliant Comedian Sadly missed died in a Car crash

John Clarke Blue British Wrestling Championships Silver u 18 years 1987

Nobby, Margret and Bill first night of the opening of SMAC Bar 1983
This was the hey day of the Club with 3 Dojos operating 7 days a weeks. Now we have one Dojo the rest of the building is Flats

This was a Judo Comp at Oxford Town Hall my mother and father were present I wasn't guess it was about 1966 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

No to Inspired Grant Yes to Small Grant Award

About year ago the Swale Martial Arts Club applied to the Sports Councils for Inspired Facilities Grant. We want to build in another floor at the club to encompass better changing area and classrooms. Sorry to say we did not get the grant it seems our application was a worthy one but there was just not enough money tog around. It seems strange that money from the lottery and government is poured into a few top-level sportsmen/women to make them International winners so the politicians can brag about how good the country is, yet grass roots support is being cut. The 2012 Olympics has proved to be a financial success for UK ltd and it has made athletes who were funded by the Taxpayer millionaires. What it has not done is to encourage more people to do sports and encourage businesses to support grass root sports and invest government money into all sports. The sports that are getting the money are the ones that can get the UK Kudos one would have thought by now all governments would realise Sport is much more then winning medals.

You may have noticed we did not carry on with the Club Mark Scheme. This scheme it meant to be a kite Mark for sport sadly to say it is just about bureaucrats making a jobs for themselves, it cost money and the SMAC could not see any further benefit. It was interesting to note we were sent 2 invigilators to watch a class both had no idea of Judo/Sombo and one walked on to the mat and started to talk to the Kids training, apart from the fact she walked on with her shoes, she did not inform the instructor she created a health safety issue. We had a really good revue how well the club was run, how friendly we were, quality of the coaches were excellent, good facilities etc. but we were not yet suitable because we did not have enough paper work on the notice board. Here was an organisation that gave a club a Club Mark to a club who was teaching children as young as 3 to kick and punch. The SMAC Committee decided enough was enough and they would rather not be associated with an organisation that allowed this sort of abuse to children

Interesting enough we received a Sports Council Grant for just under £7862 for mats, Sombo Cover and jackets at the end of 2012. Seems they had confidence in us

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Smile for Miles

Many members of the Young Judo Club turned up at Sheppey Rugby Club to support "Smiles for Miles" a fund raising event for YJC  members Miles Loscombe who was hit by car and suffered sever injuries and is in a wheel chair, he is in need of constant attention. Miles is now at home and YJC Instructor George Loscombe and his wife Debbie are doing a marvellous job in looking after him. There dedication has seen improvements in Miles, hopefully with love and prayers he will get even better.

The YJC gave a small display and then encouraged people to have a go which many did including my youngest grandson George. He is not yet 5 so still to young to attend a class but we allowed him to have 15 minutes which he enjoyed. The display was led by George Loscombe 1st Dan, Jamie Marzetti 1st Dan and Keith Costa 4th Dan. The YJC would like to thank all those who took part and all families who turned up to support the event. Also present was British Combat Sambo Super Heavy Weight Champion Michael Hutchinson


4 year old in fist fight

My grandson George is 4 years old and he is always getting into fights at playschool and I do not mean pushing and shoving real fistfights. It seems that he sticks up for his weaker mates who are bullied which is good in itself but there must other ways then fighting. Interestingly enough when he fights he goes into a boxing stance as does the other boys. Where do they get this from certainly not from us all I can think of its TV? He is stopped and told to shake hands and not to do it again. The other day he was involved in a ruckus obviously they were stopped and without being told they both shook hands. What concerns me is that they no longer see this as fighting, just a sport.
Most of you know my feeling about teaching young children striking arts and here is proof that just watching Striking forms of Martial Arts makes them settle differences by fighting can you imagine if you taught them to do it. Some say it teaches them discipline that may or may not be true but was it does teach is that Kicking and punching someone hurts them. That is why I encourage children under 5 to do Gymnastics this teaches discipline and body awareness without any form of violence, then advise them to move on to Grappling Arts which involves no punching or kicking. I obviously prefer Judo and Sombo as that is my field of expertise but there are many other grappling styles. Grappling is more natural to youngsters not only humans but in the animal kingdom as well as the process involved is about subduing your opponent with out injury a process of play.
I am not against Striking Arts just believe that should be taught at a later stage in a child’s development

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Martin Teaching Again? Not for long

John could not do his lesson on Tuesday was ill so I shocked them all took the lesson myself the first time in 6 years. Put the Jacket on felt a bit tight but when I tried my belt it was way to big so have lost about 10 inches round the waist. Had a job putting the belt round me a damaged left shoulder doesn't give me much movement. Any way spent the lesson teaching the skills of timing using foot throws as my means of approach to the subject. I also taught a minor reap when I started I felt there was something wrong but could not put my finger on it until I was walking out of the Dojo and Colin Carrott said you was calling Ko Uchi Gari, Ko Soto Gari. Was the students being polite by not correcting me or didn't they know?
I used Ashley Costa 4th Dan as my Uki, I never realised how much bigger I am to most of them and how old I look, mind you had a little pull around with George Loscombe and 14 year old Richard which I enjoyed. Still got good fitness but how I have changed from when I used to compete, Would have preferred to have worn a Sombo Kurtka but the last one I had that fitted me I sent Pakistan to have copies made and was never returned are well see what I look like in the next 6 years when I take a lesson. 

Would You Pay £40 for a lesson

WOULD YOU PAY £40 pcm 
for one lesson a week for Kids

Yes that’s what a new Club/Gym is charging for kids as young as 8 ye. Once again I have to warn people MMA is not a recognised as a sport by UKSport. The idea you teach young children to kick, punch, strangle, break arms is disgraceful. The British Wrestling Association recognise FILA Amateur MMA for adults only. If a youngster wants to start grappling try Judo, Sombo or Freestyle Wrestling most of the top fighters started in these sports. Most probably the most famous of all MMA fighters is the Russian  Fedor Emelianenko he started his career in Judo and Sombo as a child and then moved in Combat Sambo, then he moved into MMA and cage.

So if you want a Club  that give you value for money join the Young Judo Club or Warriors Grappling Academy www.sittingbourne

Below Fedor with Club Coach John Clarke