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Knowledge is Power

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American Sombo Curriculum Standards



American Sombo is a mixed martial art / self-defense-based school. We teach a unique discipline comprised of both sport and combat components dedicated to world-class martial arts instruction. Curriculum standards as well as the lesson plans, delivery methods and instructional aids have been chosen and or developed by Coach William T. Everidge M. Ed.


Standards Architect


Coach Everidge has a master’s degree in education, and is a certified instructor through USA Wrestling, Sombo Joe, ARRL and the American Red Cross. Coach Everidge has more than 30-years of martial arts experience, including coaching, refereeing and administration. Coach Everidge is also the former State of Ohio Sombo Director for USA Wrestling.

Concepts and Practices


Champion Building

ASC.1. Develop personal traits that enhance the ability of an individual to perform at a high level. These personal traits include perseverance, a strong work ethic, adaptation, courage and developing a winning attitude.    


Establish new skill sets through proven strategies such as differentiated, scaffolded instruction. Set high expectations and equip students with the skills and resources to meet and exceed those expectations.  


Students will demonstrate proficiency through structured athletic and academic execution. This will be done through individual and team exercises, competitions, and other related activities. 

Character Development

ASC.2. Provide the structure that promotes the development of a strong moral foundation built on teamwork, leadership, sportsmanship, sacrifice and the desire to do the right thing even when no one is looking.


Using a student-centered approach, students will be given opportunities to work cooperatively as leaders and followers as they progress through the system.


Students will learn from both their success and failure. Opportunities for failure will be given and be used as teachable moments. Overcoming challenges and academic and athletic accomplishments are proven character development strategies. 

Physical Fitness

ASC.3. Engaging in fun and exciting athletic and academic exercises, tournaments and nutrition training promotes a healthy and productive lifestyle.


An emphasis on making hard work and education fun is a key focal point of the program. Ensuring that students understand how and why it is important drives home the importance of being a life-long athlete.


All activities stress physical fitness from improved athleticism, flexibility, range of motion, strength, speed, quickness, circulation and recovery.

Cognitive Development

ASC.4. Enhanced cognitive developmental strategies involving inductive and deductive drills will help students develop new neural pathways that will pay intellectual dividends for the rest of their lives.


Students will engage in multiple cognitive development exercises in class and in our online classroom.


Students will demonstrate a mastery of lesson-specific content in multiple content areas such as technique, strategy, nomenclature and Sombo history.

Enhanced Self-Image

ASC.5. Students will realize the effects of hard work, overcoming obstacles and achievement in the form of an enhanced self-image. The outcome is a positive view of themselves and a renewed confidence in their ability to overcome future hurdles in life.


With the use of digital portfolios, reflection strategies and belt promotions students will realize their progress and enhanced abilities.  


Students and instructors will track the student’s progress and celebrate each new milestone reached.


ASC.6. Age-appropriate instruction is key to ensuring that each student reaches their athletic, academic and professional potential. Success on the mat develops skills and confidence that directly translates into success in school and the workplace.  


The style, language, instructional strategies and goals of training depends on the age, maturity level and ability of each student. While the standard for each student remains the same, it is vital to recognize that some students will require a Modified Training Program, similar to an IEP.


Each student will constantly be evaluated formerly, informally through observation, engagement, and assessment to determine the student’s individual needs.


ASC.7. Leadership is a verb. Establishing positive leadership-based character traits such as leading by example, setting the standard and supporting other team members will help to solidify a strong, positive character for a lifetime.


Students will earn leadership roles and responsibilities that will aid in personal growth in the leadership development areas.


Students will lead in warm-ups and help junior students during instruction. Team Captains will be chosen and will take on more advanced leadership responsibilities.

These standards and related content are considered privileged intellectual property of American Sombo LLC and may not be copied, reproduced, or disseminated without the express written consent of American Sombo. 

Styles of Sombo / Sambo

Sport Sombo

Sport Sombo is a jacket grappling sport with throws, ground-fighting and submissions.  

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Combat Sombo

Combat Sombo is a battlefield tested martial arts where there are know rules, where your objective is to eliminate your opponent as quickly as possible and move onto the next.  


While you can compete in both Sport and Combat Sombo, true Combat Sombo has no rules and was designed specifically for combat and is used to train Russian Special Forces "Spetsnaz".  

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Sombo / Sambo Uniform

The Kurtka

In addition to the general meaning of "jacket", the word kurtka refers to the garment normally worn by Sambo practitioners, similar to the keikogi in style and function, although it is tighter fitting and has epaulettes and belt loops. A kurtka should be made of canvas or other heavy material, should be tight-fitting, should not extend more than eight inches below the belt (roughly equal to the bottom of the sleeve) and the sleeves must be long enough to cover the arms to the wrists, and wide enough at the end to fit the wrist and four fingers.

The Gloves

MMA gloves or grappling gloves are small, open-fingered gloves optionally used in mixed martial arts bouts. They usually have around 4–6 oz of padding and are designed to provide some protection to the person wearing the glove but leave the fingers available for grappling maneuvers such as clinch fighting and submissions.

The Belt

The belt is your typical martial arts belt in varying colors. The belt ranking system used by American Sombo differs from that approved by FIAS in 2018 and put into effect in 2020. 

The Shorts

While FIAS has an approved type of shorts for international competition, for practice and in most tournaments in the United States, most shorts that are either completely blue or red will work. The shorts should have no pockets, zippers and should be snug against the leg and not extend past the knee. 

The Shoes

In Sport Sombo, Sombo Shoes or Wrestling Shoes are preferred in both practice and competitoin. 

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Belt Structure

American Sombo Belt Structure

Prior to 2020, it was 80-years since the international Sambo community recognized a belt ranking system. The FIAS Executive Committee approved the ranking system for both students and instructors in 2018 and it went into effect in 2020. 

It was left to the individual Sombo - Sambo Clubs / instructors to devise their own system. American Sombo adopted their current belt ranking system from the Sombo Joe program, formerly the Northern Kentucky Wrestling Club. This system was in place when Coach Everidge began practicing Sombo in 1988. As a show of respect to his coach (Joe Neely), American Sombo will continue to this belt ranking system.   

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Belt Structure

FIAS Belt Structure

The decision was approved by the FIAS Executive Committee at their latest meeting.

Seven stages have been identified for athletes, ranging from a level one rookie stage through to a level one master category.

The level one stage will see white stripes feature on an athletes’ belt, with the second and third stages having yellow and orange respectively.

Levels four and five will be distinguishable by green and blue stripes, while master candidates will have a brown stripe.

A black stripe will feature on the belt of level one master athletes.

The stripes are expected to be attached onto belts of blue and red.

FIAS said this would signify an athlete's title, but would not conflict with sambo's basic red and blue uniforms.

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History of Sambo

SOMBO was born of native Russian and other regional styles of grappling and combat wrestling bolstered with the most useful and adaptable concepts and techniques from the rest of the world. As the unfortunate buffer between Europe and Asia, Russia had more than ample opportunities to sift through the martial skills of various invaders. Earlier Russians had experienced threats from the Vikings in the west and the Tatars and Genghis Khan’s Golden Horde from Mongolia in the east. The regional, native combat systems included in SOMBO’s genesis are Tuvin kuresh, Yakuts khapsagay, Chuvash akatuy, Georgian chidaoba, Moldavian trinte, Azeri kokh, and Uzbek kurash to name a few. The foreign influences included Dutch Self-Defense (a European version of Javanese Pentjak Silat), various styles of Catch-as Catch-Can wrestling, savate, muy thai, wu shu, jujitsu, and other martial arts of the day plus the classical Olympic sports of boxing, Greco-Roman and free-style wrestling. SOMBO even derived lunging and parrying techniques from fencing.

SOMBO’s early development stemmed from the independent efforts of Oshchepkov and another Russian, Victor Spiridonov, to integrate the techniques of judo into native wrestling styles. Both men hoped that the Soviet wrestling styles could be improved by an infusion of the newfangled techniques distilled from jujitsu by Kano into his new style of jacket wrestling.

In 1918, V. Lenin created Vseobuch (Bceobshchee voennoye obuchienie or General Military Training) under the leadership of N.I. Podovoyskiy to train the Red Army. The task of developing and organizing Russian military hand-to-hand combat training fell to K. Voroshilov, who in turn, created the NKVD physical training center, “Dinamo.” Spiridonov was a combat veteran of World War I, and one of the first wrestling and self-defense instructors hired for Dinamo. His background included Greco-Roman wrestling, American Catch-as-Catch-Can wrestling, Pankration, and many Slavic wrestling styles. As a “combatives investigator” for Dinamo, he traveled to Mongolia, China, and India to observe their native fighting styles. In 1923, Oshchepkov and Spiridinov collaborated with a team of other experts on a grant from the Soviet government to improve the Red Army’s hand-to-hand combat system. Spiridonov had envisioned integrating all of the world’s fighting systems into one comprehensive style that could adapt to any threat. Oshchepkov had observed Kano’s distillation of Tenjin Shin’yo Ryu jujitsu and Kito Ryu jujitsu into judo, and he had developed the insight required to evaluate and integrate combative techniques into a new system. Their development team was supplemented by Anatoly Kharlampiev and I.V. Vasiliev who also traveled the globe to study the native fighting arts of the world. Ten years in the making, their catalogue of techniques was instrumental in formulating the early framework of the art to be eventually referred to as SOMBO. Here, Oshchepkov and Spiridonov’s improvements in Russian wrestling slipped into the military’s hand-to-hand-combat system.

Kharlampiev is often called the father of SOMBO. This may be largely semantics since only he had the longevity and political connections to remain with the art while the new system was called “SAM” or “SAMOZ” or “SAMBA” and finally “SAMBO/SOMBO.”

SOMBO, as its name implies, was a combat system that developed a sport version to condition the troops and allow them to practice combat techniques in a relatively safe environment.

SOMBO’s birth date is listed officially as November 16, 1938 when the All-Union Committee of Physical Culture and Sport recognized sport SOMBO (at that time, the sport was still called free style wrestling).

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