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The sculptural composition is dedicated to Viktor Spiridonov, Vasily Oshchepkov and Anatoly Kharlampiev.

A monument to the creators of sambo appeared in Moscow. A sculptural composition depicting coaches Viktor Spiridonov, Vasily Oshchepkov and Anatoly Kharlampiev was installed on the Walk of Fame in the park of the Luzhniki sports complex. It was thanks to them that in 1938 a new sport appeared in the USSR, based on the techniques of Japanese jiu-jitsu and judo, as well as many other types of martial arts. At first it was called freestyle wrestling, and the current name is “sambo” (this is an abbreviation for the phrase “self-defense without weapons” received later). Sambo is popular all over the world today.

The monument is made of bronze and granite. It was created by a team of sculptors led by People’s Artist of Russia Salavat Shcherbakov.

“This is a real monumental complex that reflects the history and philosophy of SAMBO. Here, each element has not only artistic but also symbolic meaning. I am sure that the monument will become a new attraction of the park in Luzhniki. It will host solemn rewarding of athletes, sambo holidays and other events, ”commented the head of the Moscow City Heritage Site Alexei Yemelyanov.

The sculptural composition is based on a round granite platform with steps (stylobate). In its center is the emblem of the All-Russian Sambo Federation.

On the site there are two bronze figures of wrestlers performing a famous throw in sambo called the “mill”. Athletes are fighting on a hemisphere surrounded by an orbit. This is how the authors depicted the globe, symbolizing the popularity of this struggle throughout the world. In orbit, you can see the motto of martial arts “Sambo is the science of winning”.

The sambo wrestlers are closely watched by the founding fathers of sambo. This is Viktor Spiridonov (1882-1944), who created a system of applied wrestling and hand-to-hand combat based on jiu-jitsu. It was used in the ranks of the Soviet militia and the NKVD troops. Next to him is Vasily Oshchepkov (1893–1937), the creator of the Soviet version of judo. He introduced Russian-language terms into the names of Japanese wrestling techniques, replaced the bow with the obligatory handshake before and after the bout, and adjusted the cut of the athletes’ uniforms. The third founder of sambo is Anatoly Kharlampiev (1906–1979), a student of Oshchepkov, a researcher of martial arts and national types of wrestling of the peoples of the USSR. He collected and systematized methods of various types of martial arts. It was thanks to Kharlampiev that sambo as a sports discipline received an official status in the USSR.

Figures of the creators of sambo, made of bronze, are located to the right of the symbolic wrestling mat.

On the territory of “Luzhniki”, not far from the monument “Sambo – the Science of Winning”, it is planned to build a Martial Arts Palace. It will house a sambo center and a boxing center. The sports complex will become a platform for training and preparation of athletes, as well as a venue for high-level competitions, including world.

In addition to the monument to the founders of sambo, you can see other monuments on the Walk of Fame in the park of the Luzhniki sports complex. They are dedicated to outstanding athletes, coaches and iconic events in the world of sports. Among them – a bronze figure of a bear cub, which became the mascot of the XXII Olympic Games, monuments to Soviet football players Eduard Streltsov and Lev Yashin. About these and other attractions of the park you can read on

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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