sambo vs bjj

Sambo vs BJJ – Comparing 2 Martial Arts!

Sambo and BJJ are two grappling-based martial arts with a lot of similarities. However, some key differences set them apart. In this article, we will compare Sambo vs BJJ! 

What is Sambo?

Sambo is a unique and effective martial art developed in Russia during the early 20th century. A combination of techniques from various styles of wrestling, judo, and jiu-jitsu created it. The name “Sambo” comes from the Russian phrase “samozaschita bez oruzhiya,” which translates to “self-defense without weapons.”

Sambo emphasizes throws, joint locks, and submissions, making it an extremely effective combat style for sport and self-defense. The martial art is often referred to as “combat Sambo” to differentiate it from the Olympic-style sport Sambo.

Sambo’s techniques were initially designed for the military and police, providing soldiers and law enforcement officials with practical and effective strategies they could use in real-life situations. However, Sambo has since evolved into a competitive sport, with both gi and no-gi tournaments held worldwide.

One of the primary benefits of this fighting style is its emphasis on practicality. Unlike some martial arts, Sambo’s techniques are designed to work in real-life situations where you may need to defend yourself quickly and efficiently. With an emphasis on throws, this fighting style teaches you how to neutralize an attacker’s movement and control them to prevent further harm.

This martial art also complements other martial arts and combat sports, such as BJJ, judo, and Muay Thai. Its techniques are effective in blending, and cross-training can offer the martial artist a broader range of skills.

Sambo is ideal for those seeking a practical self-defense system or wanting to enhance their grappling abilities. With its origins rooted in military combat and law enforcement, Sambo delivers practical skills beneficial to anyone, from beginners to experienced martial artists.

Sambo vs BJJ – Similarities and Differences

Sambo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are grappling-based martial arts that have become increasingly popular recently. While both combat sports share many similarities, there are some key differences between the two fighting styles that set them apart. This article explores the similarities and differences between Sambo and BJJ.


Both are ground-based fighting styles that emphasize positional dominance and submission techniques. Both martial arts prioritize controlling an opponent on the ground, using joint locks, chokes, and other submission techniques to force them to submit or tap out. Additionally, Sambo and BJJ require high physical fitness and endurance, with training often involving intense workouts and conditioning exercises.

Another similarity between the two martial arts is their adaptability. Sambo and BJJ practitioners often blend styles and techniques from other martial arts, such as Muay Thai or Greco-Roman wrestling, to create a well-rounded fighting style. This cross-training allows fighters to find their unique style and approach to combat.


One of the key differences between Sambo and BJJ is their approach to leg locks. While both styles incorporate submission techniques that target the legs, Sambo places a much greater emphasis on leg locks than BJJ. Sambo practitioners are often highly skilled at executing foot locks, heel hooks, and other leg-based submissions, making them particularly effective at immobilizing and submitting their opponent from various positions.

Another difference between the two martial arts is their ground positioning. In BJJ, the guard position is often seen as a defensive position to prevent an opponent from achieving full mount or another dominant position. In Sambo, however, the guard position is often seen as offensive, with fighters using it to set up sweeps and submission techniques. Additionally, Sambo emphasizes wrestling takedowns, using throws and sweeps to take an opponent to the ground and gain control.

Winning Objectives / Rules

In combat sports like Sambo and BJJ, winning is the ultimate objective. But how do fighters win in these martial arts? What are the rules and requirements for a triumphant victory? Let’s explore the winning objectives and regulations of Sambo and BJJ.

Sambo’s Winning Objectives and Rules

In Sambo, the winning objective is to force your opponent into submission or defeat them through points. In a submission victory, the opponent taps out or verbally signals their defeat. In a point victory, the fighter with the most points at the end of the match wins.

So how do you score points in Sambo? Points are awarded for actions such as takedowns, throws, and pins. If a fighter successfully executes a throw or a takedown, they are awarded two points. They receive an additional three points if they can pin their opponent down. Fighters can also receive points for successfully executing submissions or forcing their opponent into a penalty.

BJJ’s Winning Objectives and Rules

Like Sambo, BJJ also has two main winning objectives: submit your opponent or win through points. In a submission victory, the defeated opponent taps out or verbally signals their defeat. In a point victory, the fighter with the most points at the end of the match wins.

In BJJ, points are awarded based on various actions, such as taking the opponent’s back, passing the guard, or sweeping the opponent. Each action has a set point value, and the fighter with the most points at the end of the match wins.

Key Differences Between Sambo and BJJ

While Sambo and BJJ may share similar winning objectives and rules, some key differences exist. For example, Sambo emphasizes throws and takedowns, whereas BJJ focuses more on ground techniques and submissions.

Additionally, Sambo allows strikes and kicks to be used in certain competitions, which is not allowed in BJJ. This means that Sambo fighters must also be skilled in striking and defense against strikes, while BJJ fighters do not need to worry about this aspect of combat.

Uniform and Ranking

In the martial arts world, uniforms and ranking systems are standard. From white belts to black belts and from traditional Japanese Gi to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rashguards, each discipline has its own uniform and ranking structure. However, the purpose of these systems serves more than just a visual representation of accomplishment.

Uniforms, or Gis or Keikogi, are an important symbol of respect and discipline in martial arts. The uniform represents the practitioner’s training, knowledge, and dedication to the art. It also allows for a level of equality amongst the practitioners, as everyone is dressed in the same attire, regardless of status or background.

However, not all martial arts require a traditional uniform. For example, in MMA, fighters typically wear shorts and a rashguard, while Muay Thai fighters wear shorts and a t-shirt. Despite the lack of tradition, these uniforms still serve a purpose, providing flexibility and allowing fighters to move more fluidly during training or competition.

In addition to uniforms, many martial arts have a ranking system denoted by belt color. These rankings not only indicate a practitioner’s skill level but also provide motivation for the practitioner to improve. The ranking structure also serves as a form of recognition for the practitioner’s hard work and dedication to the art.

However, ranking systems can differ significantly between martial arts disciplines. For example, in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it can take years to earn a black belt, while in some traditional Japanese martial arts, a black belt may only represent a level of training able to open a school.

Uniforms and ranking systems serve a crucial purpose in the martial arts. They symbolize respect, discipline, and dedication to the craft, regardless of the specific martial art practiced. Whether it be a traditional Gi or a modern rashguard, the uniform serves as a visible representation of the practitioner’s training. In contrast, the ranking system serves as a form of recognition and motivation for the practitioner’s hard work and progress.


In conclusion, martial arts offer a variety of benefits that transcend the physical realm. Through martial arts, practitioners can improve their mental and emotional well-being, develop discipline and self-control, and build self-confidence.

It is important to note that there are many types of martial arts, each with its unique culture, traditions, and techniques. Understanding the differences between these disciplines can help practitioners choose the one that best fits their needs and goals.

Whether you are interested in the grappling-based martial art of Sambo, or the ground fighting techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there is a martial art out there that can benefit you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

So if you want to improve your overall health and well-being, consider trying out a martial art. Whether you are a complete beginner or have years of experience, there is always room for growth and improvement in martial arts.