The message reads, in part:
“This anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to remember many generations of outstanding athletes, coaches and instructors, whose hard work and talent laid the foundations and traditions of this unique martial art, and established the environment for promoting its ideas and values. Sambo is not just a sport. It is a comprehensive system of physical and moral values, aimed at forming strong and tough people who can meet any challenge and achieve success in their profession and lives.
It is important that sambo continues to develop in Russia today, attracting the interest of young people and winning international recognition. It is now included in the programmes of the most prestigious tournaments.”
The sambo wrestling system, which means self-defence without weapons, was developed in the USSR in the 1930s. It is based on the most efficient fighting techniques taken from various martial arts, wrestling sports and folk wrestling. On November 16, 1938 the USSR Sports Committee included sambo in the list of promoted sports in the country; this date is considered the official birthday of sambo. In 1966, a congress of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) officially recognised sambo as an international sport.