December 30

A Review of “Sambo Wrestling” the book by Reilly Bodycomb


For those that don’t know Sambo Wrestling is a sport/martial art that has a very rich combat history and it was devised as the fighting art of the Russian Military and it then later went on to become a sport . That being said not too many people understand what the rules of the sport are or even what techniques are allowed. Even  I must admit, even though I do train Sambo, the rules are something I haven’t spent much time learning.

I have scoured the web to look for Sambo books and DVD’s but unfortunately there are hardly any written/filmed in English and as a result this amazing martial art (yes Sambo is very cool) is not as well known as it should be, with few instructors and little information on the web.

This is a real shame so when I saw a new Sambo book come out I had to get hold of it. So here is the review of that book. Sambo Wrestling by Reilly Bodycomb

sambo reilly


Firstly I have to get the negative aspects of this book out of the way first. These are as follows:

1. Its too short at just 92 pages

2. There is not enough of Reillys amamzing leg locks inside the book.

That is it. They are the only 2 things I can find wrong with it, so prepare yourself for the good things.

The book Sambo Wrestling is set into 5 sections as follows:

Part 1 The rules

Part 2 Rolling and falling

Part 3 Basic Take downs

Part 4 Dynamic Take Downs

Part 5 Mat work.

Now before I go forward with this review I have to say I was disappointed when the postman delivered this book because it is such a slim book. I am used to thicker grappling books namely the Victory Belt grappling ones that are glossy, this book is about the thickness of 2 magazines so that was a major upset for me. That was until I read the book. I soon realised that this book was thin because of the paper it is printed on. This book is published by Amazons ‘create space’ company so in real terms that means it is self published by Reilly and this is not some giant publishing company, as a result Reilly has no control over the thickness of the paper. If this book was the same type of paper used by Victory belt, it would be around the same size of some of their books. However it is packed with great content.

Right of the back you realise that this book maybe short because it is packed with the most useful of the techniques that work in Sambo there is zero fluff and filler in this book. There are some great take downs, trips and throws including a fantastic description of the fireman’s carry. In fact I have never seen a  grappling book (Judo, wrestling or any other) that shows such an amount of throws that WILL work. I know this because as I have said I train both Judo and Sambo and my coach is the British Sambo Champion. Remember that this is not Judo, this is Sambo where almost any grip is allowed so the same types of throws do not always work, instead a more wrestling focused Gi grappling style is used and Reilly Bodycomb shows you the best of these techniques in his book.

Each technique has around 13 Full colour and detailed photographs that are very good, multiple angles with each person in different colour suits to make the techniques stand out.

Now despite the great number of takedowns what really makes this stand out is the text that accompanies each photo. If you have ever heard Reilly teach you will know that he is very godd in both his communication style and his ability to convey certain important facts. This text flows much in the same way as he speaks. Important nuggets of information including gripping advice under the photos.

The dynamic takedowns are also very good as he breaks down the Viktor roll. This’ hard to do Sambo move’ is always difficult to pick up on video so here the move is very nicely broken down.

Ok now as I said I do get why this book feels small, the type of paper and lack of fluff make it a smaller but laser focused guide to Sambo. However it is the lack of leg locks that annoyed me. Reilly is a master coach in this area and we deserve a follow up book as this would surely appeal to MMA and Sambo players alike. There are a few leg locks but not as many as I wanted to see.

All in all i give this book 4 out of 5. It is a little pricey as it is self published but the quality and content is excellent. You will certainly pick something up and I personally really enjoyed this book. The lack of size will not make it a classic grappling text but it will help any Gi grappler.

As for Sambo it is the best English language Sambo wrestling book that I have come across. if you have an interest in Sambo or are a BJJ player looking for better take downs then this book is for you.

**** 4 stars out of 5

A good book if you are interested in Sambo or BJJ. The lack of leg lcoks make it 4 and not 5 stars



reilly bodycomb, sambo

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