Summer Camp 2008


 A Report from Lurch (Ian Durie)

The annual International Budo Federation has finished and we reflect on absent friends until we shall see them again next year.
The camp’s chief instructor was John Clarke 4th Dan, John is an experienced all round competitor in Judo, Sombo (Russian Jacket Wrestling) and Kurash (Central Asian Jacket Wrestling). The throws unique to all of these styles was ably taught by John assisted by Colin Carrot and his son Danny Carrot both 3rd Dans who helped demonstrate leg locks, strangles and hold downs.

Later on in the week John covered Freestyle and Belt Wrestling. For those of you who desire to learn a system of self-defence using wrestling John’s father Martin Clarke 8th Dan gave his knowledge and experience gained as an international competitor with his unique wrestling self-defence system of Combat Sombo. Martin has been a doorman and trained doormen in the past, so his knowledge is both practical not just theoretical. He covered control techniques blending the techniques taught by his son combined with basic striking to create a practical system.

Val Clarke, Martin’s wife and John’s mother, 3rd Dan Jujitsu taught a lesson covering wrist and joint locking.
Ian “Lurch” Durie 2nd Dan Jujitsu taught a self-defence lesson and acted as a partner for Martin in his demonstration of Combat Sombo.
Later on in the week Trevor Davies 6th Dan and Greg Garside 4th Dan covered ground work and kata.
They along with John Clarke and Colin Carrot formed the grading panel for those wishing to grade.
The successful students who graded were: Steve Jacobs 4th Dan (Bedford Hell Cats); Ian Hughes 1st Dan (Spitfire Judo Club); Gary Holbrook 1st Dan (Faversham); Alex Hill 1st Dan (Bedford Hell Cats); Ian Parker 3rd Dan (Woodside).


Martin Clarke graded Russell Dodds (Woodside) and Leon Stewart (London) to 6th Grade Brown Belt in Combat Sombo.

Sombo which translated from Russian means self-defence without weapons. In its sporting form participants wear shorts, soft soled boots and a jacket based on a military tunic, called a khurka. In Sport Sombo blows and strangles are forbidden, it was created by Vasilli Oshchepkov for the Red Army to develop skills and fitness to prepare them to learn the learn hand-to-hand combat. Vasilli developed this wrestling style along with his students in the 1920’s and 1930’s to prepare the population to learn hand-to-hand in the army, which was restricted to the military. Unlike Judo where joint locking are put on for submission; Sombo’s object is to break the joint, especially knee and ankle joints. This is due to its Red Army origin, a soldier with a broken leg is a burden to his side, he is taken off the battlefield by stretcher bearers, driven by ambulance to hospital, cared for by nurses and doctors, this is a burden to your enemy.
However Sombo has its military version which was not taught to civilians. A blend of 25 national folkstyles of wrestling, Chinese Martial Arts and Western Boxing. The founder of Sombo, Vasilli Oshchepkov, believed hand-to-hand combat was a science not a martial art so he cut out all the ritual from this combat form. Martin Clarke witnessed this form in the former U.S.S.R. he decided to bring it to the west and called it Combat Sombo to distinguish it from its sporting form. To keep it pure he copyrighted the name Combat Sombo, only Martin can say who is or is not an instructor in Combat Sombo.

In a Combat Sombo match the normal Sombo gear is worn, in addition open palmed gloves (that allows you to grab as well as strike), shin guards, foot covers, groin guard, gum shield and an open faced head guard. This allows you to punch and kick as well as grab, throw and joint lock. Kicking and punching is allowed until goes to the ground, then striking is not allowed for safety. All the locks and throws of Sombo are allowed as well as strangles; the object of the match is to win is by a blow, thow, strangle, joint lock, to cause your opponent to submit, tap out or be knocked out by a blow or a throw. The object of Combat Sombo is to develop a well rounded fighter who can fight at all the ranges of combat.

As usual the annual silly awards were presented after the grading: John Clarke received a certificate and paid a forfeit for burning tea towels during barbecuing; Ian “Lurch” Durie received a certificate and paid a forfeit for cheating during ground work by wining by the use of pressure points.

Martin Clarke has the intention of hosting a weekend course in the Dibgate A.T.C. Camp near Folkestone in March/April covering kata. Unfortunately the cost of next year’s Summer Camp will rise to £250 but for those who pay early before April there is a discount of £50 so early bookers will pay only £200.

If you want to learn to wrestle come to the I.B.F. Summer Budo Camp at the Dibgate A.T.C. Camp near Folkestone in August 2009.

Yours in Budo

Ian “Lurch” Durie.