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Robert Client World Wide Grappling refers to techniques, maneuvers, and counters applied to an opponent in order to gain a physical advantage in hand-to-hand combat, such as improving relative position, escaping, submitting, or injury to the opponent. Grappling is a general term that covers techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial arts that are practiced both as combat sports and for self-defense. Grappling most commonly does not include striking or the use of weapons. However, some fighting styles or martial arts known especially for their grappling techniques teach tactics that include strikes and weapons either alongside grappling or combined with it.

Robert Client World Wide Grappling was the 4th British Open to be held at Sittingbourne and each year the competitor number increase, till now the international flavour has always been a Home International i.e. Scotland, England and N.Ireland. This year entries came from N Ireland, Scotland, England, USA, Uzbekistan, Spain and France.In previous years we had a lot of enquiries from the ex soviet counties to compete but on every occasion they were either refused or just could not get visa’s, it seems Mr Blair and his Government are prepared to allow millions of illegal immigrants into England but when genuine sportsman wanted to come in they cann’t. This year’s tournament was no different teams from Bulgaria, Moldavia, Iran and Pakistan could not get visa’s, when I questioned the various embassy’s there excuse was the applicants had not allowed enough time, Pakistan player’s applied 3 months in advance. I have a unique idea for our government “keep the illegal immigrants out and allow legal visitors in’.
After all the negative things that were happening a more positive side was occurring with entrants coming from England, Scotland, N.Ireland, France, USA, Uzbekistan and Spain (Basque) it was pleasing to see the BSF and Martin Clarke’s old friend Jon Idderetta bring 18 players from the San Sebastian the whole team were top ranked Sombo & Judo player and they went back to Spain with 18 medals. The most impressive player of the whole competition was MARCOS GARCIA he is the current Spanish Judo u 23 year old no 2 at the age of 18 and is a strong contender for the 2008 Olympics. The Idderetta brothers were in there day formidable Judo and Sombo players representing their country in both disciplines, on top of this they have become excellent coaches, hopefully they will be at new years open.

As with all the recent British Opens they event was run by Keith Costa and this year he along with the BCSA decided to move the competition to a Saturday. With the venue still being in the Swallows but in the Wyvern Banqueting Hall this was not such a good idea having to set up on the Friday night after u18’s disco left a lot to be desired with Keith and his helpers finishing at 1.30am Saturday then having to be back at 9am for the weigh in. The cleanliness of the Wyvern hall left a lot to be desired, with toilets being left untouched till midday, rumours has it that the current holders of the franchise are no longer being considered for the new contract, well who ever gets the new contract should look very carefully at the condition of the building and the standard of cleanliness. After saying all that the young staff who were present were very helpful throughout the day and should not be blamed for the inadequacies of the company. The Swallows is still the best venue for our event in the Swale area and next year the event will be staged in the main arena with two on the go.

Children Sombo and Judo Snobs or should we call them bigot’s

Sombo in most European countries is mainly a secondary sport to grappling clubs being a Jacket Wrestling sport it has a lot of similarities to Judo. Yet many Judo instructors have this bigoted attitude to all other forms of grappling hence “I do not allow my children to any other forms of grappling as it will ruin their Judo” or “they will get confused” what a load of rubbish over recent year Sombo has had a big impact on Judo techniques and to a lesser degree so has Greco Roman and Olympic freestyle wrestling. In the old Soviet Union all grapplers would start in Sombo wrestling and about the age of 14 years the coaches would then decide which wrestling discipline they are most suited to, shall we remind ourselves that the Soviet Unions record of medals in all forms of grappling were second to none. I would not favour this method as it takes choice away from the individual but the principle that Sombo offers everything is a good one. Every grappling coach should encourage their pupils to diversify as much as possible if GB is ever to win regular Olympic medals in Judo, Freestyle wrestling and Greco Roman. How many times I have heard adults in their 30’s say to me I used to do Judo as a child trained for a year but got bored as it did not suit me if only someone had introduced me to Greco Roman, the same could be said if they had tried another grappling sport never having the chance to try Judo. Coaches of sport should realize when teaching children that they should be doing what is best for the child not go for an ego trip for themselves.

So why let children try a Sombo Wrestling competition. The biggest downfall for beginner doing Judo, Greco, Freestyle etc is that once they are pinned on the floor they lose the comp. How many times have I seen a new youngster come to his first Judo comp have two matches be pinned in both matches in under a minute, the child goes away disheartened most probably never competing again, Mum and Dan angry they have entry fee plus spectator fees what amounts to about 2 minutes of competition time. In Sombo you can score a maximum of 4 points for a pin but it doesn’t finish the match, with throws you can score 1pt, 2pt, 4pts and total victory. A tv is when you throw your opponent on their back and remain standing, this very rarely happens with beginners so matches last a lot longer. With regard to senior the scoring system allows them more chances to try different techniques and to improve their fitness.

The children started the days competition and for the reasons above every child went of with a smile, compliments must go to Warriors Combat Wrestling which is based in Sittingbourne, their coach Keith Costa who also coaches the Judo Club.Keith actual runs a Junior Sombo club one of the only one of its kind in GB. Once again the numbers of children competing in Sombo Wrestling tournaments is on a steady increase and all coaches are reporting a marked improvement in these children’s Judo as well.

This years tournament as I have said saw a marked increase in not only foreign competitors but adult competitors in general stretching across many grappling styles Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Sombo, CombatSombo, Greco-Roman, Freestyle, Cage fighting, Brazilian Jitsu, Total Combat, Submission wrestling, Belt Wrestling and Kurash. Not since 1992 when Martin Clarke ran the World Sombo Championships at Herne Bay have we seen so many foreign competitors competing. I am sure we will see a larger contingent of foreign players.

To report on every final would be to long winded so I have chosen various matches in the seniors and the Veterans.

The senior u100 kilo senior men class was one of the main attractions with BOTIR KHUJAEV Uzbekistan who is a World Sombo and Kurash Champion, this man was definitely in a class of his own and had reached the final without conceding a fight but this did not deter veteran player Darren Richardson Cage Club Sombo UK who came storming out in the final to knock the Uzbek over for 2 points but the inevitable happened and Darren had to be content with silver. Darren hasn’t competed in the British Open before is still a respected Sombo Wrestler in the UK writing several articles on the sport and competing in the Moscow Open. His wish is to win a World Master’s Gold on his performance at the Open that is a strong possibility.

Senior Men. U90 kilo

Local man John Clarke (Sittingbourne Warriors) son of Grandmaster Master Martin Clarke was the favourite for this event having won the last three British Open’s. John recently took up a post at the Sittingbourne Community College in the PE department, he was appointed to this job mainly because of his expertise in the Martial Arts, which he holds Black Belts in Judo, Sombo, Jiu Jitsu. With all the extra sport he is doing his weight has dropped considerably so this was the first time in some years that he has made the under 90 kilo annoyingly he injured his knee some weeks ago which would hinder his performance. In the preliminary rounds he met a very good young Spanish fighter, John is known for his big throwing techniques and he tried to catch his opponent on a big pick up to no avail in fact he made a mistake at one juncture and caught for two points. This got John rattled and he soon dispensed with the Spanish player beating him 14 points to 2 points. In the final he met club mate and policeman Andy Bell who also had been having a good competition as expected John won with 12 points majority.

John had very large following with pupils and staff coming to have look at him compete wondering whether all the hype about him was true? I do not think they went away disappointed. We cannot leave this category with out mentioning 50-year-old Chico Hernandez USA who was the seconded oldest man in the competition, he had traveled all the way from Maine by himself to compete although he missed out on a medal in this category, he made the final of the Master’s event meeting last year’s Master’s Champion Dave Hatch from Sittingbourne but he was forced to withdraw because of an injure he collected in the Senior event. Chico was an instant hit with everyone at the competition a white double of Denzall from “Only Fools & Horses” he was very friendly and helpful, at the end of the comp he was still there helping clear up the mats. In Clarkees Bar he learnt about English Culture well that what John Clarke called it. Hopefully we will see Chico again.

Senior Men u82 kilo

This was a very good weight class with last years British Champion Johannes Alder Scotland once again reaching the final on his way he had to beat the very talented Frenchman ROMAULD LEGROS. The French federation made the British team very welcome when they went to Nice for the World Cup so it was pleasing to see them enter the British Open, what is more then enjoyed the event so much they said they will be back next year. Johannes met 17 year old Danny Carrott from Sittingbourne, Danny one of GB’s most promising players had won his age group early on in the day but his performance was far from impressive with his fitness not what we had come to inspect, maybe moderation in the excessive of life may be good advice. Johannes as expected won the match.

Senior Men u74 kilo

Ashley Costa made his way to the final in grand style he was last years British u68 kilo champion but decided to move up a weight, Ashley has always been a good thrower but over the last 18 months he has become very proficient with armlocks which he used to devastating effect. In the final he met MARCOS GARCIA Basque Spain, this young 18 year old was without a doubt the Player of the competition he had been destroying everyone before him, his unusual very low fireman’s throw proved to much for every one. Ashley’s coach Martin Clarke warned him of the technique but within a few seconds of the match, the Basque player scored 4 points with the throw a few seconds more and Ashley was on his back trying his now famous arm lock, it looked as if Ashley was on the way to an extraordinary win to no avail the Basque boy blocked the move. Once on their feet Ashley got thrown again for a 4 he retaliated with a 4 point throw against his opponent, then in quick succession he was twice more Marcos won 16 points to 4 points. This match was one of the best of the day.

Veteran Men u 68 kilo

Paul Sawyer a very experienced and successful Sombo Wrestler met 40-year-old INIGO ELORZA Basque, he had already won the Senior class so it was going to be a very interesting fight. The Basque player has been participating in Sombo Wrestling for over 20 years and has place several times in European and World Championships, the match started with both men battling for grips a minute in and Paul got caught with inner thigh throw for 4 points although Paul valiantly and a couple of times nearly succeeding with his famous arm lock he could not get the edge and the title went to the Basque.

A special mention about John McCarthy, who at 56 years of age still competed in the Senior and veterans event winning a bronze in the veterans. At present anyone over 35 can enter the Veterans event next we hope to offer over 45 years class as well. The highest placed Britons in the Senior event qualify for the World and European Champions they u68 kilo Paul Sawyer Bournemouth, u74 kilo Ashley Costa Sittingbourne, u82 kilo Johannes Alder Dumfries, u90 kilo John Clarke Sittingbourne, u100 kilo Darren Richardson Bournemouth, o100 kilo Neale Arkley Sittingbourne.

Special thanks to referees Tim Thomas, Robin Hyslop, Dave Boulding, Pete Wise, Colin Carrott and Recorders, Greg Garside, Margaret Smith, Bruce Fisher.

In Scottish Open Judo and Sombo Championships will be held in Dumfries, SomboUK South England Open will be Bournemouth in September, English Open will be in Hawkinge in October. Next years Open will be once again in March.

NAME CATEGORY POSITION COUNTRY CLUB/ASSOCIATION
GIRLS 8-13YEARS
NIAMH FINLAY U25K GOLD ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
EMILY MILLER SILVER ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
ROHAN CULLEN BRONZE ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA

JODIE GIBSON U40K GOLD SCOTLAND SSF
CHARLEY KERRY SILVER ENGLAND SPITFIRE BCSA
CHLOE STJOHN BRONZE NORTHERN IRELAND NISF

SHEENA FATHERS U45K GOLD ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
STACEY BRANCHETT SILVER ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
CHLOE GAULT BRONZE NORTHERN IRELAND NISF

YOUTH GIRLS 14-16YEARS
DEBBIE JACKSON OPEN GOLD ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
ALYX COSTA SILVER ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
TERRINA DANIELS BRONZE ENGLAND SPITFIRE BCSA

LADIES
CARLA O’SULLIVAN OPEN GOLD ENGLAND THE CAGE/SOMBO UK
DEBBIE JACKSON SILVER ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
JULIA NASH BRONZE ENGLAND THE CAGE/SOMBO UK

BOYS 8-13YEARS
ASHLEY JORDAN U21K GOLD ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
CHRISTOPHER GIBSON SILVER SCOTLAND SSF

KIERAN ALLEN U25K GOLD ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
ANDREW GIBSON SILVER SCOTLAND SSF
LIAM ALLEN BRONZE ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA

SAM BRANCHETT U30K GOLD ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
CONOR SMITH SILVER ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
RAUIRI O’REAGAN BRONZE ENGLAND BEXLEY BCSA

SAM DEVO U35K GOLD ENGLAND BEXLEY BCSA
JACOB HYLAND SILVER ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
LEWIS CULLEN BRONZE ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA

KALUM HUGHES U40K GOLD ENGLAND SPITFIRE BCSA
SAM MILLER SILVER ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
SHAY KERRY BRONZE ENGLAND SPITFIRE BCSA

PHILIP JACKSON U45K GOLD ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
JORDAN DEVO SILVER ENGLAND BEXLEY BCSA
KARL STJOHN BRONZE NORTHERN IRELAND NISF

JAMIE MCMANUS-TODD U55 GOLD ENGLAND BEXLEY BCSA
PERRY DEVO SILVER ENGLAND BEXLEY BCSA
YOUTH BOYS 14-16 YEARS

UNAI GARRO U55K GOLD BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
GRANT HUGHES SILVER ENGLAND SPITFIRE BCSA

AARON BEGG U60K GOLD ENGLAND SPITFIRE BCSA
ANDER PEREZ SILVER BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN

IOSU GARCES U65K GOLD BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
JON ANZIZAR SILVER BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
JON BARANDIARAN BRONZE BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN

ENEKO ARANBURU U74K GOLD BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
JON ISASI SILVER BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
KIERAN DANIELS BRONZE ENGLAND SPITFIRE BCSA

YOUTH BOYS 17-18 YEARS
JON FERNANDEZ U68K GOLD BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
DAVID DIAMOND SILVER ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA

MARCOS GARCIA U74K GOLD BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
UNAI BARAIBAR SILVER BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
KIERAN DANIELS BRONZE ENGLAND SPITFIRE BCSA

DANNY CARROTT O74K GOLD ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
JOSEBA ZUMETA SILVER BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
UNAI OLAZIREGUI BRONZE BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN

SENIOR MEN
INIGO ELORZA U68K GOLD BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
JON FERNANDEZ SILVER BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
PAUL SAWYER BRONZE ENGLAND SOMBO UK

MARCOS GARCIA U74K GOLD BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
ASHLEY COSTA SILVER ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
UNAI BARAIBAR BRONZE BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN

JOHANNES ALDER U82K GOLD SCOTLAND SSF
DANNY CARROTT SILVER ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
ROMAULD LEGROS BRONZE FRANCE FIAS/NICE UNIVERSITE

JOHN CLARKE U90K GOLD ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
ANDY BELL SILVER ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
UNAI OLAZIREGUI BRONZE BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN

BOTIR KHUJAEV U100K GOLD UZBEKISTAN UZBEKISTAN
DARREN RICHARDSON SILVER ENGLAND THE CAGE/SOMBO UK
LEIGH TILL BRONZE ENGLAND THE CAGE/SOMBO UK

NEIL ARKLEY O100K GOLD ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
DAMIEN PINNOCK SILVER ENGLAND TANG LUNG/BCSA

VETERAN MEN
INIGO ELORZA LIGHTWEIGHT GOLD BASQUE /SPAIN SAN SEBASTIAN
PAUL SAWYER SILVER ENGLAND SOMBO UK
JOHN McCARTHY BRONZE ENGLAND ESSEX/SOMBO UK

DAVE HATCH MIDDLEWEIGHT GOLD ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
CHICO HERNANDEZ SILVER USA US ARMY
GRANT WATERMAN BRONZE ENGLAND THE CAGE/SOMBO UK

NEIL ARKLEY HEAVYWEIGHT GOLD ENGLAND WARRIORS BCSA
DARREN RICHARDSON SILVER ENGLAND THE CAGE/SOMBO UK

RESULTS BRITISH OPEN SOMBO 13TH MARCH 2004

ASSOCIATIONS CLUBS
BRITISH COMBAT SOMBO ASSOCIATION WARRIORS BCSA
SPANISH SOMBO SAN SEBASTIAN SAN SEBASTIAN

SOMBO UK SPITFIRE BCSA
SCOTTISH SOMBO FEDERATION BEXLEY BCSA
NORTHERN IRELAND SOMBO FEDERATION THE CAGE/SOMBO UK

UZBEKISTAN DUMFRIES/SSF
USA SOMBO BOURNEMOUTH/SOMBO UK
FIAS FRANCE HOLLYWOOD MARTIALS ART CLUB/NISF
ROYCE GRACIE JUI-JITSU UZBEKISTAN
TANG LUNG/BCSA

US ARMY
ESSEX/SOMBO UK
NICE UNIVERSITIES/FIAS
ROYCE GRACIE JUI-JITSU
LISBURN SOMBO/NISF

North American Freestyle Sambo Championships on September 4th and 5th

It is my extreme pleasure to announce that the AMERICAN SAMBO ASSOCIATION in conjunction with USKBA Action Sports will be hosting the 2004 North American Freestyle Sambo Championships on September 4th and 5th at the Rexplex Sports Center (worldwidegrappling.com) in Elizabeth, New Jersey – just minutes from Manhattan and literally across the highway from Newark International Airport! Why create a new format of Freestyle Sambo? Because it can only benefit our sport. Like wrestling – which has Collegiate, Freestyle, and Greco Roman – why not offer an additional apolitical venue to test different skills, meet our peers, build friendships, and spread the word about Sambo? Freestyle Sambo rules fill a gap between Sport and Combat Sambo, offer a competitive choice in the crowded American grappling tournament scene, and generates interest with other jacket wrestling/grappling styles that may have avoided traditional Sport Sambo competitions in the past. We intend to invite players from Judo, JuJitsu, Shuai Jiao, Wrestling, Pancrase, Shootfighting, or any other styles who want to put on a jacket and roll with us.

For a complete rules summary, registration information, travel and hotel information, or any other questions please e-mail me at info@worldwidegrappling.com You may also read a complete set of Freestyle Sambo rules in the tournament section of worldwidegrappling.com

Resources:

Worldwide Grappling School Directory

World Wide Wrestling RPG

United World Wrestling