Founded 1985

Self Defence system

with a HEART




British Sombo Federation Centre of Excellence

Swale Martial Arts Club

127 East Street



ME10 4BL


tel: 07846 193712



First of all the style is CombatSombo not Combat Sambo in fact the founder of the system Martin Clarke was the first one to link the words together and registered the name in the UK. Until the Soviet Union collapsed everything in the USSR was called Sambo after this period people started to use the names   Combat Sambo or Sambo Combat before that they used the name Military Sambo. There system and his do differ in that theirs is a pragmatic self defence system based on the military, designed for military personal. There is still an obsession in the Martial Arts with the Military especially in respect to Combat Training, His CombatSombo is based on the needs of an ordinary person to defend themselves plus it is a method of keeping fit. At the bottom of this article you will see his “CombatSombo Philosophy” his system can be taught to anyone including young children.

CombatSombo International is always looking for people to represent Martin Clarke's style in different countries. When he started CombatSombo he would run "Transition Courses” these were sessions organised for those Martial Artist who were already Black Belts and were doing a similar system to his, they would attend a course and have there grade converted to CombatSombo. The idea was that they would see the benefits of his system and go out teach and promote CombatSombo; sadly he was rather naive in thinking this would work, the majority attended purely to add another Black Belt to their CV some even used it to promote new styles of their own. He has always said that you should not advertise your grade if you no longer practice that style, to maintain your Black Belt in CombatSombo you must be a member and be involved in the discipline. Some of those who were graded went away and started clubs outside the control of the BCSA, this is one thing he had foreseen hence the reason for registered the name” CombatSombo” as a Service Mark with the Trades Marks Registry. This was to protect his style and its beliefs and on more then one occasion he has had to back this up with Solicitors letters and threats of court action, CombatSombo is very dear to him.
CombatSombo continues to flourish especially with his Camcorder Gradings another innovation of his now copied by many.

Combat Sambo this is a sport very popular in the World of Full Contact Sport and is an extension to Sambo. You wear Sambo attire plus headgear, Mitts and shin and instep, the scoring is the same as Sambo but you are allowed to kick and punch to get knockouts. The International Federation FIAS organise World Championships in both Sambo and Combat Sambo pl they are the controlling body for the sports. Both are very spectacular and exciting. Sambo is the jacket Grappling side while Combat Sambo is the striking grappling side of the sports both are done on a Mat.


CombatSombo is a UK registered service mark and is the property of Martin Clarke.

 CombatSombo International is looking to franchise its name and style to other Countries.

The British CombatSombo Association is recognised by the British Sambo Federation the governing body for Sambo in the UK.


Martin Clarke is a FIAS/BSF Grand Master of Sambo,8th Dan Judo and 6th Dan Jiu Jitsu. He competed for Great Britain in Judo, Sambo and Jiu Jitsu from 1967 till 2001.

He was a member of the 1980 Olympic Judo Squad, 2001 World Master's Judo Champion, World Jiu Jitsu Silver Medalist and 3 times World Sambo Silver Medalist.


He was founder of the British Sombo Federation founded 1986

He was Awarded a FIAS Gold Medal for Services to International Sambo 2008

 2008 Member of the Academy of International Sambo Masters (only 8 people were invited to this Academy)

2013 issued with a solid Gold FIAS Commemorative Medal for 75 years Birthday of Sambo, Only 10 were minted










A Reminder of what CombatSombo is?

Every few years I have to remind people what is CombatSombo and the fact I developed the system. Yes the fact that I say I am the inventor of the system seems to upset some so called experts, who continue to maintain that CombatSombo is a Russian style of Martial Art. So let me correct some of the misunderstanding yes I have used the Sombo as part of my name solely because I use much of the grappling techniques of Sombo and Judo in my style and putting the word Combat in front of name is not unusual I believed I was the first to do this in 1983 but I was corrected as someone from the USA back in the 1950’s used Combat Judo. Sambo is a Russian Self defence Sport and was started in the early 1900’s and I am very active with International Sambo and FIAS being placed in the Top 10 of the most influential people in the World for Sambo. Pre the break-up of the USSR the word Sambo meant all concepts Sport and Military self-defence, with the collapse of Communism many ex soviets wanted to make money from their expertise. The first time the Self Defence of Sombo was seen was in the USA and was called Military Sambo several magazine carried articles eventually they realised my name was more suitable I refused them permission to use the word CombatSombo because I wanted to keep control, they eventually used the word Combat Sambo. Now when I registered the name in 1988 with the British Trade Marks Registry I stupidly only registered it the UK not World Wide but I can stop people in the UK using the word CombatSombo or wording similar i.e. CombatSombo, Combat Sombo. Combat Sambo something I have done on a few occasions and something I will continue to do.
So why am I so paranoid about the name CombatSombo well quite simply it is my Philosophical approach to it (please read below) this make it entirely different from the Russian Combat Sambo who system is extremely more violent and more suited to the Military a very effective system if you are a Soldier but I want to teach CombatSombo as an educational system to make better human beings so the two styles are not compatible. Some people use the word Sambo Combat which I think distinguishes the difference a lot better. Finally CombatSombo was accepted by the World Governing Body FIAS in 1988, the first FIAS Combat Sambo Commission was started in 1992, something I was invited to serve on but I declined, The Soviet Union Collapsed in 1985 I started CombatSombo in the 1983.
So is CombatSombo big in the UK No it is very small and that is intentionally I have only trusted a few people to carry on my work here but over the last few years I have suffered with bad knee and hip and have been restricted to walking with a stick. I had a  Knee and Hip Replacement. I am back teaching

CombatSombo will remain pure because the system was developed by me (Martin Clarke) and is owned by me (Martin Clarke) If in the early days of Martial Arts the traditional styles had been registered you would not have so many bastardise forms and so many inflated grades with overrated Chief Coaches believing in their own hype. Recently I saw a 40 year old claiming to be a 10th Dan! yet that particular grade was reserved for old men who had spent in access 50 years in the Martial Arts, someone who had contributed more then the average who was recognised throughout the World a rare Martial Arts Practitioner. CombatSombo will have that purity


CombatSombo Philosophy


As you can see by my cv which is enclosed I have been involved in the Martial Arts/Combat Disciplines since the age of 5 (1955) I was born in 1950. I have always enjoyed the competitive side of Combat and I have won medals at international and national level at Judo, Sambo, Jiu Jitsu and Free Style Wrestling. I have also been a keen advocate of the Founder of Judo Jigaro Kano, in one of books he made the following statement  “Judo is more than just a sport or Martial Art, it is a means of Physical and Cultural Attainment” in other words “it is a way of producing better human beings” I apply this philosophy to all my Martial Arts and Combat Disciplines. Grappling sports I feel help you achieve this by teaching us such simple things as:


Respect (all grapplers have respect for there opponent, note I use the word opponent not enemy, they may not always realise it)

Duty of care (this is a must as if some of the techniques are very dangerous that we could damage our opponent. This is not we trying to do we are trying to win but not at the expense of an injury).

To abide by the rules (competitions have rules not only to keep the activity as safe as possible but to make contest equal) 



In my CombatSombo system I try and introduce people to a Self Defence/Combat Discipline system that has a set of morals. Unlike other systems I advocate control and restraint. My aim is not to turn people into Barbaric Animals with no consideration for others. After saying all this I am a practical man, I realise that self-defence has different degrees. Dealing with a drunk is different to dealing with several assailants with weapons. Although my system teaches techniques that can maim, they are only to be used in extreme cases. Remember no one has the right to cause life long disablement to another human being.


To do CombatSombo you need to be healthy and fit, we encourage our members to take regular excise and grapple on a regular basis. To understand any self-defence you need to practise in as near real situation as you get. To advise any one to get involved in a Pub fight to test their techniques would be immoral and irresponsible, so the nearest I can offer is some sort of controlled fighting, i.e. SportCombatSombo, CombatSombo Submission Wrestling, Sambo. Remember there is no easy route to becoming a proficient CombatSombo Practitioner.




Camcorder Grading