Grading/Belt Promotion 


Sambo and CombatSombo use the belt colour system to denote your rank (progression). This method of grading is often used in many other martial arts/combat disciplines and is based on the Belt which was first introduced by Jigaro Kano the founder of Judo and has been widely adopted by most martial arts/combat disciplines.

As a Sambo/CombatSombo student progresses through the curriculum the process of grading occurs to test the student's skills alongside their discipline, leadership skills and humility. The rank (belt) achieved should always be looked upon as an honour; it is not a 'status symbol' and should in no way be treated this way.

The belt system works through the colours starting with white belt, , then yellow belt and so on all the way to black belt (known as a Degree). On average it takes approximately 3 years for a student to progress through the colour belts and reach 1st Degree Black Belt rank based on attendance, attitude and technical knowledge / ability

Students in general should grade every 4 - 6 months. Some people will move quicker others will take longer. Itís not about getting to your goal the quickest itís about making the most of your journey towards your goal. Always push yourself to understand your techniques and how to use them effectively, ask questions and condition your mind and body, start to see what is possible. The more you train the faster you will progress.








Thank you for your enquire about how to become a Black Belt in CombatSombo. If you are on the Internet you will find out more about CombatSombo by visiting

Correspondence courses have been a very successful method of learning and obtaining qualifications for 10ís of years. The Open University has been a success since it was introduced in the 60ís. Until now to give qualifications in a Martial/Combat Art without meeting the student would have been impossible and fraudulent. With modern day technology this is no longer the case if you have a Camcorder and access to a computer it is now possible.


How do I become a Black belt and instructor in my COMBATSOMBO system?

Yes my system it was me Martin Clarke who first used the terminology CombatSombo in 1983, it is a registered service mark owned by me. The Russian have always had a combat system but it came under the heading of SAMBO only in the last few years have they started to put the word Combat in front. To distinguish the two on an international basis they now call my system the British CombatSombo System. I made the mistake of not registering my system worldwide but in the UK the name and the system belongs to me and I am prepared to sue anyone who uses the name and practices the system something I have done on three occasions.

1st you need to become a member of CombatSombo International you can join through your National Body if there is no National Body membership is £50 per annum.

2nd I will need a photograph of yourself.

3rd You will be sent a membership book in that book is a syllabus, which you will work to. The syllabus has been formulated to accommodate all sexes, plus all weights and sizes. It is a grid system, unlike other grading systems where you are told to perfect a specific technique, this allows you freedom to develop in your own way. If you are a tall slim man you will do a hip throw different than a small fat man and neither of you are wrong. As CombatSombo is a grappling Self Defence System we expect you to master the throw, hold or lock before you learn a self defence technique. Why? My experiences have found that those people who practised a grappling sport ie Judo, Sombo, Freestyle etc always advanced very rapidly through the grades in self defence system ie Jiu Jitsu. Plus it is a much quicker way of learning, most systems expect you to learn in a Rote fashion ie Some one attacks you with a punch to the head you do this technique, with my system once you have learnt one throw you use it against many types of attacks.

4th How do I learn: You can purchase CombatSombo, Sombo, Judo, Jiu Jitsu videos and CombatSombo Books you can also visit Youtube type in Britishsombo or IBFBCSA or go to As CombatSombo is a grappling self defence system you can get books and videos on Judo, Sombo Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling, Jiu Jitsu etc for the striking investigate Kickboxing and Boxing. You can visit one of our clubs or attend the many courses we run. The speed of your progress is up to you.


So you think you are ready for a grading?


You will inform me that you wish to participate in a grading by email or by post sending a SAE. I will tell you the price of the grading and any other details you will need to know. Most importantly you will have produced a video recording of yourself demonstrating the various techniques required. Obviously the better the quality of the recording the better chance you will have of passing. Once the video recording has arrived a panel of experts will view it and each will make comments and decide whether you have been successful in your exam. As you move higher through the grades written work will also be expected. All pupils will be expected to pay for every grade, there is no time limit on when you take a grading. So if you are a high grade in say Judo and feel you can achieve a much higher level then the 1st grade, you can opt for a higher one but you will have to pay for the ones you missed.

All correspondence will be in English and finances will be in £ Sterling or US $

1st Degree Black Belt is £250

2nd Degree Black Belt is £400

3rd Degree Black Belt is £600


Once you have become a Black Belt you can then become a teacher and examiner for CombatSombo, this could a lucrative pastime for you.

Also remember we are all ways available for advice.




GrandMaster Martin Clarke

Founder CombatSombo System

Eastleigh House

118 East Street



ME10 4RX


Email: IBFBCSA @