Moscow street to be named after Sambo founder Anatoly Kharlampiyev

Moscow street to be named after Sambo founder Anatoly Kharlampiyev
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Yevgeny Samarin
An athlete and founder of a wrestling sport will be commemorated in Moscow.

Moscow will have a new street, Kharlampiyev Street. The idea to name one of the new streets in the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative areas is from their prefecture. The Moscow Interdepartmental Names Commission chaired by Deputy Mayor Leonid Pechatnikov approved the proposal.

Kharlampiyev Street is a new 1 km-long street in the rural town of Filimonkovskoye (between the Kievskoye and Kaluzhskoye Highways). The authorities plan to build a sports complex with rooms for Sambo classes nearby.

Anatoly Kharlampiyev (1906–1979) was a Soviet athlete and coach, who studied martial arts and was one of the founders of Sambo. All his life, Kharlampiyev studied the efficient techniques of traditional martial arts practiced by different peoples. He dreamed of creating a new kind of free-style wrestling that could be used for self-defence, on the one hand, and become a new sport with its own discipline and philosophy, on the other. Hence, in 1938, he came up with Sambo – a Russian abbreviation for self-defence without weapons (the name was approved later, in the 1940s). Sambo combines techniques and tactics from Azerbaijani, Georgian, Tatar, Kazakh, Bashkir, Buryat and Moldovan wrestling. It also includes elements of Finnish-French, freestyle American, Swiss and English wrestling, plus judo and sumo.

Sambo’s popularity began to grow in the post-war years. The Sambo Wrestling Federation was founded, and competitions were organised across the country. Kharlampiyev worked as the senior wrestling coach for the Krylya Sovetov Sports Society and the senior coach of the Central Dinamo Council. His athletes became sports masters and USSR Champions, and later moved to coaching. In 1953, the Sambo founder became associate professor of the PE department at the Moscow Energy Institute and devoted himself to teaching. The library building of the institute carries a plaque commemorating Anatoly Kharlampiyev. The World Sambo Cup “Memorial of Anatoly Kharlampiyev” is held annually to commemorate this glorious coach. An adventure film, “The Invincible”, was made in 1983 that traced his trips across the Soviet Union in search of effective ethnic wrestling techniques.