Saturday, 15 September 2012

International Budo Federation, British Combat Sombo Association 46th Annual Summer Camp

All participants

For 45 years the annual Summer Camp has been running. It was first held at St Mary’s Bay but for the last few years it has been at the Army Cadet Camp Dibgate Folkestone. This year we could not get the Camp because of the Olympic Games, it seems foreign teams had been allocated some ACF Accommodation and we were left out. So we altered the course to a 3-day event and the venue was the Swale Martial Arts Club, Sittingbourne. Those who did not mind roughing it slept in the Dojo on Mats but this added to camaraderie.

The Instructors for the Camp were John Clarke 5th Dan Judo, Master of Sombo; Colin Carrott 4th Dan Judo, Master of Sombo; Ian Parker 3rd Dan Judo.  The main theme of the Course was Judo with a little bit of Sombo; many had attended the course to improve on their Judo and Sombo Grades.

Every year we have an Annual Bash; this is where Jacket Grapplers (Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Sombo, Kurash) turn up to fight each other. The session is about 2 hours, starts with Ground Work and then finishes with Up Standing, all accompanied on by the pumping music of Status Quo. This was started by Martin Clarke some 30 years ago and has always been a popular part of the Camp with people from far and wide attending, not just fighters but Coaches and players too old to fight and who want to be reminded of their past glories.

John Clarke is now the Senior Coach on the Camp, taking over from his father, Martin Clarke, as Martin did in the late 1970’s from his father John (Nobby) Clarke. The 3rd generation of Clarkes! And waiting in the wings is John’s son Lewis who only 12 years old and is training with the Adults -could he be the 4th generation? Let’s hope so.

Everyone was successful in their grading with the exam done over the whole 3 days but the grading everyone was waiting for was the Black belt grading late Saturday afternoon.

Vinney Drogoff, Bedford Grappling Academy, was attempting his 1st Dan /Degree Black Belt. Vinney comes from Lithuania and is a top class Sombo Player and his fighting ability was well worthy of a Black Belt in Judo; in fact if he joined an organisation that did not believe in the tradition of Judo, believing Judo is just a sport; he would have obtained the coveted Black Belt some time ago.

The IBF believes that the theory, moral and philosophical parts of traditional Judo are as important as the competitive side if not more important. So those who are going for a competitive grade have to show: 
  1.   Competition Record
  2.   Theoretical Knowledge
  3.   Kata (Sequence of pre-set movements)

    For Competitive 1st Dan the Kata required is Nage No Kata. For competitive 4th Dan it’s Goshen Jutsu Kata. Non Competitive Grades would be expected to do Kata to a higher standard and each Dan Grade level would be expected to perform all Kata’s done in previous gradings.

All Kyu Grades (student Grades) are also expected to perform certain sections of the Nage No Kata (Formal Display of 15 throws done left and right) including juniors.

The Grading panel for the Dan Grading were Martin Clarke 8th Dan, Trevor Davies 6th Dan, John Clarke 5th Dan, Colin Carrott 4th Dan and Ian Parker 3rd Dan. A candidate only passes if there is 100% agreement by all panel members.

Vinney performed some extremely good techniques which we expected of an International standard Sombo player.  His hard part was the theory and Kata but with hard work he passes to 1st Dan successfully.

Ashley with his dad Keith
Ashley, at 31 years of age has a wealth of experience in Sombo, Judo and Kurash, starting his Judo at the age of 5. His father Keith Costa is also a 3rd Dan Judo and is one of the IBF’s leading Junior Coaches. His training at the Young Judo Club/Warriors Grappling Academy, Sittingbourne has been invaluable; coached by Martin Clarke and in later years by his son John. Ashley is proof that learning Kata, theory etc. doesn’t hinder your competitive ability, in fact it enhances it. As mentioned before Ashley had to do just the Goshin Jutsu Kata, which he did perfectly but Martin Clarke insisted that he do Nage No Kata as well, he selected 26 year old Danny Carrott as his UKE (Throwing Partner) who also is an International Judo, Kurash, Sombo Player. They had never worked together on the Nage No Kata and neither had done it for some time. Yet they presented a very passable Kata, once again proof that if you understand Kata you do not forget it.

Kata teaches you the discipline of correct perfection of technique and the realisation that some things in life can never be perfect; this in itself can enhance your skill level.

Results of Grading:

Ashley Costa 4th Dan
Andy Smith Brown Belt
George Watt Brown belt
Keith Brown Blue Belt
Mike Rudkin Green Belt
Keith Hadkin and Ollie Bruton Orange Belt
Richard Seaman Blue Belt 4 tabs
Lewis Clarke Blue Belt 1 tab.
Vinnie Dragan 1st Dan
Adam Dodds Brown

Anyone Interested in Judo/Sombo contact John Clarke on 07825224940

For more information on Sambo visit: Contact Martin Clarke at


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