It is said that Russian styles of martial art date back to the 10th century.

Throughout the history of this huge country, Russia had to repel invaders from the north, south, east, and west. All attackers brought their distinct styles of combat and weaponry. Battles took place on different trains, during freezing winters and sweltering summer heat alike, with the Russians often greatly outnumbered by the enemy forces. As a result of these factors, Russian warriors acquired styles of fighting that combined strong spirit with extremely innovative and versatile tactics.

Russia is comprised of many ethnic groups, most of which had their own traditional fighting methods.Many of these fighting traditions, incorporating martial methods, health practices, folk traditions and more, were handed down within families or communities in much the same way as in the Oriental arts.

When the Communists came to power in 1917, they suppressed all national traditions and those practicing the old styles of martial art were severely punished. However, the authorities quickly realised the viability and potency of the Russian martial art and thus reserved it for the elite military units. At around the same time the art of Sombo was formulated. Combat Sombo was taught to regular military units - and still is today. It has also become the basis for a popular method of sports fighting. The older methods were developed and refined according to the specialist needs of various elite units.

Since the collapse of the Soviet system, many Russian fighting styles have re-emerged through training, competition, and media publicity. These styles include: Slaviano-Goretskaya Borba (StormWarrior Style), the military style of A. Kadochnikov, plus a variety of folk styles (e.g. Busa, Skobar, Forest Warrior, Kozachiy Sploch, fist fighting by Gruntovsky).

SOKOLI STALINA (Stalin's Falcons)

These were Stalin's bodyguard while he was in power for almost 30 years until his death in 1953. On Stalin's death these personnel were transferred to Special Military Operations Units for the highest risk missions in KGB, GRU and other government bodies.

Close protection has always been the most vulnerable and challenging area in martial arts. The goal of Stalin's Falcons was to have a system that combined all the best components on all levels of human ability. Also, the aim was to develop tactics that would not look like martial actions, that would remain so subtle, that when they were applied it would be barely possible to see what happened and how.

Needless to say, this System was kept away from the public by the Russian authorities. It is only since the late 1980s, with the fall of the Communist era, that these martial styles started to become available.

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