Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 24. Sambo

No matter how funny it may seem to those who know me, but I will inform you that in 1967 I was a sambo champion of the institute in my weight category.
It was, if I am not mistaken, a light weight category. I had never considered myself and athlete. I had no athletic ambitions. At school, like other kids, I used various tricks not to attend physical training classes. Though, I tried to play in a children's or, as it was called, Junior Bandy team of Kedrovskiy opencast mine. But when a so called bandy ball came flying at my forehead, I quitted doing it. It was not a ball, but a grenade! I had a minor brain concussion for sure. In general, I did not do any sports at school. It was a different matter, when together with my friend Vitya Belkov we skipped classes and with our fishing rods went fishing gudgeons to the dam of Kedrovka...

Витя Бельков

Vitya Belkov

Unfortunately there was no sports fishing then. And when I entered the medical institute I did not plan to do any sports at all. I wanted to study to be "a doctor".

Though, the institute curriculum included a physical training course. And a pass from that department, no matter whether the students wanted that or not, had to be in a student's record book. One could receive the pass only when diligently attending all classes and passing all qualifying standards or joining a sports group. I chose the second.

Vagram was doing volleyball, and tried to persuade me to enroll in the group as well. Why sambo? It just happened so that I had known Volodya Kravchenko long before, even not knowing that he trained a sambo sports group at the institute. I'll say honestly that I tired to talk Krava (this is how we called him) into reporting to the Department that everything was "O.K." and not to torture me. But being usually gentle and kind, Volodya demonstrated such firmness, that I held my tongue. He said that he would not allow me, knowing my character, to say that I was trained by Kravchenko and not to master any of holds, and to be beaten up in the very first fight, not being able to protect myself.

Oleg Syedyshev

Oleg Syedyshev

Yeah, it was a tricky situation. But I did not want to attend physical training course very much. And the most important thing was that I had already boasted that I was enrolled in a sambo sports group. And Arkashka, Vagram and Zhenka Romashov cunningly asked me to show them at least a hip toss. It was above me to tolerate their gibe, and I joined the sambo group. Krava, as if broke loose, started grilling me according to the individual program. Just a warm-up was not less than for two hours. After the warm-up my hands and legs were shaking because of weariness. And only then the real training stared, at which I studied the holds and practiced them. It was much later when I found out that Zhenya Romashev knew Volodya Kravchenko very well, too, and he had asked him to grill the living daylights out of me, that I would be not only a bully, but become a fighter. Though in my mind, Krava overdid it.

Nevertheless training after training I felt more confident and mastered ankle trips, and holds and painful holds. I was made to train hard also by the fact that every time my friends: Datto Ibidze, Ditto Mkheidze and Ilgam Gasimov came to visit me at the training. They could come at any moment, so I was doing my best for them not to see me hanging around. At the training they cheered vigorously every time I performed a good throw or a hold. Of course, they were playing thrilled fans, but still that stimulated me a lot and tickled my nerves in a nice way.

Gasanov Ilgam Riza Ogly, Datto Ibidze, Ditto Mkheidze, Oleg Syedyshev

Gasanov Ilgam Riza Ogly, Datto Ibidze, Ditto Mkheidze, Oleg Syedyshev

One day Krava announced that there would be an institute's championship. Of course, the championship was a too loud name for the event, nevertheless, that was it. In my weight category there were eight guys, so to become the champion of the institute, one had to win four matches.

Volodya advised me about some helpful wrestling rules of thumb. For some reason I remembered only one: one should always stick to the innermost ring of the mat so that, if the opponent performed a successful gimmick, to be thrown out of the bounds of the mat, and then the opponent's points did not count. Yes, for the first three bouts I regularly flew out of the bounds. Ouch, it was very painful to crash with a face to the floor boards of the gym of the institute's morphological building. And the guys, my fans, were cheering and shouting at me. Yet, the first three matches I won by the accumulated points. My throws were right into the center of the mat. There came the final bout. My opponent was from the Sanitary and Hygiene Department; I do not remember his last name, I guess, I never knew it. Oh, he was quite a strong and persistent guy. He, like a post, stood fast on his feet, and I could not perform any of the moves. I was even given a notice for avoiding contact. The opponent had already thrown me a couple of times, though, out of the mat again. My friends were raving, they demanded that I tear the opponent into pieces or not call them friends any more. So several seconds before the end of the match I performed a "power" maneuver: a hip toss with a hold of an arm to perform a painful hold of an elbow joint. According to the rules, if one holds the painful hold for certain time, he is considered the winner, and if the opponent who is held gives a cry when he is held by a painful hold, then the victory is called an absolute one. So, I was holding my opponent's arm and to keep him still tried to fix his body with my leg. Perhaps, I unintentionally hurt his weak point, and my opponent gave a howl.

Of course, I would win with just a painful hold, but to have an absolute victory in the final match - that was especially nice. How my friends and I celebrated my championship is a totally different story. The next day I was called to the Physical Training Department and given a pass.

july 14, 2011

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #21202101805

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content