From Russian tribes’ heritage of combat sports evolved a martial art called systema. Systema was created by the Cossacks in A.D. 948 and is thought to originate from Hun and Mongolian invasions and is thus likely influenced by Chinese martial arts. Systema formed the foundation for the art of sambo, which arose after the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905).
Because of the Russian soldiers humiliating close-quarters defeat at the hands of superiorly trained Japanese soldiers, the new Soviet Red army developed intense hand-to-hand combat training methods for its military. These methods resulted in the effective art of sambo. An acronym for samooborona bez oruzhiya (self-defense without weapons), the art has its roots in judo, karate and folk styles of wrestling such as Armenian kokh, Georgian chidaoba, Romanian trit, Tatar kora, Uzbek kurash, Mongolian khapsagay and Azerbaijani gulesh.