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|Spots available for youth to attend Russian Bear Sombo Tour to Moscow, March 16-27|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
When USA Wrestling became involved in Sombo after the announcement that it had been brought back into the sport internationally, all kinds of new opportunities were created for athletes.
A very successful youth Sombo training and competition tour to Russia is now available to all USA Wrestling members, the Russian Bear Tour 2007. Organized by Stars-n-Stripes and the U.S. Sombo Association, this tour is now affiliated with USA Wrestling.
Youth from the ages of 9-14, and all interested adults who wish to learn how to compete and coach in Sombo, will travel to the Boretz Sombo School in Moscow, Russia, March 16-27, 2007. Athletes will train with World-class Sombo coaches and compete in the annual Kurinnoy Cup Sombo Tournament. Adults will also attend the technique sessions, but will also receive instruction in administration, coaching methods, officiating and other leadership skills.
Due to the extended visa process for traveling to Russia, the deadline to sign up is January 10, 2007. The cost of the tour is $2,800 per person, which includes airfare, accommodations and visa.
The tour is managed by long-time Sombo leader Bob Charette of Montana, who is excited about working with USA Wrestling and bringing this outstanding training and competition experience to many new people.
The head instructor of the Boretz Sombo School is the respected Igor Kurinnoy, a seven-time World Sombo champion who has won numerous Sombo titles and even has competed in Sumo. He is a Merited Master of Sport, as bestowed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Also assisting in the tour is Linna Mortcheva, who has been a FILA interpreter and has vast experience in wrestling and Sombo. The club is large and active, and the students there train in Sombo, judo and sumo, among other disciplines.
Charette says these people put together an amazing experience for the American guests who attend this Sombo tour.
"We have a longstanding relationship with this group. We know everybody there very well. They are our friends," said Charette. "It is a super Sombo school. Coach Kurinnoy is an extraordinary young man."
The sport of Sombo was invented and perfected by Russians, and it is the dominant nation in international Sombo competition. Taking American kids to Russia to learn how to properly compete in Sombo is a driving reason behind why Charette sponsors this exciting tour each year.
"Traveling to Russia is for the purity, to go to the homeland of Sombo," said Charette. "This is the place you want to go if you want to know how to do this well. We want to be proper."
Charette is impressed with how this Sombo School has affected the young people in that section of Moscow.
"They focus on the kids in Russia, most who are poor," said Charette. "It keeps those kids out of trouble. They are dealing with a higher level of poverty. It is a great outlet for young people on the west side of Moscow."
He believes that both the young people and the adults who decide to attend this tour will gain valuable technique and experience, and bring that back to improve Sombo in our nation.
"The objective is to take USA Wrestling wrestlers and train both the adults and the children in this discipline. Not only will the children be improved with instruction and technique, but the adults will learn how to present a Sombo tournament in their wrestling program at home," said Charette.
Charette encourages all wrestlers who want to improve themselves to learn Sombo, and this tour will allow them to truly master the style. During his coaching career, Charette has had great success encouraging wrestlers, especially those talented in Greco-Roman, to add Sombo to their skills. He often added Sombo divisions to local Greco-Roman events, and the results were very positive.
"We found we had the same number of athletes in Sombo as we had in Greco-Roman," said Charette. "The Greco guys are brave guys anyway. Competing in both Greco-Roman and Sombo became the thing to do. It is a great combination."
Anybody who is interested in more information on this exciting tour opportunity should contact Charette immediately at: