Roberto Ferraris: Italians also manage to hit a world medal

Roberto Ferraris is Secretary General of International SAMBO Federation, member of the Council of the European SAMBO Federation, one of the leaders of F.I.KBMS (Italian Federation of Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Shootboxing, Savate, SAMBO).

He is one of the reasons why sambo in Italy has been expanding for more than 40 years.

Roberto gave interview for the official site of FIAS – “”. You can check some interesting parts of it:

– What is the place of Italy within the European SAMBO Federation?

– From the viewpoint of competitive results, certainly, the majority of sambists come from the countries of the former USSR, especially from Russia, Georgia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

Italians also manage to hit a world or continental medal stand at least once a year, in Bulgaria, Romania, France, and Italy.

In our SAMBO calendar, there are three national tournaments, individual championships, with the Italian Team Cup at the end of each year. Currently, SAMBO in Italy is practiced by 2,000 athletes of various ages. Most of our sambists can be found in such regions as Lombardy and Lazio, but the level of expertise and, consequently, that of the sports clubs is growing in other regions, too, for example, in Veneto, as well as on the islands, Sardinia and Sicily.

– Is it possible to introduce SAMBO training in self-defense at the legislative level in Italy?

– As you know, SAMBO is spelled out as “self-defense without weapons”. That is, since its inception SAMBO was aimed to ensure personal safety.

As to the legislative level, there is a pretty accurate judicial practice in Italy that defines the limits of self-defense, although in real life the situation is far from being perfect.

In Italy, schools of self-defense for women and for all comers emerge by the score, but the level of training in them leaves much to be desired … I see it as my duty to advise our signorinas to receive training given only by the qualified coaches belonging to the sports federations recognized by CONI.

– What binds you to this country, apart from your work?

– I very often visit Russia, to which I am attached not only because of SAMBO, but also because my wife, Olga, is Russian. We’ve got two daughters, the eldest one,Valeria, is 22, and the youngest, Anna, is 2. They both have dual citizenship, of Russia and of Italy. My wife is not an athlete, although we’ve met at the International SAMBO Academy in Kstovo which is one of the best SAMBO schools.

At home, we don’t suffer from lack of Russian traditions, and I believe it is important that my children, as they are permanently living in Italy, do not forget their roots.

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