Martial Arts: Russia – the Country of Champions

The Russian Union of Martial Arts (RUMA) was set up on June 1, 2005. At present the martial arts movement unites in its ranks 57 federations and public organizations of different styles and directions of martial arts and single combats, which attract more than 4.5 million people.

Sergey Kirienko
Co-Chairperson of the Russian Union of Martial Arts


Yuriy Trutnev
Co-Chairperson of the Russian Union of Martial Arts

It is the largest sport movement in this country and the dynamic growth of the number of members of the RUMA and the network of the affiliates in 75 subjects of the country testify to the necessity and demand of the Union.

The main goal of the Russian Union of Martial Arts – the popularization and advocacy of martial arts and oriental combats in this country – is implemented through the solution of the whole set of sport and socially important tasks: development of physical training and sports movement in Russia, improvement of the nation's health, but the main goal is the upbringing of the developed personality, which is in harmony with itself, society and state and ready to be an example for other people and especially for the growing generation. It is important to note, that having set such important and complex goals, the RUMA has undertaken a number of steps, directed at establishing partner relations with the state organs of power, public institutions and business society. The unconditional achievement of the RUMA in this respect became the signing on November 19, 2009 of the Agreement on the cooperation and interaction between the Russian Union of Martial Arts and the Ministry of Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy of the Russian Federation.

RUMA Social Projects and Development of Sports for Children and Youth

The RUMA support of the sports for children and youth in this country is reflected in the opening of new sport clubs, holding of summer training camps, master classes, different competitions for children and youth as well as different forms of incentives for talented young sportsmen (dedication to samurai, dedication to karateka – the Amur Oblast, grants to young martial arts sportsmen – the Bryansk, Ulyanovsk Oblasts and other).

A special event in the world of the sports for children and youth are initiated by the RUMA Open All-Russia Youth Martial Arts Games. Held in 2008 for the first time, in 2012 they gathered more than 7,500 young sportsmen representing 30 types of martial arts from 69 regions of the Russian Federation. The system of qualifiers before the Games makes it possible to determine the best young martial arts sportsmen in the regions, provides the possibility of the objective selection to the junior national teams of Russia including the representation of the country on the international arena and opens for the young talents from the remotest places of the country the road to big sport.

Among other socially important projects, the implementation of which is an important direction of the RUMA activities, it is necessary to mention All-Russia Patriotic action Relay of victories, dedicated to the victory of this country in the Great Patriotic War. In the frameworks of the said action all over Russia they held large-scale events, among which are the runs along the main streets of towns, performances of sportsmen, laying of flowers to the Eternal Flame, tombs of soldiers, who died during the war years, festive marches, meetings with veterans and sport events: festivals of martial arts, performances, master classes and competitions in different single combats. In 2012 in the said event there participated 40,000 people in 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The most active participants in the action were the representatives of the Republic of Mordovia, the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, the Republic of Northern Ossetia-Alania, the Chuvash Republic, the Republic of Khakasia, the Tambov, Bryansk, Sverdlovsk and Yaroslavl Oblasts as well as St. Petersburg and many other cities.

Another important form of the RUMA social program implementation is its participation in the All-Russia program Health of the nation, in the frameworks of which they annually hold seminars and master classes in various directions of martial arts in different regions of the Russian Federation. Annual national martial arts festival Our choice, held by the RUMA in the frameworks of the annual sports and advocacy action Health marathon at the All-Russia Exhibition Center is also directed at improving the health of Russians.

RUMA Regional Policy

Realizing already existing projects and initiating new ones, directed at the development and popularization of martial arts in this country, the RUMA pays a special attention to the development of oriental combat arts in the regions of Russia. This is proved in particular by the fact, that many regional affiliates of the Union are headed by the state figures of the Russian Federation: T. Mamsurov, Head of the Republic of North Ossetia-Aania, L. Markelov, Head of the Republic of Mariy El, S. Nazarov, Deputy Minister for Regional Development of the Russian Federation, M. Sezganov, Deputy Chairperson of the Government of the Republic of Mordovia, Yu. Paranichev, First Deputy Governor of the Irkutsk Oblast, N. Burbyga, Chief Federal Inspector in the Bryansk Oblast, S. Amirov, Head of the Makhachkala Administration and other. Having set up a network of the affiliates in the majority of the regions of the Russian Federation the RUMA actively organizes and holds not only tournaments and competitions but other forums of sport, patriotic and charitable character.

The broadest public response cause the hosted by the RUMA affiliates festivals of martial arts held on the central squares of the regions of the Federation. Among them are the festival in martial arts Mech Vostoka (the Sword of the East) The Kamchatka Krai, the aikido festival Belye Nochy (White Nights), St. Petersburg, autumn republican festival of martial arts Sport – territory without borders (Novosibirsk), festival of wrestling and martial arts Nepobedimaya derzhava (Invincible State), Toliaty, the Samara Oblast as well as the festivals of martial arts in the Amur, Bryansk, Vladimir, Novgorod, Penza and Oblasts. During the history of the said sport and mass-scale events they have changed not only the geography but the format of the festivals as well. Today they are not only demonstration bouts but rating fights and tournaments and inter-style fights of the representatives of different directions in martial arts as well as social actions, directed at the solution of the most various social problems. Thus, for example, Zapolyarny Martial Arts Festival (the Republic of Komi) is devoted to the Day of Memory of the Operations Veterans, Combat Arts Festival in the Rostov Oblast – to the Day of Children Protection, festival Japanese spring in St. Petersburg – to the popularization of Japanese schools of fighting, festival in the Elista (Kalmykia) – to the Day of Youth, annual Forum of Public Force in Chelyabinsk is devoted to the fight against drug addiction and illegal drug turnover.

The annual event in the martial arts world is the festival Albortz, held on the territory of the highland park Prielbrusie in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria and devoted to the Great Victory. The venue of the festival was chosen on purpose as it is the exact location of the unique monument to the defenders of the Caucasus during the Great Patriotic War.

Since 2007 in the Southern Federal Okrug they have been holding anti-terrorist action Peaceful Caucasus devoted to the tragic events in September 2004 in Beslan. The Festival is alternately held in different districts of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania in the cities of Beslan, Vladikavkaz, Mozdok, Ardon and Digora. During this time this event has acquired a great popularity with the regions of the Northern Caucasus, which delegations are permanent guests of the Festival. With every passing year the project is expanding the spectrum of types and styles of martial arts, participating in the Games. In 2012 the new types in the program of the Festival became jiu-jitsu, viet wo dao and army hand-to-hand fighting.

The efficient form of the sport popularization in the regions is combat and charitable marathons, unusual by the format held in Irkutsk and the Amur Oblast. Combat marathon is a real test of strength and endurance as without any breaks during the day they participate in the several dozens of fights.

The RUMA coaches and teachers pay great attention to the improvement of the martial arts level in each region of the Russian Federation including through the search for new practices and organizational forms. Today they widely exploit regional training camps, methodical seminars, master classes and summer sport camps. These events make it possible to actively improve combat techniques and take qualification exams.

Traditionally by the results of the year the Russian Union of Martial Arts gives awards to the best affiliates. In 2012 the best affiliates were recognized the RUMA representations in the Republics of Bashkortostan, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kalmykia, Mordovia, North Ossetia-Alania, the Kamchatka and Perm Krais, the Bryansk, Voronezh, Novosibirsk, Orenburg, Orel, Rostov, Saratov, Ulyanovsk, Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk, Yaroslavl Oblasts and St. Petersburg.

RUMA Sports Projects

Annually the Russian Union of Martial Arts initiates and holds hundreds of events, among which are such, that have become real events in the world of martial arts and got broad publicity far away from the Russian borders. For seven years in a row the Russian Union of Martial Arts have been holding the martial arts forum Battle of Champions. It is a large-scale and entertaining project, which combines sport competitions and bright breath-taking show attracting thousands of fans from all over Russia. This absolutely new event has two formats: the forum School versus school and international match events of the national teams of Russia and foreign countries National team of Russia – the world team, in which there compete the strongest representatives of different style schools of martial arts of Russia versus the elite of the world sport. The participants of such tournaments were Fedor and Alexander Yemelnyanenko, Alexander Ustinov, Irina Bykova, Ignacio Sanchez and other. In the frameworks of the first format – All-Russia forum of martial arts School versus school, the first of which was held in 2007 – they hold inter-style fights according to universal rules of the ring fight as well as the title fights for the title of the world champion in different single combats. The deep sense and philosophy of this forum as well as martial arts and single combats in general is in the fact that the winners are not schools but personalities.

The brightest event not only in the world of martial arts but one of the largest events for the whole Russian sport is the annual ceremony of the national prize award in martial arts Zolotoy poyas (Gold belt), which starting with 2005 has been held by the Russian Union of Martial Arts.

The award delivery envisages not only summing up of the achievements of Russian sportsmen and their coaches. This is also paying tribute to their sense of purpose, professionalism, willpower and fortitude.

The nominations of the award The best sportsman of the year, The best sportswoman of the year, The best coach of the year, The brightest victory of the year, The outstanding sport result, For the will to win, Loyalty to traditions, For the contribution in the development of martial arts, At the service of Motherland, The best school in martial arts reflect important directions in the activities of the Union.

The symbol of the award is the Champion's Belt, which personifies the victories of our sportsmen at the sport competitions of the highest level, symbolizes the loyalty to the chosen road and which is the sign of the achievements in martial arts.

Traditionally in this ceremony there participate well-known public and political figures: V. Mutko, Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation, Honored masters of sports, members of the State Duma, multi-time champions of Europe, World and Olympic Games, members of the Council for Physical Training and Sports with the President of the Russian Federation V. Fetisov, V. Tretyak, A. Karelin and I. Rodnina, Honored master of sport of Russia, champion of the World and Olympic Games S. Zhurova and other.


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