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Being a three time World Champion in combat sambo, Alexey Ivanov achieved his goal of becoming just that. Winning his third World Championship was not an easy task and took a lifetime of hard work to do so. But, now Ivanov is looking forward to the fourth. We took some time to speak with Ivanov and get to know him a little bit more.
Ivanov’s martial arts journey began at 9 years old. He took up judo as a child and at the age of 17, he earned his black belt and a Master of Sports designation from the Russian government. Now, Alexey Ivanov shares his knowledge with those seeking to learn and also has his own sports club.
“As a child, I came to judo training when I was 9 years old. At the age of 17, I received a black belt in judo and became a Master of Sports. After moving to Moscow, I entered the university and began to practice combat sambo at the university. I liked this because this sport has striking and wrestling techniques. And it is more versatile and expansive in terms of strikes and techniques.”
Outside of martial arts, Ivanov likes to practice woodworking. He spends his time doing that and teaching at his academy.
“I really love to build and make all sorts of things out of wood. I can build, I can make a bed. In general, if you look at my Instagram you will see. And of course, as an accomplished athlete, a master, I share my experience and train. I have my own small sports club called “Patriot PRO” where I teach wrestling techniques.”
When choosing between traditional sambo and combat sambo, Ivanov decided while he was attending University. With the emphasis his university put on the combat sambo side of things, Ivanov gravitated towards what he knew.
“I chose combat sambo because of my specialization at the university. I studied at the Russian State University of Physical Culture, Sports, Youth and Tourism, specializing in service and applied martial arts, where one of the main types of martial arts was combat sambo.”
Alexey Ivanov and the Champion Mentality
The gold medal at the 2020 was the third as mentioned before. But, this was actually Alexey Ivanov’s fifth trip to the World Championships, his fourth medal. Ivanov believes that this is his most special World Championship, however, because of the goal accomplished.
“It was my fifth World Championship. In the first year in 2011, I became the bronze medalist. In 2012 and 2015 I became the Champion. In 2017, I unfortunately lost. And for some reason I always wanted to become a triple champion. And in 2020 this desire came true. You can say my dream has come true. Probably the main reason for this victory was my dream and desire. Of course, this did not happen without training either, but it was still a dream that led me to victory.”
Ivanov aims to be a well rounded martial artist. Having his black belt in judo already and three combat sambo World Championships, Ivanov also practices in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has mixed martial arts experience. His journey in Jiu Jitsu has just begun, but he’s already become a World Champion in Combat Jiu Jitsu as well. He looks to mixed martial arts as his next hurdle to cross.
“In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I can be said to be a beginner. I have a blue belt, as I performed very little in this particular section of Jiu Jitsu. I became the World Champion in Combat Jiu Jitsu, where you can hit and kick, in addition to wrestling and techniques. At the moment I do not have any competitions and I must take a break from the work done at the World Championship.
I have experience in MMA. My record￼ for today is 11-5-0. I’ve always wanted to perform in good overseas promotions, but I don’t have a good manager to do it. I can say there is a desire, there are no opportunities yet.”
Ivanov and the Future
But, when all is said and done, Ivanov still has the heart for sambo. He is the first athlete from Moscow to get three World Championships and next year, he plans on running up the score.
“In our team, there are cases when the guys won 4-6 World Championships. But I can say that from Moscow, I am the first three-time World Champion. And I will try to become fourfold next year!”
Past that, Alexey Ivanov is going where the world of martial arts takes him. He aims to grow his sport of combat sambo worldwide and share what he’s learned.
“I want to continue my sports path. Perhaps I will return to professional sports MMA again if there are good suggestions. But I still want to develop combat sambo in the world as a whole, hold master classes, share experience. I have already held seminars and master classes in Germany and in China, it was interesting for athletes.”