According to the American Sambo Association, Sambo is an "acronym for “SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya” or “Self-defense without weapons”. Sambo is a form of sport, self-defense, and combatives established in the former Soviet Union during the early twentieth century. Under the leadership of Sambo’s forefathers V.S. Oshchepkov, V.A. Spiridinov, and A. A. Kharlampiev, indigenous fighting styles from regions including Japan, China, Mongolia, India, Africa, Europe, North America, Caucasus, and Russia were studied and blended into what is now known as Sambo. After generations of civilian and military refinement, Sambo has evolved into an extremely formidable fighting art with principles applicable to martial artists of any style. Sambo’s arsenal includes, but is not limited to, strikes, joint locks, chokes, throws, ground fighting, and weapons. Like all fighting systems, Sambo continues to grow and evolve in both its sport and combat variants."