How an immigrant from Uzbekistan conquered world championships and entered the top 4 American sambo coaches - ForumDaily
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How an immigrant from Uzbekistan conquered world championships and entered the top 4 American SAMBO coaches

The experience of Ilkhom Aminov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, is truly unique. Arriving in the United States in 2017, in four years he achieved prizes at the domestic and world championships in sambo, jujitsu and judo, and most importantly, he became one of the certified coaches of the USA in sambo. This is especially surprising given that the entire United States currently has total xnumx such a coach.

Photo from the personal archive of Ilkhom Aminov

Turn of fate

Ilkhom began to engage in various types of martial arts since childhood in his native Uzbekistan, and there he also achieved considerable success, taking prizes in sambo and judo at both republican and international competitions. Nevertheless, the young man decided to suspend his successful sports career in order to study. In 2006 he entered the Institute of Technology at the Faculty of Management. After graduating in 2010, Ilkhom opened a sportswear store.

“The same year I got married, and the next year my son was born,” he said.

In a word, by the time of moving to the United States, Ilkhom had developed a completely successful life: a happy family and a stable business. It was during this period that the former athlete decided to fulfill his old dream - to see America.

Initially, Ilkhom came to the United States alone, on a temporary visa, and earned money by working at a construction site. However, he soon realized that SAMBO, so well developed in the post-Soviet space, was just beginning to gain popularity in the United States, which opened up great prospects for him.

“Sambo is still considered a“ Russian ”sport, and it is much less developed here than in our country. I realized that my skills in the United States are quite rare and may come in handy here. It turned out that I have something to offer the Americans, for example, to become a coach, teaching children and adults the necessary skills of self-defense, ”says the immigrant.

First victories in the USA

To fill the gap in sports, Ilkhom had to sign up for training at an American sambo club. His mentor was the coach of the USA Sambo National Team, Robert Clark, a former military and police officer, and now a special agent in the office of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania.

“I studied with him for a year and a half, but after 3-4 months I felt that I was returning to my sports form again. Soon I decided to try my hand at local competitions, ”said the athlete.

Photo from the personal archive of Ilkhom Aminov

The first tournament in which Ilkhom took part in the United States was the International SAMBO and Jiu Jitsu Championships Rise Championshipsheld in Philadelphia in 2018. There, the athlete had to face not only wrestlers from post-Soviet countries, but also strong rivals from the USA, Canada and other states. Nevertheless, he was able to take 2nd place in sambo in his weight category, losing only to his rival from Canada.

“Before that, I was able to defeat athletes from Russia and Egypt, but I faced the Canadian in the final,” Ilkhom recalls.

In the same year, the immigrant was able to win 1st place in the American Championship in classical judo, then - 1st place in the jiu jitsu competition. In subsequent years, he regularly won prizes in the same sports at both American and international championships. In parallel, he worked as an assistant coach to Mikhail Kozitsky.

“Compared to my previous experience, the atmosphere at competitions in the USA is more welcoming than ours. Here, athletes know how to lose and take it easier. If we have a losing opponent could harbor a serious grudge against you, then after the end of the competition all athletes can communicate with each other and sometimes even become real friends. True, there, in the post-Soviet space, I sometimes met stronger rivals, ”Ilkhom shares his impressions.

Achievements of students

The last competition at the moment, in which Ilkhom Aminov took part, was the Pan American Championship Pan American Sambo Championshipheld in early August. Ilkhom attended the championship as an assistant to Mikhail Kozitsky, but passed the exam at the same competition and received the status of a coach - 4th in the United States. As a result of the championship, their team managed to win 1st place in sports sambo and 2nd place in combat sambo.

“Next, I plan to take part in the World Championship in Tashkent on November 14 - already as a coach,” Ilkhom said.

Photo from the personal archive of Ilkhom Aminov

In addition to teaching adults, Ilkhom Aminov is engaged in SAMBO with children. According to him, students in the post-Soviet space were more accustomed to discipline and regular training than American children and adolescents. However, the coach is sure: an approach can be found for any child.

“Yes, sometimes I have to do more playful activities to motivate American kids. But we still find a common language, ”he says.

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