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Vlad Koulikov

Vlad is a world champion competitor; placing three times in the USA Open and represented team USA in combat SAMBO in the World Championship in 2008. Placed and won multiple NAGA and Grapplers Quest tournaments and was awarded the most technical fighter in the very first Grapplers Quest competition winning all his matches by submissions.

Vladislav Koulikov has been training in the Russian martial art of Sambo from a very young age in Moscow. Since moving to the USA, he has trained and competed in submission grappling & wrestling. In this interview with BJJ Eastern Europe, Vladislav talks about his training background, Sambo- Jiu-Jitsu fusion system and Russian fighters in MMA



Inegrating Sambo with Jiu Jitsu is one of the best tips Vlad can offer you. Sambo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are a perfect compliment for each other. BJJ is known for it's guard, chokes and body positions, while Sambo is known for it's takedowns and foot locks. Vlad should put out a DVD on how to integrate both.... oh wait.


Vlad Koulikov Bio

Vladislav Koulikov was born in Moscow, the capital city of Russia on December 24th, 1974. Vlad is best known for his acting career. He has acted in notable films such as Salt (2010), John Wick (2014) and Choke Artist (2014). Vlad was inspired to get into martial arts by his father and his older cousin. His father was a big role model during his childhood, having wrestled and boxed. His father had immense strength, and could do impressive feats of strength such as ripping chains, bending coins, and wrapping nails around his fingers.

In high school, Vlad would study additional subjects in depth such as the Russian language, world history, world literature, and English. He majored in journalism and had his work published while living in Russia at the time. In 1996, Vlad Koulikov immigrated to the United States. Upon his arrival to the U. S. he could not find a SAMBO gym. Instead he fonud a grappling club in his area, which is where he was first exposed to jiu jitsu. Vlad fell in love with jiu jitsu immediately. It fit his SAMBO background well, since they are both grappling arts after all.

Vlad considers SAMBO and jiu jitu to both have their strengths and restrictions. Because of this, Vlad has always preferred no gi submission grappling. Vlad has combined his passion for SAMBO and jiu jitsu. He uses his SAMBO background to enhance his jiu jitsu performance. He has also learned to implement and adapt SAMBO to the jiu jitsu rule set. Vlad has be quoted as saying, “Just like in chemistry, you get a reaction if you mix two agents. It took some time to get rid of ‘bad’ habits from SAMBO such as turtling once in a danger of being pinned. Also, it took some time to be comfortable to be on my back. I would willingly play off my back in practice but would try my hardest not to end up facing the ceiling in competition.”

Since living in the United States, Vlad Koulikov has placed three times in the US Open. He has represented team USA in combat SAMBO in the World Championship in 2008. He has also place and won many NAGA and Grapplers Quest tournaments. Vlad was awarded the most technical fighter in the first Grapplers Quest competition where he won all his matches by submission.

Vlad Koulikov Videos

Pinch Headlock Control for Grappling and Wrestling

No-Gi Throws by Vlad Koulikov - Sambo Fusion

The Dangerous Scissor Takedown By Vlad Koulikov

Uchi Mata No Gi Breakdown with Sambo Master Vlad Koulikov

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