Hand to Hand Fighting

Hand to Hand Fighting

Hand-to-Hand Fighting technique (at least in some of its elements) dates back to the early years of Russian ethnicity many centuries ago. In its present form it started in 1970s as a field combat training system for special forces of KGB (Committee for National Security – a government intelligence/counterintelligence agency in the old USSR). The task was to introduce an effective individual physical weaponry of attack/defense to handle opponents who were proficient in any fighting art/technique known at the time, i.e. karate, boxing, judo, wrestling and the like. Rather than choosing a known art/technique, a new synthetic marshal art was created named Hand-to-Hand Fighting.

The core of Russian traditional physical fighting technique was augmented by a host of elements of other traditional marshal arts from all over the world adjusted to the need of creating the most effective defense/attack system, which would be good for any close combat encounter. Hand-to-Hand Fighting marshal art (original ethnic term: RUKOPASHNY BOY) consists of hitting elements adapted from boxing, karate; wrestling moves from Sambo, judo, general wrestling. The field combat style was replicated as Sport. Health hazardous moves and elements were adequately filtered and removed from fights on the sport training and competition floor. Hand-to-Hand Fighting as a sport developed alongside the applied combat art. Initially it was kept within the confines of special forces of every description, and then, as USSR gave way to a wave of democracy rearranging its administrative status and composition, the secrecy veil over RUKOPASHNY BOY technique fell and the Sport was opened to the Public adequately adapted from war time combat system to peace time fascinating sport. Its popularity is growing fast. 

In response to much international following a need arose to set up a new entity open to international membership. That entity was set up at the turn of the Century as a non-commercial Organization incorporated under the local law as a union of public associations. The name was taken from the name of the Sport: Hand-to-Hand Fighting Sport International Federation.

The main tasks Federation has taken upon itself are:

  1. Develop and refine Hand-to Hand Fighting Sport internationally emphasizing its vast public sport potential as an attractive entertainment for the audience and health, fitness and personality booster for people who decide to be involved.
  2. Promote the Sport as Healthy Generation generator taking the Young away from wasting their lives in overindulgence with harmful habits, teaching them to tame aggression in themselves and others by balanced physical/intellectual practices.
  3. With above in view organize and participate in competitions and tournaments around the world aiming at Olympic recognition.


S.A. Astakhov, Doctor of Education, PhD
Hand-to-Hand Fighting International Federation