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A Sambo practitioner normally wears either a red or a blue jacket kurtka or sambovka (самбовка), a belt and shorts of the same color, and sambetki самбетки(ru) or borconki/борцовки(ru) (Sambo/wrestling shoes). The Sambo uniform does not reflect rank or competitive rating. Sport rules require an athlete to have both red and blue sets to visually distinguish competitors on the mat.

In Russia, a competitive rating system is used rather than belt colors like judo and jiujitsu to demonstrate rank, though some schools around the world now institute belt colors as well. The rating system is called Unified Sports Classification System of the USSR, with the highest athletic distinction known as the Distinguished Masters of Sport in Sambo.

Examination requirements vary depending on the age group and can vary from country to country. The examination itself includes competitive accomplishment as well as technical demonstration of knowledge. Higher level exams must be supervised by independent judges from a national Sambo association. For a rating to be recognised, it must be registered with the national Sambo organization.


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