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I spent my childhood in a military town in the international city of Baku. My father, a man of the post-war generation, was unable to make a career in the army. As a foreman of the long-term service, he began to realize his dreams of high positions and titles in his son.

He wanted me to become an officer and to form in me the qualities necessary for this. Rightly believing that swimming gives the most harmonious development to a growing body, he assigned me to a section in the pool, where I studied from 1st to 4th grade. Maybe I would have gone in for swimming, but Transcaucasia is a region where strength has always been respected, first of all, how a person can stand up for himself, his loved ones. I understood this from an early age.

The romance of martial arts captured me. Together with the desire to be strong and dexterous, there was a desire to become a military man in the future. And the military must be able to cope with the enemy! With the help of my father, I enrolled in the sambo section. An important role was played by patriotic fiction, all the children of military towns played in the war, watched films about it and read books. The book "In August 1944...", "At Troubled Crossroads" and others shaped my outlook on life.

The Soviet training school in the capital of the Union republic worked well. The trainer's methodical skill and my desire to learn led to the first successes. From the clumsy fuss on the sports carpet, the first techniques began to emerge. I was happy with every action that came out, no matter whether it was a roll or a kickstand. After a month of training at his first competitions (the championship of the DSO "Vodnik" in judo) he took 3rd place, and a month later he took 1st place in the same championship, but in sambo.

These first victories are the most memorable. Subsequently, I became a multiple champion of other DSO and CS of the city, republican competitions. He also fought at the USSR championship. At the same time, I was not the best athlete in the section. We had a lot of them in different weight categories. I remember them with the warmest feelings, as well as my first coach - Shahlar Mustafayev (we simply called him - Comrade Mustafayev). He trained dozens of USSR masters of sports and a world champion.

It is no secret that a sambist can also perform in judo competitions, there is a difference in technique and rules, but not so critical as to make competitions impossible. Therefore, we often performed at the judo championships. But the experience gained in conducting fights with different opponents contributed to our sports growth. Often they even took part in competitions where children of older age groups participated. I no longer felt the discomfort caused by the authority of older guys.

The multinational southern Baku was at that time a cheerful city, in which southern temperament, oriental flavor and Transcaucasian spontaneity were mixed. The remoteness from the center contributed to a more relaxed atmosphere. Do not hide the fact that at this time the first experience of street fights appeared (for oneself, for friends, for girls, for the truth, etc.) The first experience of using sambo and judo techniques appeared in these fights. The desire to connect life with military service was finally formed by the age of 15, and I, still guided by my father, entered the Kalinin Suvorov military school.

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