Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Sumo is a sport where two wrestlers known as rikishi attempt to push one another out of a circular ring known as the dohyo. Additionally, if a rikishi has been thrown, or any other part of his body aside from the bottoms of his feet has touched the ground he has lost the match. Although it looks an awful lot like it, it's not a sport where two overweight persons try to shove each other out of the ring using their body fat. It's an ancient sport with a long history and background.

It is said that Sumo first began as a religious ritual. Over the years, its ritualized origins have faded away to unveil the sport's face as a fighter. It is said that the first Sumo tournament was started in the 16th century by Oda Nobunaga (shogun). During the following 300 years, the sport underwent a tremendous cultural change; and in 1909, the Ryogoku Kokugi-kan was constructed in Ryogoku as an arena exclusively for sumo.

Basic Rules:
1. The first wrestler to be pushed out of the dohyo, loses.
The wrestler to be thrown or any part of his body aside from the bottoms of his feet has touched the ground, loses.
2. Wrestlers shall not grab on to their opponent's neck.
3. Wrestlers shall not twist their opponent's fingers.
4. No punching.
5. No kicking.

Professional Divisions of Sumo:
In this division, 42 rikishi are ranked according to their abilities. There are five groups within this division (listed from highest to lowest): yokozuna, ozeki, sekiwake, komusubi, and maegashira.

The second highest division of rikishi; ranked immediately below the Makuuchi. The Juryo receive an allowance instead of a salary when placed into this division.

The division of unpaid wrestlers continue below; Makushita, Sandanme, Jonidan, Jonokuchi.

How to wear a mawashi, the formal garment for sumo wrestling:
1. Get a long scarf or cloth to practice with.
2. Have someone available to assist you.
3. Follow the steps as illustrated.

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