Friday, April 10, 2009

Sumo Sumo Sumo

How many types of wrestling are there? Greco-Roman Wrestling, freestyle, thumb wrestling to name a few. But how about Sumo wrestling? The only country in the world that practices it as a professional sport is Japan, where it originated and has a long history.

Quick and dirty: Sumo wrestling consists of two men (XX-large men by Japanese standards) trying to knock each other out of a ring or to the ground. Today, like centuries past, they still use many ritual ceremonies before a competition, such as salt for purification, and the traditional loincloth, which is actually a much stiffer version today, than in years gone by.

The only people who are allowed to train sumo wrestlers are former wrestlers and the members of the Japanese Sumo Association. The wrestlers adhere to strict diets, take on wrestling names (just like pro-wrestling in the U.S.), and are ranked according to a centuries old hierarchy system.

Foreign wrestlers are beginning to enter the professional Sumo circuit, and more are reaching the higher ranks each year. Women are not allowed to enter or even touch a sumo ring, and even to this day the rules for sumo are strictly regimented and carried through.

Check out some Sumo Wrestling, it's not really that much different from all the WWF or WWA or whatever our wrestling association in the U.S. is. These men are just as identifiable in Japan, and regardless of their seemingly obese size, they are looked upon as true athletes.

Sumo on Wikipedia
More Sumo!

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