Sumo Sundays: The Introduction

One of the oldest and most-popular international sports over the years has been the art of sumo. FIGHT SPORTS has a vault dedicated to the sport, and now it is open to the public.

“Sumo Sundays” will be a weekly feature that will educate fans who are not familiar with the sport. If there are those that do understand the sport very well, with its single word meaning “to strike one another”, then consider this a refresher.

Today, we will learn the rules, history and words associated with sumo, which started as a spectator sport in 1600. While it took a while, sumo became the official sport of Japan in 1909, with annual tournaments starting in 1684.

Strong men, known as Rikishi’s, compete in a Dohyo, which takes three days to build out of clay, sand and rice bales. The referee’s hoping not to be involved in the action are called Gyoji’s. Unlike referees in American or any other sport, a wave of the paddle indicates the fight is on.

Fun facts about sumo:

– There are six sumo tournaments held each year

– There are zero weight class limits, allowing for a very interesting bout to take place each time

– The highest-ranked sumo stars are called Yokozuna’s. Only three in the history of the sport have not been Japanese – Kakuryu, Hakuho and Harumafuji of Mongolia

– The heaviest Japanese sumo wrestler, Yamamotoyama, has weighed at 600 pounds/270 KG’s

Stay tuned, as Sundays will never be the same again. 

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