SUMO WRESTLING- JAPAN

“Striking one another” is what Sumo (aka Sumo wrestling) an East Asian form of combat literally means. This “grappling” form of martial art is said to have originated from Japan, and is the only country where it is actively practiced. Furthermore, it is also at times referred to as “gendai budo” which means “a modern Japanese combat form”. However, this term is inaccurate since this martial art form is said to have actually originated in the Japanese society centuries ago.

a. History/origin of Sumo wrestling:

According to the cultural history of Japan, Sumo wrestling actually has its roots deeply embedded in the “Edo Period”. It apparently was developed during this period purely as a form of “entertainment” However, professional Sumo wrestling as seen today first made its presence felt in the year 1684. In fact, it was in a shrine called “Tomioka Hachiman” in Tokyo that bouts of this form of wrestling were initially organized. Furthermore, this form of combat also became extremely popular in the western part of the country especially in the city of Osaka. It was eventually at the end of the “Taisho Period” in 1926 that the Sumo wrestling practiced in Osaka was merged with the one practiced in Tokyo to eventually create an organization known as the “Sumo Association”. It was in the 1950’s finally that this association began creating more venues in western part of the country. In addition, it was by the year 1958 that there were about six official sumo wrestling tournaments organized throughout the country.

b. Weapon used in Sumo wrestling:

Since this form of combat basically involves “grappling” the weapon mainly used is the “hand” of the wrestler.

c. Technique involved in Sumo wrestling and training availability:

In terms of technique, a wrestler needs to basically gain victory by either:

  1. Compelling the opponent out of the ring or
  2. Force the opponent to touch the ground with any part of his body, with the exception being the bottom of the feet.

In addition, “grappling” technique is mainly used by a wrestler to push the opponent either out of the ring or force a body part on the ground. As for training centers/schools, there are none available around the world since this “grappling” form is specialized and practiced only in Japan.

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