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Have you ever tried Sumo ? It is a simple form of wrestling in which two contestants grapple with each other, wearing nothing but a Mawashi ( Special loincloth ).A Sumo wrestler wins a bout by forcing his opponent out of the ring ( Dohyo ) or by making him touch the ground with any part of his body, using some technique such as a throw.

Let’s see how a Sumo bout proceeds and what to look out for. The initial charge, called tachiai , is the first key moment. The main aim here is to knock your opponent off-balance by hitting him with your hands, arms, and head. If he loses his balance, it may be easy to push him out of the ring.

If both wrestlers remain standing in the ring after the Tachiai, they will start grappling. In this moment, grabbing your opponent’s Mawashi becomes very important. This restricts your opponent’s movement and gives you a chance to execute a throw. The key is to gain an advantageous position and then use an appropriate finishing technique.

Sumo requires a combination of power and skill, and its strategic aspect is what makes it exciting.

Sumo ascends to a court function with history of over 1,000 years. Bouts were held in front of the Emperor, and their outcome provided insights into how the year would turn out. Grand Sumo tournament is held six times a year and participated by professional sumo wrestlers for 15 days each time. Why don’t you watch Sumo on TV? The Sumo arenas of today have many features of historical significance. One of them is the canopy above the ring, which is modeled on the roof of a shrine. It signifies that Sumo began as a Shinto ritual.

On each day of a tournament, the Yokozunathe highest ranked sumo wrestlerperforms Dohyou-iri ( ring entering ceremony).  It involves stylized stomping, which is supposedly based on an ancient ritual designed to keep away the evil spirits lurking in the ground. Currently, several times of Dohyou-iri ( ring entering ceremony) performed by the grand champion, YokozunaHakuho, in Tohoku area after the big Earthquake have been drawing attention.

Sumo is not just a sport but a national game as an important part of Japanese culture.

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