In sumo, two wrestlers determine the winner on a round court.
The birthplace of sumo is Japan, whose residents attribute this ancient martial art to martial arts. Japan is the international center of sumo, it is here that all the competitions of professionals in this form of martial arts are held, accompanied by a huge variety of rituals associated with centuries of history. Modern sumo is a synthesis of martial arts, business, performances and ancient traditions.
The first mention of sumo is found in the book of 712. There is a legend where two gods fought in a sumo fight for the right to possess the islands of Japan. It was from the victorious deity that the genealogy of the emperor of the country was conducted. Sumo is also mentioned in texts of the 8th century, where this martial art was called sumai and was associated with Shinto religious rites. This struggle was an important part of the rituals at the court of the emperor. Representatives from all islands of Japan should participate in fights. Sumo was also used in combat training to hone the ability to stand steady during battles. However, the modern round platform for martial arts – Doha – appeared only in the 17th century.
Sumo rules developed over the course of 8-12 centuries, in a duel it was forbidden to grab the opponent by the hair and hit him in the head.
Together with the official variants of sumo, which were used at the court or in temple rituals, in parallel there was a street version of sumo. Fights in the squares between the opponents, including women, were held for their own entertainment and to the amusement of the crowd. Such street fights were often banned because they grew into riots. The female version of sumo was also persecuted and almost disappeared by the beginning of the 20th century.
The only thing that is worn on the wrestler during the fight is the mawashi belt, which is wound several times around the body and between the legs. To the belt are tied up special jewelry – sagari. In amateur sports, a belt is sometimes worn over shorts. And the best fighters have an additional special belt resembling an apron in which they participate in ritual activities. Hair styling is also given great attention – they are collected in a bun on the top of the head, which not only plays a certain aesthetic function, but also protects against head bumps during falls. Sumo wrestlers traditionally had a special hairstyle – takayama. Specialists in the manufacture of such hairstyles were very revered, but in connection with the arrival of European culture in Japan, there were practically no masters in this area. To create hairstyles, fighters came to the traditional kabuki theater, where they still knew how to make such hairstyles.
Japanese Sumo Sumo can only be hit with an open hand. It is forbidden to grab by the hair, ears, fingers, beat in the eyes. Almost all the basic things are allowed, so the fighters use slaps and jerks, various captures and throws, steps and sweeps. The battle begins with the rivals running towards each other and colliding with each other. Offensive tactics are in high esteem in sumo. But various evasions, although they do not violate the rules, are considered bad form. The arsenal of sumo receptions is huge, and rarely anyone owns them in full. Therefore, there are fighters who use grips and wrestling in the belt, and the other part of them more often uses wrestling with the help of strong shocks at a distance.
There are 2 basic rules for identifying the winner of a fight:
– the one who touched the earth around the circle – lost,
– the one who touched the earth in a circle with any part of the body (except the feet) – lost. Even a touch on the ground of the hair is considered.
Also, the loser is automatically considered the one who used the forbidden tricks. Sumo fights are short and last from a few seconds to several minutes. If any fight is delayed, the judges clearly record the moment of the pause and take a break, so that then they can continue the fight from the same position.
Official competitions of professional wrestlers are held six times a year in various cities of Japan. Between these fights, athletes participate in away and charity competitions.
In sumo, professional and amateur levels are distinguished separately. Amateur sumo athletes held their first international championship in 1980, since then more and more participating countries have competed.
Sumo World Championships are held in four weight categories annually. Continental sumo federations select participants for the World Cup, which is always held in Japan.