Are sumo wrestlers fit?

Sumo wrestling: rules, organization, nutrition

The 2000 year old, traditional Japanese martial arts has become a hit around the world and has now gained a large number of viewers. Martial arts expert Vahab Yektapour has summarized the most important information about sumo wrestling.

In general, the higher the weight, the more spectacular the fight. For this reason, no maximum weight class has been set for this martial arts. The ideal weight just can't be high enough. The heaviest sumo wrestler to date was Konishiki with 242 kilograms.

However, there is an ideal body shape that resembles a pear. If there is a lot of mass on the thighs and hips, a wrestler shaped like this is difficult to push out of the fighting ring, let alone tossed to the ground.

The wrestlers wear the so-called "mahawashi", a waist band that is folded (unbound 9 meters long and about 60 cm wide), wrapped around the fighter's waist several times, passed between his legs and finally tied with a large knot at the back. Starched strips of silk (sagari) are inserted in the front to serve as decoration.

History of sumo wrestling

According to a legend that was written down in 712, sumo wrestling is based on a dispute between two gods over an island, which was to be decided by a wrestling match.

Archaeological finds indicate that a pre-form of sumo wrestling took place before the year 500. Sumo wrestling developed on the street, the first historically recorded sumo fights were held in 642. Today sumo fights are complex and highly professional. The rules have always changed.

Rules of Sumo Wrestling

The fight is over immediately if one of the two fighters steps on the ground outside the 4.55 m circle (dohyo) or touches the ground with a part of the body other than the foot.

The Association of Sumo Wrestlers distinguishes between 82 winning techniques. Actions such as choking, scratching, punching, kicking, reaching into the crotch area or pulling hair are prohibited. These grips are called "kinjite". Otherwise, the sumo wrestler may hurl, throw, hit and push at will and hold the opponent by the belt.

The fight lasts 3 times 4 minutes and is supported by a referee and 5 linesmen. Most fights are over after a few seconds.

The pre-fight ceremony is there so that the fighters can demonstrate their agility. Both fighters have to sprinkle some salt on the ring to clean it.

Unlike many other martial arts, sumo wrestling is not about technique because the weight of the sumo wrestler does not allow techniques to be used. Of course there are techniques that you practice in training, but whether they can be used in tournaments is another question. Rather, it is about strength, mass and speed.

Characteristics of a sumo wrestler

The sumo wrestlers are obese. But that's just the result of a special Japanese meal plan. After training, the wrestlers eat the fatty and protein-rich stew Chanko-nabe, which they prepare themselves, for lunch and dinner. After eating, they take a nap so they don't burn calories and gain weight. For their high weight, they are usually very sporty, responsive and flexible.

Diet in sumo wrestling

Gaining weight is often beneficial for this sport. How do you do that? Very easily. The secret is in the carbohydrates. You have to eat as many of them as possible each day. Whether that is healthy is another question. Carbohydrates can be found in pasta, bread, cereal, rice, and sugar. Sumo wrestlers add sugar to their coffee and drink sodas and fruit juices and only eat lean meat and vegetables when nothing else is available.

Obesity and its consequences

The average weight in sumo wrestling has steadily increased. A sumo wrestler now weighs 150 kilograms, as there are no restrictions on body weight. Because of their overweight, many of the wrestlers suffer from cardiovascular diseases. Joint problems are also not uncommon in this sport; many sumo wrestlers have breathing and heart problems. They usually do not have good endurance because they do not do endurance sports. Unlike many people who want to lose a few pounds, sumo wrestlers are afraid of it and therefore do not do endurance sports.

Organization of sumo competitions

The professional sumo wrestling association in Japan is called "Ozumo". He watches over the observance of the rules and also over the way of life of the sumo wrestlers. Even their everyday clothing is prescribed and monitored.

In Japan, sumo tournaments are held every 2 months and last for 7 days, from Sunday to Sunday. In addition to a fixed salary, the sumo wrestlers can also win prize money. There are few women who sumo wrestle as they are not allowed to practice this sport professionally. Since the tradition of sumo is deeply rooted in the rituals of Shintoism, the Japanese religion, even high-ranking female personalities, for example, are not allowed to enter the Kamfring, since women are considered impure in Shintoism.

Would you like to become a sumo wrestler in Germany?

If you are interested in trying out sumo wrestling, you can do so in Germany too. All you have to do is register with the German Sumo Association and you're good to go. All you have to do in sumo wrestling is get your opponent out of the ring or knock them down. You can also check with some judo clubs and once you've found a club that offers sumo you can get started. You don't have to learn all the rules or put salt in the ring. Rather, think of it as a fun sport.

Are you also interested in other martial arts? Then read e.g. B .: Kun Tao - The secret martial art from the south of China

Vahab Yektapour Tabrizi