Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Sumo Wrestling

Sumo wrestling is a contact sport, contested between two wrestlers within a circular ring. The objective for either of the wrestler is, to push the other out of the ring, or force the other onto the ground.

Before each bout, wrestlers spend several minutes on warm ups, by extending their arms, squatting and stomping. At the start, wrestlers jump out of a crouching position with both fists touching the ring, to begin the match. During the course of the match, wrestlers use several techniques like pushing, lifting, tripping or slapping to get an edge over their opponents. Most sumo matches last only for a few seconds with some extending to a few minutes.

Sumo originated in Japan as a modern version of Japanese martial arts over two centuries ago. Though a few countries have amateur competitions, professional sumo competitions are conducted only in Japan.

Sumo wrestling Sumo wrestling

The Japanese professional circuit consists of six divisions in a hierarchical order, where wrestlers are assigned to each division based on their rankings. The highest ranked wrestlers are assigned to the top division, and the subsequently wrestlers are assigned to the next lower divisions. Every year, six Grand Sumo Tournaments are conducted, in which wrestlers from all six divisions compete with other wrestlers within their division. For each division, the wrestler with the most wins at the end of the tournament is declared the winner of the tournament for that division.

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