Sumo is a Japanese style of wrestling and Japan's national sport. It originated in ancient times as a performance to entertain the Shinto deities. Many rituals with religious background, such as the symbolic purification of the ring with salt, are still followed today. In line with tradition, only men practice the sport professionally in Japan.
Does it have Rules?
The rules are simple: the wrestler who first exits the ring or touches the ground with any part of his body besides the soles of his feet loses. Matches take place on an elevated ring (dohyo), which is made of clay and covered in a layer of sand. A contest usually lasts only a few seconds, but in rare cases can take a minute or more.
There are no weight restrictions or classes in sumo, meaning that wrestlers can easily find themselves matched off against someone many times their size. As a result, weight gain is an essential part of sumo training.
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.
When Does it Take Place?
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.
Summary about Sumo
-Japan's traditional sport dates back hundreds of years
-Two wrestlers face off in a circular ring and try to push each other to the ground or out of the ring.
-There are six tournaments each year in which each wrestler fights 15 bouts.
-Each tournament begins on a Sunday and runs for 15 days, ending also on a Sunday.
- Wrestlers, who traditionally go by one fighting name, are ranked and the ultimate goal is to become a yokozuna, or grand champion.
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