March 17 2019

Sumo is so much more than you think

I’ve been a fan of Sumo wrestling for years, but I realized I’ve never discussed it here. We’re currently on day 8 of the March Basho (tournament) and it seems like a fitting time to discuss it.

First off: Stop thinking it’s just two fat guys pushing each other around. There are 82 techniques to winning a bout, and five non-technique ways to lose. That is a lot more than just pushing people around. There are throws, push outs, leg sweeps, working the mawashi (belt), and so much more. There is skill and strategy in every second of the sport. Even down to just lining up for the tachiai (initial charge) can become a weapon in the mental game.

The nice thing is, it has never been easier to enjoy Sumo in the U.S. NHK broadcasts a daily highlights show from all 15 days of the six Bashos each year (odd-numbered months). You can access those via the NHK mobile app, Roku, Fire TV, and more. And I also highly recommend Jason’s All-Sumo channel on YouTube where you get highlights as well as commentary.

If you’re just starting out, learn the basics of Sumo, or explore the Sumopedia to go more in-depth.

Just give it a try, I think you’ll be surprised how quickly you can get hooked on it.

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