Basic Sumo Rules And Practices
Heya or "sumo stables" is where most sumo wrestlers train and live so that all aspects of their daily lives follow tradition. The grand champion or yokozuna is at the top of the sumo wrestlers' heirarchy and may not lose his status as champion. However, he is expected to retire if his performance starts to decline.
Sumo's Origin And History
Sumo was associated with Shinto rituals where a human is said to wrestle with a Shinto spirit/god (kami). The Sumai no Sechie (Sumai Party) is an important ritual held at the imperial court where each province is required to attend, participate and fight.
As time passed, leaders changed and the popularity, rules and need for sumo changed along with it. It was used as a training method during civil strife periods. By and by, the strategies and form changed wherein the main aim is to throw one's opponent to claim victory. Later on, pushing one's opponent was added.
It was during a tournament by the warlord Oda Nobunaga that a ring to indicate the fighting area for the rikishi was used. Most forms were developed during the Edo period from where professional sumo came about as a form of sports entertainment. At that time, samurai and ronin were the participants in sumo until 1684 when professional sumo tournaments began in the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine.
An Introduction To Sumo
Sumo is a full-contact Japanese style of wrestling wherein a wrestler (rikishi) forces another wrestler out of a circular ring (dohyo) or knocks him down. It is Japan's national sport primarily because it dates back to the ancient times wherein wrestlers perform to entertain the Shinto gods as well as a test their combat strength. While Sumo is still considered a sport and martial art, it has a religious and spiritual background proven by its many rituals still being followed today. Japan is the only country where this sport is professionally practiced.