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Sumo (sum) Or sumo wrestling is a competitive full-contact wrestling sport where a rikishi (wrestler) attempts to force another wrestler out of a circular ring (dohy?) or into touching the ground with anything other than the soles of his feet . The characters literally mean "striking one another".
The sport in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally. It is considered a gendai bud? (a modern Japanese martial art), but this definition is misleading, as the sport has a history spanning many centuries.
Many ancient traditions have been preserved in sumo, and even today the sport includes many ritual elements, such as the use of salt purification, from the days when sumo was used in the Shinto religion. Life as a wrestler is highly regulated by the Japan Sumo Association.
Most sumo wrestlers are required to live in communal sumo training stable, known in Japanese as heya, where all aspects of their daily lives-from meals to their manner of dress-are dictated by strict tradition.
The winner of a sumo bout is either:
The first wrestler to force his opponent to step out of the ring
The first wrestler to force his opponent to touch the ground with any part of his body other than the bottom of his feet
Also, a number of other less common rules can be used to determine the winner. For example, a wrestler using an illegal technique (or kinjite) automatically loses, as does one of which mawashi (or belt) comes completely undone. A wrestler failing to show up for his but also loses (fusenpai).
Matches consist solely of a single round and often last a few seconds, as usually one wrestler is quickly ousted from the circle or thrown to the ground. However, they can occasionally last for several minutes. Each match is preceded by an elaborate ceremonial ritual. Traditionally, sumo wrestlers are renowned for their great girth and body mass, which is often a winning factor in sumo.
No weight divisions are used in professional sumo, and considering the range of body weights in sumo, an individual wrestler can sometimes face an opponent twice his own weight. However, with superior technique, smaller wrestlers can control and defeat much larger opponents.
Professional sumo is organized by the Japan Sumo Association. The members of the association, called oyakata, are all forming wrestlers, and are the only people entitled to train new wrestlers. All practicing wrestlers are members of a stable training (or heya) run by one of the oyakata, who is the stablemaster for the wrestlers under him. Currently, 43 training stables host 660 wrestlers.
All sumo wrestlers take wrestling names called shikona (? ? ??), Which may or may not be related to their real names. Often, wrestlers have little choice in their names, which are given to them by their trainers (or stablemasters), or by a supporter or family member who encouraged them into the sport. This is particularly true of foreign-born wrestlers. A wrestler may change his wrestling name during his career, with some wrestlers changing theirs several times.
Since 1958, six Grand Sumo tournaments have been held each year: three at the Sumo Hall (or Ry?goku Kokugikan) in Ry?goku, Tokyo (January, May, and September), and one each in Osaka Nagoya (July), and Fukuoka (November). Each one of the songs on Sunday and runs for 15 days, ending also on a Sunday. Each wrestler in the top two divisions (sekitori) has one match per day, while the lower-ranked wrestlers compete in seven bouts, about one every two days.
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