Q&A: Sumo - ask T0ki...

although this is a weapons forum, T0ki is probably one of the biggest Sumo fans ever. the weapons forum members should ask him any Sumo-related q. and tap into his vast Sumo knowledge.

so no interest?

Here! Here! *raises hand*

T0ki, what is the deal with the slapping done by a sumo? Those are actually quite powerful blows, aren't they? What are they called, Keppa? How are they done, what makes them different from, say, a "karate chop."

More when you answer that one.

I have been trying that strike on my wife, but I need more practice.

First, I can justify this thread here with a trivia question: What is the one weapon associated with sumo?

To answer your question, those slaps are indeed pretty powerful as well as legal. The only stipulations in the rules are that it has to be open-hand and done with the palm of the hand (i.e. no knife-hand chops, hammer fists, backhands, etc). I saw former Yokozuna (and Hawaiian-born) Akebono totally drop a guy with one.

The slapping itself is called tsuppari. But there are two main styles of sumo..oshi-sumo (or oshi-zumo as it is spelled by the Japanese in this use) and yotsu-zumo. Oshi sumo focuses more on pushing, thrusting, slapping, etc. Akebono, Dejima and Takanonami were good at this and prefered the oshi-zumo style. The other this yotsu-zumo. This is where you see them grab the belt or body and attempt to throw or carry your opponent out. Recently retired Yokozuna Takanohana, Musashimaru (the only current Yokozuna--also Hawaian)and the legendary Chiyonufuji are some of the better yotzu-sumo practitioners.

Most sumo purists prefer yotsu-zumo, BUT when you're a little fella like Mainoumi or Terao (both retired), you can't engage in a yotsu-zumo war with a guy who outweights you by 100 pounds or more. Oshi-zumo can be exciting to watch...especially when a little firestorm does it.

Keppa? Not familiar with that one. There is a pole called the Teppo that rikishi practice on in the stables..

Many people also do not know that you may kick below the knee, though it is rarely done except by the little fellows like Mainoumi and Mongolian wrestlers like Kyokushuzan. The Mongolians are doing quite well and bring a lot of unorthodox technique.

sumo's weapon = fan? i recall seeing pix of sumo with fans (tessen/gunsen/kassen). just a guess.

Almost. The gunbai (war fan or war paddle) is used by the referee (gyoji) to show the winner and loser (depending on side. The traditional fan has roots in bushido, as it is the mark of a nobleman or one of the buke class.

This is another weapon that has a ceremony devoted to it in bashos (tournaments).

I think it is a sword.

I think, yes, teppo was what I was thinking of when I was thinking of the slap.

A bit more, what does tsuppari do? Just distract, or knock the opponent off balance?

How do you think a sumo would do in a street fight? What was with the sumo that fought in the UFC?

i was digging through my old back issues of black belt and came across a sumo article. when i have a chance i will scan it.

q: how many types of throws/pushes/thrusts are there in the sumo repetoire? is it like judo where there is a set amt that is formally recognized?

Gotgame....nope. It is a BOW. There is a bow-twirling ceremony performed at the end of each day's ceremony. I am not sure, but I believe it is to acknowledge the budo roots of sumo.

Tsuppari can distract, move an opponent or slap the ever-loving PISS out of a guy for the win. I've seen Akebono near KO guys with one slap.

How would a rikishi do in a street fight? Without sounding like Paul Vunak, it would depend on the attributes of the rikishi. Wakanohana, Takanohana or Akebono? They would do very well, but I wonder if their hands could handle punching. But a stiff slap from Akebono is worse than a punch. Those guys are good athletes and not the stereotypical "big mound" guys. Wakanohana carried 12% bodyfat at the peak of his career.. Better than most of us. The rest? Probably not so well.

With all respect to Manny Yarborough, he was never a "real" rikishi. He never compteted in Japanese sumo (i.e. the Japan Sumo Association) and in my opinion, he would not do very well against even the Juryo rikishi without some SERIOUS time at a Japanese stable. Despite the stereotypes, many riskisi are muscled and quite fit.

Stickgrappler, there are a number of classic kimarite (throws, trips, pushes and ways of winning). However, those pesky Mongolians and guys like Mainoumi have forced the association to add several more. Everything done falls in (or near) one of those kimarite. But, if they don't, next basho, you will hear the Sumo Association announce the new techniques. But most common are thrust out, pull down, push out, front trip, etc...

Sorry to keep harping on the tsuparri, but is it similar to anything with which we martial artists might be familiar? Like a palm strike or a "karate chop" or even a punch?

12% body fat? That's amazing. I'm trying to get down to, like, 18-20%, and I'm slim and trim with a nice butt. (TMI, hahaha!)

Okay, here's another question: I can't remember where I read it, I think it was in a travel magazine, but someone was talking to a judoka about sumo. The judoka said any experienced sumo player could be considered a 4-dan in judo easily. He also said a sumo fighter could kill a room full of people in seconds.

Can you elaborate on this?

Tsuppari can be open hand slaps (like left to right). Some guys focus on hitting with the palm heel for extra power. Akebono liked to put his hands out like he was choking someone and thrust them to the throat of an opponent. Put your hands out, thumbs barely touching each other and pinky fingers pointed SW. Now drive them up. A strong guy can actually drive an opponent vertical (and out). But the rules are that it has to be an open hand strike with the PALM of the hand. No knife-hand/ridge-hand chops, and no backhands (I don't think). Think of Pancrase and the open hand "punches".

As for sumo and judo, many judo throws were taken from the classic sumo throws (as sumo easily predates judo). Sumu and judu practitioners may disagree (20 points to whoever gets this reference). LOL!! But seriously, look at some of the yotsu-zumo guys. They have a lot of technique and could probably ippon a lot of guys. Now how would they do against judoka of their own weight? Pretty good. Rikishi are about staying firmly planted to the ground as wrestlers are about controlling their opponents' movements. So it may not be too much of a stretch to say that a guy like Takanohana could probably do well against a 4th dan judoka.

As for the 4 guys in one room? I doubt that. One at a time? Perhaps. But again, taking one of Igor Vovchanchyn's punches to the nose or chin is a WHOLE different story. I think it is a bit of bravado and legend. But if I had to put my money on which rikishi could do well in a real fight, it'd be Takanohana, Wakanohana or Chiyonofuji ("The Wolf").

Do rikishi lift weights? What do they do for strength?

Some do, some don't. Nowadays, many are into weight training, but traditionally, bodyweight exercises like Scapper's routine are the most common. Lots of squats, leg stomps (like you see the Yokozuna do before a mach), etc. But a lot of the guys are into weight training. American Sentoryu (the only Black rikishi) and Wakanohana were VERY muscular.

It was like boxing, where the thought was that weight training would slow one down. But now, rikishi are taking a more scientific approach to strength (mixed in with the traditional ways).

Scapper routines?

And how does stomping aid in strength training?

You don't know Scrapper? Head to the S&C forum or goto www.trainforstrength.com. It hurts. You have been warned.

The leg lifts and stomps work flexibility and leg strength.

you will puke after a workout unless you are in very good shape. SCRAPPER trained with the SEALs as a civilian and is a PT trainer.


i have q's, but busy now.

1) judo has a record of the most commonly used throws in competition worldwide. what has been the top 5 sumo techniques used?2) slightly OT but i will ask: in street fighter 2 vid game, there is a sumo fighter by the name of e. honda. was there a significance to the name e. honda?Sumu and judu practitioners may disagree (20 points to whoever gets this reference). LOL!! i'm out of it, but i will venture a guess - luke beston?

Oshi-dashi - Thrusting the opponent out with both hands (usually using tsuppari). A common variation is tsukidashi where you alternate (like the sumo wrestler in Tekken). You'll see these from the big boys like Akebono, Musashimaru, etc.

Shitatenage and uwatenage. These are belt throws where a rikishi grabs the belt (mawashi) of the opponent and throws them.. The difference is the grip. Outside the opponent's arm or inside.

Yorikiri - Lift the belt and walk the guy forward to push the guy out. I THINK this was Takanohana's facorite next to the shitatenage.

Oshitaoshi - Pushing a guy down and out of the ring

Utchari - Not horribly common, but happens at least once. This is a desperation move. Imagine both wrestlers in a face to face grip. Wrestler A is trying to force him out (perhaps in a yorikiri). Right at the edge, wrestler B pivots and uses the forward force of wrestler A to pivot and put him out of the ring. Very flashy, but very, very risky.

Stickgrappler, think organized events..

And no. The name is Edmund Honda... To my knowledge, no connection to sumo.