Sumo - The life of the Fighters and Curiosities

Sumo is a form of wrestling for competition, typical of Japan. Where a competitor will try to force his opponent out of a circular ring. Or even, force your opponent to touch the ground with something other than the soles of your feet.

It had its origin in Japan, and it is also the only country where this practice is practiced. sport professionally. And it is noteworthy that many ancient traditions have been preserved in this sport. So much so that even today the sport includes many ritual elements, such as the use of salt purification, typical of the shinto.

But what we want to know is what life is like for a sumo wrestler. So, I will give a basic description, to open the imagination. Well, life as a fighter is highly regimented, with rules regulated by the Japan Sumo Association.

Most sumo wrestlers are required to live in communal places for sumo training. These places, similar to college republics, are known in Japanese as heya.

And in this place, all aspects of the daily life of the fighters, are dictated by the strict tradition. A good example is meals or even the way you dress. Well in this post we will focus on the lives of the fighters. in case you want to know more about the sport itself, just take a look at this link.

Sumo - the life of fighters and curiosities

Life as a professional sumo wrestler

As has been said before, the way of life is very much regulated. The Sumo Association, dictates the behavior of its fighters in some details. And breaking the rules can result in fines and / or suspension, not just for the fighter but also for his responsible master.

One of the peculiar things that is common in a fighter's life is hair. For, when entering the sumo world head on, it is expected that the hair will grow to form a tuft, or chonmage. Not only that, they are expected to wear the traditional Japanese dress and gown when in public.

Looking at the marketing side, it is good to draw attention to yourself. However, with regard to personal life and privacy, I believe that these are almost zero. This is because, when the fighters are in a public place, they are soon to be identified.

Sumo - the life of fighters and curiosities

Clothes for each class of Sumo

As well as a type of classification insignia, the clothes worn also serve this purpose. That is, each fighter, depending on his classification, will wear a different type of clothing. It is more or less with the classification system of karate academies and their bands.

The six divisions in juice are from the highest to the lowest:

  1. Makuuchi
  2. jūryō
  3. makushita
  4. sandanme
  5. jonidan
  6. Jonokuchi

In the sumo world, as well as in some other sports, there is a great demarcation. Especially between the fighters in the two main divisions known as sekitori and those in the lower four divisions. These in turn are commonly known by the more generic term rikishi.

Thus, the type and quality of the dress changes according to the fighter's classification. The fighters, in the last two classifications are allowed to wear only a thin cotton robe called yukata, even in winter. In addition, when outdoors, they must wear a type of wooden sandals, called geta.

The fighters in the Makushita and Sandanme divisions, on the other hand, have some extra privileges. They can wear a traditional short overcoat over their yukata. They can also wear straw sandals, called zōri.

Sumo - the life of fighters and curiosities

Privileges for Sekitori

Finally, the top two, the sekitori, have the best privileges, worthy of their positions. They can wear silk robes of their own choosing and the quality of the costume is significantly improved. However, they must use a more elaborate form of tuft called ōichō on formal occasions.

Well, as this is the first division, it will always be the most popular, as well as receiving more investments. So we can deduce that in sumo, the best fighters also have their privileges.

And this is a fact, they always have their privileges, which we will recite below. The sekitori, in addition to the best clothes, also receive their own room in the stable. Or if you prefer, you can live in your own apartments, just like married fighters.

And it doesn't stop there, even in the daily life of the fighters there are the distinctions. Junior fighters should get up early, around 5 am, for training, while sekitori can start around 7 am. (More skill = More comfort).

Another clear example is seen in training. Because when the sekitori are training, junior fighters usually do tasks. Or to exemplify, help to cook lunch, clean and prepare the bath, hold the sekitori's towel or wipe his sweat.

And this hierarchy of classification is maintained even for the order of the bath after training and at lunch. That is what it means to be rewarded for your skill, so it encourages your juniors to work hard in an outrageous way.

Sumo - the life of fighters and curiosities

Salaries of a Sumo Wrestler

These figures are for illustrative purposes only and are for reference only. Just as one soccer player does not earn the same as another, the phenomenon is repeated in the juice.

These are just the salaries of the first division, or makuuchi. This is divided into five other subcategories. Which in turn are, and receive:

  • Yokozuna: about US $ 30,500
  • Ōzeki: about US $ 25,000
  • San'yaku: about US $ 18,000
  • Maegashira: about US $ 14,000

However, I will not list the wages of the other divisions as it would be unnecessary, since wages have a huge margin of variation.

In addition to the basic salary, sekitori fighters also receive a bonus, called mochikyūkin. This income is received six times a year, that is, once in each tournament based on the performance accumulated in your career so far. This bonus increases, but for that the fighter needs to score a kachikoshi.

Kachikoshi: More wins than losses for a fighter in a tournament.

Special increases in this bonus are also granted for winning the first division championship. And you get an extra big raise for a “perfect” win in the league without loss. As well as a bonus, for scoring a golden star or kinboshi, that is, a yokozuna's turn on a maegashira.

In addition, the prize money is given to the winner of each divisional championship. This increases from 100,000 yen for a jonokuchi victory, up to 10,000,000 yen for winning the first division.

In addition to prizes for a championship, first division fighters who perform exceptionally can also receive one or more than three special prizes, worth 2,000,000 yen each.

Bad parts of being a Sumo wrestler

Since not everything is flowers, juice is also no exception. So, now we will discuss some of the negative parts of the sumo wrestling career. Of course, these are not absurdly bad things, on the contrary, they are even mild compared to other risky sports.

Anyway, let's start. However, I will mention only negative health effects. always bearing in mind that the negative health effects of the sumo lifestyle may become apparent later in life.

Thus, sumo wrestlers have a life expectancy between 60 and 65 years, this means more than 10 years less than the country average life. This is due to the fact that diet and sport damage the fighter's body.

Many fighters develop diabetes or high blood pressure. They are also prone to heart attacks, because of their large amount of body mass and fat that they accumulate.

In addition, excessive alcohol intake can lead to liver problems, while stress on your joints, due to your excess weight, can cause arthritis. These and other problems are common to sport. Therefore, I do not know if it is one of the best sports to practice. I wouldn't practice, because I'm too thin for that.

Sumo - the life of fighters and curiosities
NeuPaddy / Pixabay

Daily sumo wrestler routine

To finish the article, let's now go to the last topic, one day as a sumo wrestler. For this we will describe the routine of a low class fighter.

  • Basically, you will have to wake up at 5:00 am, shortly after, between 5:30 am and 11:00 am, a long training session;
  • After finishing, a good lunch and then we go for a long nap;
  • After a few hours' nap, the fighters of the rikishi class, do the housework and do the sekitori do another training;
  • When afternoon chores are over, the custom is to relax and be distracted until dinner;
  • From 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm, it's free time until curfew, remembering that the fighters sleep in the same room;

Anyway, this routine is standard, that is, few things change from one fighter to another. This is because the watering is rigid and the customs too. This is becoming a risk factor for this sport.

Sumo - the life of fighters and curiosities

What do you think about Sumo wrestlers?

As I am too thin to enter this type of sport, I prefer not to comment on the emotions of it. So I will go from direct praise to criticism. That is, how hard the life of beginners must be.

I agree that this encourages those who like the sport a lot, but on the other hand, it causes many to give up the sport. Besides, privileges bring with them some dangerous freedoms. I am not afraid to know that bullying is a part of everyday life for beginning fighters.

Anyway, for these and other reasons, the fate of sumo is uncertain. Despite being a great tradition, it is in danger of ending. And the decrease in the numbers of athletes is a direct consequence of these problems.

It is sad but these things happen. And with hook in this theme, in autumn season 2018, an anime based on this sport, or at least similar, will be released. I think it's worth watching. And this is it, the article is ending.

Don't forget to share the site on social networks, and if you have any questions, suggestions, criticisms or anything like that just leave your comment. And thanks for reading this article so far, bye.

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