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SUMO TECHNIQUES

The basic rules of Japan's ancient sport are simple: The wrestler who either first touches the surface inside the ring with something other than his feet, or who leaves the ring (touching anything) before his opponent, loses.

However, sumo, which has enjoyed a continuous development over the past 1,700 years in religious rituals, court festivities, as a martial art and today as a professional sport, is really more about winning than just avoiding a loss. And it is significantly more than just two large men pushing each other around.

There are, in fact, 82 different recognized techniques for winning that involve various combinations of pushing, pulling, tugging, tripping, sweeping, tossing, throwing, twisting and more. (Only five techniques cover "non-winning" methods.) The artwork and descriptions below have been adapted with permission of the Nihon Sumo Kyokai, or Japan Sumo Association (http://www.sumo.or.jp/)



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