Every year 6 sumo tournaments, each lasting 15 days, are held in Japan. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to the 7th day of the tournament held in Nagoya. It was a real treat to be able to witness the ancient traditions and unique athleticism that I think can only be seen at a sumo match. At least, I don’t know of any other sport where part of the training is too pack on weight like sumo wrestlers, rikishi, do. Sumo is also unique in that the actual wrestling part happens very quickly after a long sequence of traditional leg smacking, salt throwing, shrine water drinking,
and other attempts to psych out your opponent. You see, the wrestlers determine when the match starts, not the referee. They don’t start until both wrestlers signal they are ready my putting both fists on the ground in a
squatting position. Often, they would almost have put both fists down and then one would start to stand up again, so the other one would have to get up as well and they would go
over and get more salt to throw, throw their legs up and stomp them down and then return to fighting position. You can see this in the video in this post. Luckily there is a 4 minute limit on this process, originally there was no time limit and this sequence of going back and forth could last much longer. Other sports, like american football and baseball, have long slow parts between the excitement, but at least the slower parts of sumo are interesting to watch and actually seem to play a large role in the mental aspects of sumo.
Please check out the videos posted below!