I know very little about the sport of sumo wrestling, but noticed a couple of highlights popping up on YouTube and started watching it. Like most sports, the more you know about the art of it, the rules, and the athletes involved, the more exciting it becomes to watch. I know very little about any of it, but for me, sumo is exciting (in small doses) because but of the amazing base and balance these guys have.
At first glance, sumo might look like it’s less about skill and more about size, but it seems to me that just like in jiu jitsu and judo, the battle is lost and won in the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) off-balancing and misdirection of your opponent that requires an exceptional amount of athleticism, power, and trickery. Here’s an example of one of the greatest sumo wrestlers of all time, Asashoryu Akinori, who at 330 lbs is one of the lighter legends in the sport.
But even more impressive is Takanoyama Shuntaro, the little Czech guy, who at 220 lbs is one the top sumo wrestlers currently competing and one of the only Europeans to ever reach the top of the sport. The “fight” starts at 2:20.
Watching some of Takanoyama’s matches, gives me confidence that with leverage and technique anyone can gain a dominant position on anyone else in a grappling match. Size matters, but it can be overcome.