Compared to This, MMA Fighters Have It Easy

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MMAcca
1/14/09 1:18:39PM
From Cage Potato.....

You think the stuff that gets spewed on MMA forums (except for ours, which are home to gentlemen and scholars, one and all) is rough, check out the world of sumo wrestling. Grand Champion Asashoryu got a death threat on a Japanese forum recently. Then he went out and kicked ass anyway:

The threat, which stated "coming to Ryogoku to kill Asashoryu" appeared on the popular Japanese Internet forum 2channel shortly before Asashoryu stepped into the ring to face Kisenosato in his first bout.

"The threat was posted on an Internet Web site Sunday," said a JSA spokesman, who goes by the single name Hayashi. "There was no direct contact with Asashoryu."

Seriously, somebody out there cares enough about fat guys in diapers shoving one another to threaten to kill one of them? We just can’t work up enough anger to want to see someone dead. Not even for the worst of the worst in MMA. Well, maybe Todd Beard. Although you get the sense that you might be doing him a favor.


LINK
DCRage
1/14/09 1:40:50PM
And when those Yokozunas lose they get chairs thrown at them. Seriously. Some kind of tradition in sumo when a Yokozuna loses, at least they're soft chairs.
aaa9erh8er
1/14/09 1:50:22PM
wow i never new sumo was so popular that ppl get threatened i mean come on like the ariticle said its fat guys in diapers lol. but good article find
DCRage
1/14/09 2:04:44PM
Sumo is to the Japanese what baseball and soccer are to Americans and Europeans, respectively. It's Japan's national sport and one very deeply rooted in longstanding tradition. That's partly why the sumos toss salt into the ring before matches, it's said to ward off evil spirits.
Jackelope
1/14/09 3:33:55PM

Posted by DCRage

Sumo is to the Japanese what baseball and soccer are to Americans and Europeans, respectively. It's Japan's national sport and one very deeply rooted in longstanding tradition. That's partly why the sumos toss salt into the ring before matches, it's said to ward off evil spirits.



I'd go much further than that even. The U.S. doesn't even have a sport that comes anywhere close to how fanatic hardcore sumo fans are. There may be some European soccer fans that come close, but even that seems a stretch. It is a GREAT honor to be Yokozuna. Almost like a modern day champion of a country. Sumo has its deeply embedded roots from centuries ago.

Anyway, though.. for layman's sake DCRage is right. I got way into Sumo a few years back (I've fallen off the wagon) but when I was into I learned a bit about it and I couldn't believe how fanatic Sumo fans are. Also I couldn't believe what an honor being a Yokozuna is
cmill21
1/14/09 3:48:42PM
Exactly, thats why it bothers me when guys make fun of Akebono, over there he's 10x the star Lesnar is here.
higdon10
1/14/09 4:20:24PM

Posted by cmill21

Exactly, thats why it bothers me when guys make fun of Akebono, over there he's 10x the star Lesnar is here.



Akebono is huge over there. (pardon the pun)
Jackelope
1/14/09 6:04:45PM

Posted by cmill21

Exactly, thats why it bothers me when guys make fun of Akebono, over there he's 10x the star Lesnar is here.



Akebono was one of my favorites when I watched Sumo.

I also feel like the people who make fun of Sumo lack cultural understanding. They also definitely don't appreciate the athleticism of men of this size and stature. Sumo is a very technical sport, believe it or not, and there is an INTENSE amount of pressure on the wrestlers. Every match is like the world series. Especially when you're a Yokozuna. To lose to a much lower ranked competitor has the potential to bring incredible shame.

Also- it should be noted that in over 200 years of competition there have only ever been 65-70 yokozuna (I can't remember the exact number) It is an incredibly hard feat to accomplish, and it requires you to go undefeated for quite some time consecutively.

Anyway, we don't have tradition like other countries have here in the Americas. Without trying to sound pompous I find it a sad fact to see westerners such as ourselves poke fun at other countries' traditions. I think we could learn a lot from tradition and that its something we have definitely gotten away from. Tradition carries values, and as lines become grayer and grayer in this society I believe it reflects directly on that.
DCRage
1/14/09 6:57:53PM
Personally I've been a fan of sumo ever since I saw it on TV. ESPN2 used to air tapes of sumo competitions in Japan quite frequently. I quickly saw past the whole "300-pound-plus fat guys in giant thongs" thing and saw the strategy aspect of it, you can very easily liken it to chess with the strategy involved. I'm trying to remember the names of my favorite sumo, there were a few I was a fan of, even in the couple of times when they basically, size-wise, were Goliaths that lost to Davids.

According to Wikipedia there currently are 69 yokozuna. There are no exact criteria for promotion to yokozuna-the qualifications that an ozeki must satisfy to be promoted are that he has enough power, skill and dignity/grace (?? hinkaku) to qualify. Then you must go through a nomination process and be voted on. Once promoted to yokozuna you can't be demoted but if you can't live up to the billing you are expected to retire.
Jackelope
1/14/09 7:10:42PM

Posted by DCRage

Personally I've been a fan of sumo ever since I saw it on TV. ESPN2 used to air tapes of sumo competitions in Japan quite frequently. I quickly saw past the whole "300-pound-plus fat guys in giant thongs" thing and saw the strategy aspect of it, you can very easily liken it to chess with the strategy involved. I'm trying to remember the names of my favorite sumo, there were a few I was a fan of, even in the couple of times when they basically, size-wise, were Goliaths that lost to Davids.

According to Wikipedia there currently are 69 yokozuna. There are no exact criteria for promotion to yokozuna-the qualifications that an ozeki must satisfy to be promoted are that he has enough power, skill and dignity/grace (?? hinkaku) to qualify. Then you must go through a nomination process and be voted on. Once promoted to yokozuna you can't be demoted but if you can't live up to the billing you are expected to retire.



To be Yokozuna you have to win several tournaments in a row. (Go undefeated) Before you can be crowned Yokozuna, though you have to make sure that you've attained the rank prior. (Which is the Ozeki rank if I'm not mistaken) It is a very complex ranking system that I don't pretend to fully understand, but I heard it broken down once while watching an event and it involves a whole lot more than simply being voted in. I'm sure you already know- but I wouldn't exactly trust Wikipedia.
DCRage
1/14/09 7:36:15PM
The sumo rankings go like this, from lowest to highest (these only apply to "Makuuchi", the highest division of sumo):
Maegashira-Ranked within from 16-17 (lowest) to 1 (highest)
Komusubi
Sekiwake
Ozeki (Champion)
Yokozuna (Grand Champion)

Although we don't hear it much, sumo regardless of rank are also referred to commonly as "Rikishi".

This site seems to be an excellent English-language sumo resource:

http://www.sumo.or.jp/eng/
dannyfrank
1/14/09 8:24:44PM
completely unrelated, but did anyone else follow the link to their "top 10 most despicable people in mma" article? it has dana white at number 2! WTF?
haggiswashere
1/14/09 11:24:19PM
I'm going to japan to kill E. Honda. Boo Ya 2 street fighter references in 1 day!!!
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Jackelope
1/14/09 11:31:50PM

Posted by DCRage

The sumo rankings go like this, from lowest to highest (these only apply to "Makuuchi", the highest division of sumo):
Maegashira-Ranked within from 16-17 (lowest) to 1 (highest)
Komusubi
Sekiwake
Ozeki (Champion)
Yokozuna (Grand Champion)

Although we don't hear it much, sumo regardless of rank are also referred to commonly as "Rikishi".

This site seems to be an excellent English-language sumo resource:

http://www.sumo.or.jp/eng/



Cool, thanks for the link.

Here's a snippet about getting promoted to Yokozuna-

T he position of the yokozuna is unique. In the past three hundred years since the title was created only Sixty-two rikishi have been so honored. The yokozuna, alone of all the ranks can never be demoted even if he makes a poor showing during a tournament. Instead should he continue with a bad record, he is expected to retire. Before a rikishi can even be considered for promotion to yokozuna, he must have won two consecutively tournaments while holding the rank of ozeki. He must have proven himself capable of turning in consistent performances and in the critical eyes of the Sumo Kyokai be a man of character worthy to hold such an exalted postion.


To my understanding the difficult part of attaining Yokozuna ranking isn't necessarily just these acts in themselves. It is achieving the ranks building up to Yokozuna. Although of course winning 2 tournaments in a row is no small feat. Also, if I'm remembering correctly the rituals performed upon entrance into the ring come into play when the wrestler's character comes into question. Much like Japanese Tea Ceremony the way the rituals are performed reflect directly on the character of the man himself

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