Sumo is a sport that most people recognize but aren't very familiar with. Obviously it's appeal is
limited, normally followed by the Japanese public, those with a special interest in martial arts and
wrestling, or, like me, those who have learned to love Sumo by exposure to it while spending time
in Japan. When I first lived in Japan I had no particular interest in Sumo, nor did I have much
understanding of it. That is until a good friend of mine (Rick Myers), who had spent time in Japan
previously, showed me his own enthusiasm for the sport. I myself then found an interest as well.
During the various times I've spent living and traveling in Japan I've had many fun and memorable
times watching Sumo. I've even had the unique experience of attending a basho (match) in person,
and hope to again someday. While it's somewhat difficult to keep up with Sumo when not in
Japan, I was fortunate to live several years in Hawaii during part of a long era when several
Polynesian-Americans were having great success at the top levels of Sumo. Therefore, knowledge
of Sumo was/is quite high in Hawaii. Although that era (basically from 1990 to 2003) is now over,
my interest and enthusiasm for the ancient sport is as strong as ever. I'm currently able to watch
Sumo live thanks to a subscription to TVJapan through my Dish Network satellite system.
|This is a great site for
commentary, and news
concerning the world of
|For information about the
history of Sumo, it's rules,
and the top wrestlers,
check this English
Biography of the current Yokozuna
(Grand Champion), Asashoryu:
[Category: 'Asashoryu Akinori' facts and bio]
Asashōryū Akinori (朝青龍 明徳), born as Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj
(Долгорсүрэн Дагвадорж) on September 27, 1980 in Ulaanbaatar (Ulaanbaatar:
The capital and largest city of Mongolia) , Mongolia (Mongolia: A landlocked
socialist republic in central Asia) , is the first Mongolian sumo (sumo: A Japanese
form of wrestling; you lose if you are forced out of a small ring or if any part of
your body (other than your feet) touches the ground) wrestler (wrestler:
Combatant who tries to throw opponent to the ground) to reach the rank of
yokozuna (yokozuna: yokozuna () is the highest rank in sumo wrestling....
[follow hyperlink for more...]) . He is also currently (in January 2005) the only
Unlike his Hawaiian predecessors Akebono (Akebono: akebono taro ( akebono
tar, born may 8 1969 as...
[follow hyperlink for more...]) and Musashimaru (Musashimaru: more facts about
this subject) , Asashoryu was relatively lightweight at 129kg in 2001, he began
bulking up to 131kg in 2002, 140 kilograms by 2004, and now is about 145kg just
below the average. He has successfully relied on speed and technique to
compete against his, often much heavier, opponents, though lately he has begun
confronting those opponents head on with the intention of out-muscling them. His
lightning speed has suffered somewhat with the extra weight though he is still a lot
faster than most of his opponents.
He famously dumped the 158kg Kotomitsuki with a "lifting body slam" - Tsuriotoshi,
a feat of tremendous strength, normally accomplished on much smaller and
weaker opponents. After his debut in 1999, it took Asashoryu only 24 tournaments
to win his first top division championship, the quickest achievement of this since
the sport adopted its current format of six championships a year in 1958.
Asashoryu is a known to be a dedicated and serious trainer who goes all out,
some other high profile Rikishi (wrestlers) avoid training with him for fear of injury.
Takamisakari (shoulder) and Kotooshu have both suffered notable injuries at the
hands of some intense keiko (practice) with Asashouryu.
In training he routinely biceps curls multiple repetitions with 30kg dumb-bells
On January 30, 2003 Asashoryu was granted the title of yokozuna (yokozuna:
yokozuna () is the highest rank in sumo wrestling....
[follow hyperlink for more...]) , the highest rank in sumo. While his first
championship as yokozuna ended in a disappointing 10-5 record, he has since
won a total of 11 tournaments (including the first two which he won as an Ozeki
(Ozeki: more facts about this subject) ). The highlight of his career to date is a run
of four consecutive tournament victories from January to July 2004. This included
two consecutive perfect 15-0 wins (zensho yusho) in January and March of that
year, anda streak of 35 unbeaten bouts in total. On November 27, 2004,
Asashoryu became the first wrestler to win five tournaments in a year since
Chiyonofuji (Chiyonofuji: chiyonofuji mitsugu (, june 1, 1955-)...
[follow hyperlink for more...]) achieved the feat 18 years ago, and won his ninth
Asashoryu married his Mongolian fiancee in December 2002. An official ceremony
was later held in August 2004. The hectic social round that inevitably follows
Japanese weddings may explain his disappointing performance in the Autumn
Asashoryu has been criticized for infractions of the strict code of conduct
expected of top sumo wrestlers. His transgressions include becoming the first
yokozuna in history to be disqualified in a match (for pulling an opponent's hair),
being photographed in a suit (instead of a traditional Japanese costume) and
refusing to adopt Japanese citizenship.
Biography of one of my favorite
wrestlers, Ozeki Kotooshu:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Kaloyan Mahlyanov)
Kotoōshū Katsunori, born as Kaloyan Stefanov Mahlyanov (Cyrillic: Калоян
Стефанов Махлянов) on February 19, 1983 in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria) is a
professional sumo wrestler or rikishi. He is currently ranked as an ozeki or
'champion', the second-highest level in the sumo ranking system behind only
yokozuna. Popular with the Japanese public with his good looks, he is dubbed the
"David Beckham of Sumo."
Kotooshu is a tall and rather light rikishi at 204cm (6 feet, 8 inches) and 142kg
(312 pounds). In comparison, former yokozuna (grand champion) Akebono at the
same height, weighed 235kg (517 pounds) at his peak. He relies primarily on so-
called 'belt-throws' to win his sumo bouts. Typically he prefers to take a migi-yotsu
(right-hand grip) on his opponent's mawashi (the belt that is fixed around the
wrestler's waist). He uses his long arms and quick footwork to counteract his high
center of gravity and relatively light weight.
Kotooshu's sumo debut was in November 2002, starting in the lowest-ranked
Jonokuchi division. He posted kachikoshi (winning more matches than losing)
winning records throughout his early career, going 71 wins against 15 defeats in
the Makushita lower divisions.
Upon reaching the Makuuchi upper division in September 2004, he had
kachikoshi winning records for four consecutive tournaments, being promoted to
Sanyaku at the rank of komusubi before the March 2005 basho (sumo
tournament). At the rank of komusubi, he made his first makekoshi (losing more
matches than winning) record, and was demoted to maegashira again before
returning to the higher rank of komusubi in the Summer sumo basho in July 2005.
In the May 2005 basho Kotooshu was injured in a bout against the current sole
yokozuna, Asashoryu Akinori. However, Kotooshu took his revenge in the
following July tournament with an overarm (uwatenage) throw, bringing to an end
a run of over twenty consecutive bout victories for the yokozuna. In addition to
defeating Asashoryu he also was the runner up in the tournament, winning an
"outstanding performance" sansho.
Kotooshu was promoted to sekiwake for the following September tournament and
scored an exceptional 13-2 runner up record, only losing the tournement victory
after a play-off bout with Asashoryu. An 11-4 record in the final, November,
tournament of 2005, including another victory over the otherwise dominant
Asashoryu, led to his promotion to the rank of ozeki on November 30, 2005. His
three tournament record (on which ozeki promotions are based) was an excellent
36 wins and 9 losses.
His promotion to ozeki took only 19 tournaments from his professional sumo
debut. This represents the most rapid rise for a wrestler entering professional
sumo from the bottom Jonokuchi division. (Certain experienced amateur wrestlers
can be given dispensation to start in the third-highest Makushita division.) He is
also the first wrestler of European origin to hold the ozeki rank, and one of only
five non-Japanese have to achieved it (the others being Konishiki, Akebono, and
Musashimaru from Hawaii; and Asashoryu from Mongolia). Of those four, three
(Akebono, Musashimaru, and Asashoryu) later ascended to sumo's highest rank