Sumo Wrestling, It’s Not For The Faint Of Belly

When an irresistible force meets a seemingly immovable object, it's time to pull up a chair.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

One of the biggest obscure sports, for obvious reasons, is Sumo wrestling and it can mainly be found in Japan. Anybody proficient with a remote control and with access to any type of cable package should know what a Sumo wrestler is, as they are often parodied in one form or another in the United States. These overly large men are notorious for slapping there bodies against one another to achieve success.

To be more specific about what this sport entails, two Sumo wrestlers enters a circular ring wearing only a mawashi (think thick thong type belt). They then perform a series of obscure rituals involving slapping and stomping before they charge at each other in an attempt to either do one of two things; force them out of the ring or get them to touch the mat with something other than the soles of their feet.

The main thing that separates Sumo wrestling from other sports of its kind, like say boxing or traditional wrestling, is that there is no weigh classes to be found. Without weight classes, a Sumo could very well find himself up against a guy twice his size. Then it becomes about strength and cunning for the smaller man to get the win.

There are six professional divisions in Sumo wrestling and they are separated by skill levels. The top two levels are considered the best of the best and usually earn around $35, 000 a month. The levels below that can range anywhere from $10 grand to $20,000 a month.

On a professional level, only Japan at this time fields a respectable competitive environment. Sumo wrestling in the United States is mainly considered a novelty, though amateur sumo clubs are gaining in popularity, with competitions regularly being held in major cities across the country.

Overall, this sport may never truly take hold anywhere outside of Japan but for the big guys who make it at the professional level, fame and a moderate fortune await them overseas.

Also, these individuals are poster children for embracing who they are as you have to admire them for taking hold of their large stature and using it as a means to make a living. There is a good message in Sumo wrestling, even if it looks a little funky, one that could help many people in this ever growing world.