Every so often I sit in my living room and turn the TV on to watch sumo wrestling. I can sit for an hour or two and which these two powerful men try to push each other out of the center ring. Sumo wrestling dates back to the early seventh century, and the sport is very strong in Japanese history. I learned a few things by looking it up and was very amazed at the history and culture. Sumo wrestling is the national sport of Japan which its origins date back 1,500 years, making it the world’s oldest organized sport. With a wrestling background, I can remember getting set to wrestle a kid the same size as me. The size of the wrestling mat is somewhat bigger than a sumo ring. A wrestling area circle is about twenty-eight feet while a sumo ring is twenty-one feet. Not much of a difference but those feet count when you need them to.
In both sports, the center of the circle has two white lines, so that wrestlers are position behind the lines to start the bout. Once everyone is in position, the official starts the bout. In a couple of seconds, you see two opposing forces grabble for a position. Man, this is a joy to watch especially in slow motion. A sumo wrestler wins one of two ways.
- The first wrestler to force his opponent to step out of the ring.
- The first wrestler to force his opponent to touch the ground with any part of his body other than the bottom of his feet.
Pretty simple strategy right? Quick and easy.
One thing I have learned from sumo wrestling is that each person in the ring has a strategy. Just like in life you have to have a strategy going through it each day. Each time a sumo wrestler enters the ring, he has to have a new strategy. the techniques you used in the previous bout might not always work in the new bout you face. Just like in life you cant use the same strategy in one season that you used in a previous season. Let me break it down, when I was at a wrestling tournament everyone was in the same weight class weighted in at the same time. So before even stepping on the mat, I knew I would have to no matter what I would have to face one of those dudes. It didn’t click until my junior year, one of my teammates always sat alone in the bleachers at tournaments. So one day I asked him why do you sit up here alone and not talk his teammates. He looked at me and said I’m up here to study my next opponent. “I gotta be ready for what techniques he throws at me next round” WOW. Just like my teammate was doing, life has a way of studying you and bringing harder opponents the next season. As time goes by in life you have to evolve and be ready for the opponent.
Just like sumo wrestling, there are no weight divisions and sometimes we face an opponent twice our own weight in life. But with superior techniques, smaller wrestlers can control and defeat much larger opponents. It’s just how you train and study for your next opponent.