Sumo Wrestler Competition

Uncovering the Hidden World of Japan’s Sumo Wrestler

A sumo wrestler is an elite athlete who competes in the traditional Japanese sport of Sumo wrestling. 


Sumo wrestlers are known for their massive size and strength, with some weighing over 500 pounds. They follow a rigorous lifestyle that includes a strict diet, intense physical and mental training, and a focus on discipline and dedication. 


Sumo wrestling is a significant part of Japanese culture and tradition, with tournaments and competitions drawing large crowds and commanding respect and admiration. In this article, we will provide and explore the following:


  • A detailed look at the rigorous lifestyle of Japan’s elite Sumo wrestlers.
  • Exploring their daily routines.
  • Training regimens.
  • The challenges they face in their pursuit of excellence.
Sumo Wrestling Match between 2 men

Sumo wrestling is a combat sport that involves two wrestlers, or rikishi, competing against each other in a circular ring or dohyo. 

The objective is to force the opponent out of the ring or make them touch the ground with any part of their body other than their feet. Matches can last only a few seconds or several minutes, making it an unpredictable and exciting sport.

In Japan, Sumo wrestling is a sport and a cultural tradition deeply rooted in the country’s history and mythology. It is considered one of Japan’s most essential traditional sports. It has been recognized as an official sport since the 17th century. 

Sumo wrestling is not just about the physical prowess of the wrestlers but also their character and spirit. Sumo wrestling is believed to teach discipline, perseverance, and humility, all highly valued traits in Japanese society.

Lifestyle of Sumo Wrestler

Sumo wrestlers lead highly regimented lives focused on training and maintaining their physical and mental well-being. In this section, we will closely examine a typical Sumo wrestler’s daily schedule, diet, and living arrangements.

Sumo Wrestler Daily Schedule

5:00 amWake up
5:30-7:00 amIntense physical exercise (stretching, cardio, weightlifting)
7:30-9:30 amBreakfast
10:00-12:00 pmWrestling technique practice and physical conditioning
12:30-2:00 pmLunch (largest meal of the day)
2:30-4:30 pmRest and recovery
5:00-8:00 pmTechnique perfection and mental focus training
8:30-9:30 pmLight dinner
10:00 pmBedtime

Sumo Wrestler Diet

Sumo wrestlers consume a highly specialized diet carefully crafted to support their intense training regimen. They eat large amounts of food to maintain their massive size and strength, with a typical daily caloric intake of around 10,000 calories or more.

Their diet is high in protein and carbohydrates, focusing on lean meats, fish, and vegetables. They also consume a special soup called chan-ko-nabe, a hot pot dish made with various ingredients such as chicken, tofu, and vegetables.

Sumo Wrestler Diet, 2 men battle

Sumo Wrestler Living Arrangements

Sumo wrestlers typically live together in communal training stables known as heya. These training stables are run by a stable master, who oversees the training and development of the wrestlers. 

Living in these stables allows wrestlers to focus entirely on their training and maintain a sense of camaraderie with their fellow wrestlers.

The living conditions in the stables are essential, with the wrestlers sleeping on thin futons laid out on the floor. The stables also have a traditional bathhouse where the wrestlers can relax and unwind after a long training day. 

Overall, the living arrangements of Sumo wrestlers are designed to support their rigorous training regimen and ensure they are in optimal physical and mental condition.

Sumo Wrestler Tournaments

Tournaments and competitions are the ultimate tests for Sumo wrestlers. 

In this section, we will explore the types of tournaments and competitions, the rules and regulations they must follow, and the preparation and expectations they face when competing.

Types of Tournaments

Sumo wrestlers participate in several tournaments throughout the year, known as Basho. Six Basho tournaments are held annually, three in Tokyo and one in Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka. 

Each Basho lasts for fifteen days, during which wrestlers compete against each other in a round-robin format.

The wrestlers are divided into two divisions: the Makuuchi division, the top division, and the Juryo division, the second-highest division. Wrestlers must win a certain number of matches to avoid demotion to a lower division or to move up to a higher one.

Rules and Regulations

Sumo wrestling has unique rules and regulations that wrestlers must adhere to during tournaments and competitions. 

Matches are won by either pushing the opponent out of the ring or forcing them to touch the ground with any part of their body other than the soles of their feet.

Wrestlers must wear a traditional outfit known as a mawashi, a loincloth made of silk. They must also follow strict rules on behavior and etiquette, such as bowing to their opponent before and after a match.

Sumo Wrestling Tournament

Sumo Wrestler Tournament Preparation

Preparing for a Basho tournament is an intense process that requires months of training and discipline. Wrestlers must maintain a strict diet and exercise regimen to ensure they are in peak physical and mental condition for the competition.

The expectations placed on Sumo wrestlers during Basho tournaments are high, both from their trainers and from the public. The tournaments are highly competitive, and the wrestlers are expected to perform at their best at all times.

Despite the intense pressure and expectations, participating in a Basho tournament is a tremendous honor for Sumo wrestlers. It is a chance for them to showcase their skills and dedication to their sport while representing their country and culture.


Sumo Wrestler Challenges and Risks

Sumo wrestling is more than just a physically demanding sport. Still, it also comes with challenges and risks that wrestlers must face. This section will explore the challenges and dangers that Sumo wrestlers face in their careers.

Injuries and Health Concerns

Injuries are common in Sumo wrestling, as the sport involves significant physical contact and strain on the body. Common injuries include sprains, fractures, and concussions. 

Wrestlers must also deal with the long-term effects of excessive weight, such as joint pain and heart disease.

Sumo wrestlers must also be vigilant about their health, as obesity-related illnesses are a significant risk factor. They must maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly to reduce their risk of developing health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Sumo Wrestler Competition

Weight Management

Weight management is a crucial aspect of Sumo wrestling, as wrestlers are required to maintain a minimum weight to compete. The sport’s weight classes are determined by the wrestler’s weight, and they must stay within their weight class to compete.

However, wrestlers must also maintain a significant amount of weight to compete at the highest level. This often requires consuming large amounts of food and following a high-calorie diet, which can lead to obesity-related health issues.

Psychological Pressure

Sumo wrestling also places a significant amount of psychological pressure on wrestlers. 

They must deal with the stress of competing at a high level while also adhering to strict rules and regulations.

Wrestlers must also face the pressure of public scrutiny, as Sumo wrestling is a highly respected and widely watched sport in Japan. The pressure to perform well and maintain their status as elite athletes can be overwhelming for some wrestlers.


Sumo wrestling is a unique and fascinating sport that holds a significant place in Japanese culture and tradition. Sumo wrestlers showcase their skills and strength through their dedication and discipline while representing their country and culture.

This blog post has explored the inside world of Sumo wrestling, from the lifestyle of a Sumo wrestler to the training regimen, tournaments, and the challenges they face. 

We have seen that Sumo wrestlers lead a rigorous lifestyle requiring them to follow strict rules and regulations.

Despite the challenges and risks of Sumo wrestling, including injuries, health issues, weight management, and psychological pressure, Sumo wrestlers continue to compete at the highest level. 

They showcase their skills and strength, making Sumo wrestling a unique and fascinating sport that commands respect and admiration.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do Sumo wrestlers train? 

A: Sumo wrestlers train through a combination of physical and mental training. They engage in exercises that build strength, endurance, and flexibility, such as weightlifting, running, and practicing Sumo wrestling techniques. 

They also focus on mental training, including meditation and visualization, to improve their focus and concentration.

Q: What is the diet of a Sumo wrestler? 

A: The diet of a Sumo wrestler typically consists of high-calorie foods, such as chanko nabe, a hot pot dish that includes meat, fish, and vegetables. Sumo wrestlers also consume large amounts of rice, eggs, and protein shakes to help them maintain their weight and build muscle.

Q: How are Sumo wrestling tournaments structured? 

A: Sumo wrestling tournaments are structured into several divisions based on the wrestler’s rank. The highest rank is Yokozuna, followed by Ozeki, Sekiwake, Komusubi, Maegashira, and Juryo. Wrestlers compete in a round-robin format, and the wrestler with the most wins in their division is declared the winner.

Q: What are the risks associated with Sumo wrestling? 

A: Sumo wrestling involves significant physical contact and strain on the body, which can lead to injuries such as sprains, fractures, and concussions. Wrestlers must also manage their weight to stay within their weight class, which can lead to obesity-related health issues. Additionally, Sumo wrestlers face significant psychological pressure to maintain their status as elite athletes.

Q: Can women participate in Sumo wrestling

A: Women are not allowed to compete professionally in Sumo wrestling, but amateur women’s Sumo wrestling competitions exist.

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