A Day in the Life of a Sumo Wrestler

  • Sumo wrestlers are known as “rikishi” in Japanese. Every wrestler belongs to a particular stable in Japan, which is ruled by a retired wrestler known as “oyakata”, meaning boss. They’re known to be good wrestlers during their prime. The wife of an oyakata is known as “okamisan.” They also play as supportive members of the stable. They also organize functions and dinners as well as recruitment.

    A Sumo Wrestler’s Daily Activities


    Sumo wrestlers have to wake-up early in the morning in order to train. They need to have discipline in order to build better skills and move up in rank. This is the hope of every wrestler. It might be very hard for the young ones who are put into hard practice in order to toughen them. On the other hand, ranked wrestlers are allowed to sleep in for longer hours. They only join the training after they get up.


    Every stable has a ring for practice. A common ritual is known as “shiko.” Here, they have to stand with their legs apart and their hands are placed on their thigh or knees. One foot is bent and planted firmly on the ground as they raise the other leg in the air bringing the foot down to the ground. Many people believe these can strengthen the wrestlers’ lower body.


    Another exercise is the “teppo.” The wrestlers will have to push their hands forward along with their hips and legs of the same side. They do this by alternating between the left and right. Then there’s also the “matawari exercise.” This is done to develop flexibility in the lower body.


    Once a sumo wrestler wins a practice match, he will have to engage in “moshiai.” This is the time the winner will have to compete with challengers. This is a form of wrestlers’ elimination during the training. As tournament approaches, practice gets more intense!

    Featured image: jp.fotolia.com/