Sumai no sechie

Discussion in 'Koryu Bujutsu' started by Dead_pool, May 30, 2009.

  1. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Ive often heard mentioned that the forerunner to todays sumo, Sumai? used to be practised by bushi as a form of competative wrestling, and that it may of filled the gap of randori practise (not that all ryu didnt conduct randori) in some of the Koryu.

    Ive also found some interesting things about ryukyu sumo, which hasnt changed as much as the mainlands, amd retains a more 'normal sized' wrestling tradition: Affairs Info/Images Complete/IMAGES/070601-sumo.jpg

    Can anyone point me in the right direction, or share anything they know about the relation between Sumai (if thats the right name) and koryu?
  2. Josh Reyer

    Josh Reyer New Member

    Sumai no sechie predates koryu by a number of centuries, being a product of the Nara and Heian periods.

    One thing to keep in mind is that "sumo" is simply a Japanese word for wrestling, and the current conception of it is relatively recent, largely a product of the late-Edo, early-Meiji periods. Previous to that, emperors or daimyo might request a sumo exhibition, but it was essentially just getting big, strapping lads and having them go at it in just a loincloth. There were periods in the Edo period where sumo was often banned because it was simply rowdy riff-raff brawling. There was no ring; specators would form a ring around the wrestlers, sometimes interfering with the match and setting off fights.

    Sumo began to become respectable when the money men got involved. Kanjin-zumo, or "benefit sumo" began to be organized to raise money for temples and shrines. It was here that many of the rules and rituals began to be codified -- the ring was laid out, certain rituals performed, and so on. The professional sumo wrestler was born, and with that came codifying of techniques. As the goal was to raise money, it was very much a pro wrestling circus type atmosphere, with fixed fights, hometown guys given star billing, and kids with gigantism given sumo names and put up on the dohyo for the amusment of the patrons.

    From the Sengoku period to the Meiji period, various martial art practitioners undoubtedly wrestled for exercise and practice, but this was likely sumo in the sense of generic "wrestling" rather than the codified style of wrestling seen today. In fact, sumo as a martial art is often considered a "gendai budo", since the distinct modern style was developed so late.
  3. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Thank you for the information, is there any information about what form (rulesets, ways of winning, pictures of techniques etc) Sumai no sechie took?

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