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Originally known as “sumai”, meaning struggle, sumo began around 20 B.C. as military combat. Sumai used most of the modern sumo techniques, plus a variety of strikes.
It resembled other wrestling based arts such as mongolian wrestling and Indian wrestling. Before the 16th century almost all wrestling was practiced for battle. Evolving after the 16th century, it eventually became known as sumo. Rules, ranks, and a ring now make sumo into a sport of giants. The water ceremony, the bowing, the costumes, and pageantry are all reminders of the ancient military traditions are still recognized today in competition.
To follow a competition is quite easy. The winner is the one who forces his opponent out of the ring or forcing his opponent to touch the floor with any body part above the knee, first. The techniques they employ range from slapping (tsuppari), sweeps (ketaguri), and a wide variety of sacrafice throws (utchari).