The Tachiai is the initial charge of two sumo wrestlers at the beginning of a bout. This blog is intended to be my way of sharing my enjoyment of sumo – as well as my way of reaching out to an international community of sumo fans.
Sumo is the greatest sport in the world. I enjoy it for its simplicity, competitiveness, power, speed, tactics, sportsmanship and symbolism. Unfortunately, the world sees it as a bunch of fat guys trying to topple one another. There is some truth in the “immovable object” stereotype, as champions like Akebono and Musashimaru are prime examples. However, many champions like Chiyonofuji, Asashoryu and recently, Hakuho, were decidedly athletic. Their success was due to a combination of agility, strength, and guile as well as size.
I want to do my part to promote the sport because it is very difficult to find resources and there’s not much of a visible fan community in the US – where everything is football, football, football. There are some great similarities between the two sports…I see down linemen as very sumo-like. The snap is very similar to the tachiai. I’ve always been a fan of a strong running game built around a powerful offensive line. What I find frustrating is the way football treats holding as illegal, since fair enforcement is impossible. There’s holding on every play. What matters it what get’s called, and too often in our popular sports, it’s the refs’ calls that end up being the storylines.
American football, Aussie rules, and rugby, then, are like team versions of sumo where they’ve added a ball. But those sports are hobbled by all the complicated rules and unbalanced enforcement. Anyway, of these sports, my preference is for Aussie rules since it seems to be a much simpler, honest game, and I’ll probably have a blog about Aussie rules at some point. For now, I want to engage the sumo world.