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WANNAakkaido

Me and Progress

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Hello, I am someone who wants to participate in sumo wrestling whether that be in the US Sumo open or the less likely chance of partaking in Japanese sumo wrestling.  I am a nineteen year old living in the United States and if I want to be serious about this, I have to put in the work.  After I was painfully made aware that I was too old and too inexperienced to practice sumo, I got extremely motivated to try anyways.  So instead of just an introduction page, I thought it would be smart to also use it as a progress check up.  I want to update this thread either daily or weekly with my progress so that I keep at it and not give up.  I will also share other things that I steadily learn about sumo. 

I just started winter break from college and will dedicate everyday to learning sumo in any way I can.  I have been looking at transferring colleges and have found a multitude of options.  I can transfer to Portland, Oregon as they have a sumo club an hour away from the campus where I could practice in a better environment.  There is another college in California that is nearby the USA Sumo club with Yama and Takeshi, which I feel would be a good learning experience.  I have also looked into transferring to a Japanese University but I do not know any Japanese, which is kind of necessary if you want to live in Japan.  There are some transfer programs through colleges here that teach in English while being in Japan, but I am not sure if I would be able to join a sumo club at those universities and participate in competitions if it was through a USA school.  I could try and learn Japanese and transfer to a Japanese university, but time is not on my side.  While I am confident in my learning abilities, I don't think I could become fluent in less than a years time.

Obviously the best case scenario would be getting accepted into a stable, but chances are far from slim apparently.  Even so, I have tried emailing a couple stables.  I sent an email to the Asakayama beya, but as expected, no response.  I have also tried sending an email to the Musashigawa beya, but again, no response as of yet.  Hopefully it isn't rude to send an email in english or anything but I thought it would be even more disrespectful to send it in poor Google translate Japanese.

Day 1 - November 24th, 2020

I am not the most athletic of specimens on the planet, so this workout was a struggle.  I first did some sumo stretches where I followed along with a video as best as I could. 

It turns out I am not very flexible so I might look up more ways to stretch so I can do a full split eventually.  I can only move my back forward around the 45 degree mark, so my goal is to be able to touch the ground with my face while doing a full split.  After that, I did 50 shiko stomps followed by 30 koshiwari two times.  The first set wasn't very hard, but my balance was off a little bit for the shiko.  The second set I was really starting to feel it, but still finished.  I then did 20 suriashi slides and I definitley need to work on my technique for those.  I didn't do the teppo because there isn't really anything like it at my house.  I have a boxing bag set up so I might use that tomorrow.  Finally, I started the sumo push ups and wakishime.  I have almost no upper body strength, so I had to push off of my knees.  I hope that I will eventually be able to do a full sumo push up.  I did 30 of the push ups and then followed up with 30 of the wakishime.  I don't think I would really struggle with the wakishime if I had done it first, but since it was at the end of the workout I had to push myself to keep going.  I guess that's the point.  The third set of the push ups and wakishime really fell apart and I had to split up the last 30 of the push ups in half so I could take a break.  This is even with my knees on the ground.  I now know why wrestlers do their kind of shuffle waddle walk after my legs stopped responding to me.

Current Stats:

Height - 6'2" or 188 cm, give or take (this one probably won't change)

Weight - 169 lbs or 76.5 kg, give or take

 

 

Edited by WANNAakkaido
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Hi, I'm somebody around your age and size who also once considered trying my hand at sumo, though without much of your seriousness. To this end, a year or so ago I figured I would start doing shiko every day. While I'm no professional athlete, I do have some years of martial arts training, so I would just watch TV for an hour or so every day and do shiko throughout, followed by (extensive) stretching after. I can be a bit of an exercise nut at times, and this was definitely one of those.

It definitely improved my strength and flexibility. However, after about 2 weeks, my knees began to bother me. Having already had some issues with overtraining and knee pain in the past, I stopped. My advice to you is, if you are indeed not the most athletic of specimens, take it slow at first, but stay consistent. These two things will compliment each other.  You just don't want to destroy your body before actually getting started.

On that same subject, it might be helpful to consider your weight. As it currently stands, you're even lighter than Enho, who looks like a dwarf compared to most other rikishi. Do you have any plan to gain weight? Let's say you set a goal of something like 300 pounds, which I believe would put you somewhere around Kotoeko's weight. Even then you'd be on the small side, but it'd be a lot bigger than you are now, which would help you not get blown up at first contact. You might also consider the effects of this kind of weight gain on your body and whether you're sure you want to go through with it.

I don't want to discourage you from following your dream, although I will be honest and say that I don't think it's very feasible. It's just that there's a lot of parts to "being a sumo wrestler" that you need to see to yourself because you (probably) will not get to go to a stable. 

Best of luck.

 

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8 hours ago, Eskbibs said:

Hi, I'm somebody around your age and size who also once considered trying my hand at sumo, though without much of your seriousness. To this end, a year or so ago I figured I would start doing shiko every day. While I'm no professional athlete, I do have some years of martial arts training, so I would just watch TV for an hour or so every day and do shiko throughout, followed by (extensive) stretching after. I can be a bit of an exercise nut at times, and this was definitely one of those.

It definitely improved my strength and flexibility. However, after about 2 weeks, my knees began to bother me. Having already had some issues with overtraining and knee pain in the past, I stopped. My advice to you is, if you are indeed not the most athletic of specimens, take it slow at first, but stay consistent. These two things will compliment each other.  You just don't want to destroy your body before actually getting started.

On that same subject, it might be helpful to consider your weight. As it currently stands, you're even lighter than Enho, who looks like a dwarf compared to most other rikishi. Do you have any plan to gain weight? Let's say you set a goal of something like 300 pounds, which I believe would put you somewhere around Kotoeko's weight. Even then you'd be on the small side, but it'd be a lot bigger than you are now, which would help you not get blown up at first contact. You might also consider the effects of this kind of weight gain on your body and whether you're sure you want to go through with it.

I don't want to discourage you from following your dream, although I will be honest and say that I don't think it's very feasible. It's just that there's a lot of parts to "being a sumo wrestler" that you need to see to yourself because you (probably) will not get to go to a stable. 

Best of luck.

 

Thank you for the response.  I am also being very careful about my knees as that seems to be a big problem with most rikishi.  Hopefully consistency won't be too much of a problem as this whole thread will be dedicated to making sure I stay dedicated.  

My weight is something I have put some thought into as I am obviously very light for a sumo wrestler.  However, I thought it would be best to put on some muscle before putting on the pounds as I think that it would be smarter to do so first.  I have gained ten pounds the past month just by eating my fill at each meal, so if I keep up that progress in part with the daily training then maybe I can get to at least 200 pounds.  

I am not too worried about the feasibility of my goal to be a sumo wrestler because I know it is very unlikely.  I feel that if I put my all into it and try my hardest but still don't become a wrestler, well then I can't do much more than that.  I plan on competing in the US sumo open eventually anyway so not all would go to waste.

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On 24/11/2020 at 13:59, WANNAakkaido said:

 

Day 2 - November 25th, 2020

I completed the same workout as yesterday except for the suriashi and teppo as I was in a smaller room this time around.  It was difficult today because I was sore and was thinking if it would be smart to have a day off of the week just for rest and stretching.  I think I would have a rest day on Sundays.  I will have to do some more research on what muscles are the most important to a sumo wrestler.  I might also be getting a gym membership to a place in town that I could go work out on the machines.

I have also been doing some research and there seems to be a foreign exchange program with Nihon University through my current college.  It also looks like they have a graphic design option, which is my current major.  I heard they have a sumo club as well, so this might be a good choice.  However, I am unsure if they teach in English.

http://www.nihon-u.ac.jp/en/academics/graduates/art/#Access and Contact

I will contact them somehow and see what they require for international students.  If only I knew Japanese.

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Out of the US colleges that you mentioned, I think the California option would certainly be the best for you. The amateur sumo scene is much more firmly established there. Good luck. 

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Day 3 - November 26th, 2020

Since today was Thanksgiving I didn't do much except for a couple squats and eating some food. Tomorrow will be a full set and some more research. 

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Moderators:

Without passing judgment on the content of this thread, I think daily update posts would put it outside the realm of "Member Introductions"

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Yeah I think having it in this thread will get cluttered. I might hold off on posting here and making a blog or something of that nature and just link it here. 

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Day 4 - November 27th, 2020

Did my shiko and squats but stopped there. I lifted some weights to focus on my triceps because I think my form is off on the push ups. I got a gym membership as well, so I'll be going there to work out on the machines. I dont know much about protein powder and whatnot but bodybuilders use it, right? Surely it would help put on weight. I'll do some research on that. I'll also see if the judo club nearby are having practices because of covid. I was also thinking of not only studying sumo techniques, but also similar sports and how they train/their techniques. 

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On 25/11/2020 at 05:59, WANNAakkaido said:

Hopefully it isn't rude to send an email in english or anything but I thought it would be even more disrespectful to send it in poor Google translate Japanese.

Perhaps not rude but imagine if you wanted to apply for a job in the US and sent an email in Japanese? How do you think it would be received? What do you think it says to a stablemaster about how serious your intentions are if you don't do the bare minimum and get the letter translated?

Musashigawa has someone that can speak English of course but if you are hoping to enter an "all Japanese from day one" environment and can't even make the effort to put the application in Japanese it comes across as lazy and entitled.

 

 

Edited by John Gunning
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2 hours ago, John Gunning said:

Perhaps not rude but imagine if you wanted to apply for a job in the US and sent an email in Japanese? How do you think it would be received? What do you think it says to a stablemaster about how serious your intentions are if you don't do the bare minimum and get the letter translated?

Musashigawa has someone that can speak English of course but if you are hoping to enter an "all Japanese from day one" environment and can't even make the effort to put the application in Japanese it comes across as lazy and entitled.

 

 

I agree with this. It took me five years in full exposure of a Japanese elementary school environment before I was full fluent in the language. And that was when I was 9 years old. 

For the thread author, at this point in your life you won't have a lot of people to practice Japanese with, and your access to Japanese learning materials is going to be very limited too. If you're not at least going through your hiragana and katakana on a daily basis, and going through some kumon books, you're going to have some trouble putting some sentences together.

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