Japanese Culture Society Holds Campus Sumo Exhibition | News
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Wearing a cowboy hat, Corey Morrison, founder of the Dallas Sumo Club, led a countdown in Japanese as his teammates stretched around in a black tawara and straw ring before their match .
The Japanese Cultural Society hosted the Dallas Sumo Club for a sumo wrestling demonstration Friday at the Maverick Activities Center. Sumo is a Japanese-style wrestling sport and the oldest combat sport in the world, Morrison said.
The Dallas Sumo Club was founded in January 2021 at the height of the pandemic, he said. Fortunately, the team was able to train at Kidd Springs Japanese Garden in Oak Cliff and 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu North Dallas in Carrollton.
The US Sumo Federation officially recognizes clubs in the Metroplex, Houston, San Antonio and Austin.
“One of our goals is to continue to develop[ing] the sport throughout DFW, but stays true to the traditions that make sumo great,” he said.
Melanie Martinez, IT manager and president of the Japanese Culture Society, said the organization hosts events to expose people to culture.
“I think it’s good when people have a diverse view of everything, so they’re not quick to judge things,” Martinez said.
Participants who wanted to fight were asked to bring towels and spandex shorts, she said. The Dallas Sumo Club provided a sumo belt called mawashi.
Sumo has ties to Shintoism, an indigenous Japanese religion, to ensure a good harvest, Morrison said. The match begins when two wrestlers are crouched in the middle of the ring and collide.
He said the wrestler loses if the soles of his feet lift off the ground or if he steps out of the ring.
He and his group demonstrated the art behind sumo wrestling, from match procedures to learning special moves.
One move is called Tsuri-Dashi, which is used by lifting an opponent by the belt to throw them out of the ring.
The gyoji, a Japanese expression for referee, shouted orders from outside the ring as two wrestlers ambled onto the mat.
“Matta nashi! »
Kamaete is a Japanese phrase meaning “get ready” and matta nashi means “no false start”, according to Tachiai, a sumo news site. Both sentences indicate that a match is beginning.
With fists on the ground and hips raised, men of all sizes prepare to smack each other in the ring. Students filled the pews, gasping and cheering for the action.
After the limb demonstration, Morrison opened the floor for the students to try out the sport.
Tobias Maiden, a freshman architecture student and member of the Japanese Culture Society, was one of the first to enter the ring.
Maiden, clad in his own mawashi, brawled with a member of the sumo club in the ring. He gathered all his strength, but his foot slipped out of the ring.
“I focused too much on the position of my feet and I lost,” he said. “But it was quite a fun experience.”
He walked away with a smile as his friends congratulated him.
“Sumo is alive and well and thriving around the world,” Morrison said. “But really, Texas is currently, for some reason, a hot spot for sumo, and we just want everyone to know that sumo is for everyone.”