Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sumo becomes a "Mongolian" wrestling sport

Mongolian wrestler (traditional wrestling)
Wrestling. One of the toughest physical sports which requires lot of skills and strong muscles. Many nations have own  traditional wrestling games which differ in appearance, regulation and techniques. Mongols have own traditional wrestling sport called "Undesnii boekh", Japanese have their "Sumo", the free style wrestling is considered as the traditional sport in Azerbaijan, the Senegalese call their national wrestling as "Njor", Koreans call theirs "Ssireum", Turkish have this "Oil wrestling", which is know as "Kurash" in Uzbekistan, British Isles have also different styles including "Cumbrian wrestling" , the Austrians have their "Ranggeln", the Swiss have that "Schwingen", the Iranians call theirs as  "Koshti", one of the many styles in India  is called "Mukna", "Bok Chan Bab" is the name of the Cambodian traditional wrestling, the Burmese call theirs "Naban", "Die Jiao" being as the traditional Chinese wrestling style among the others practiced by the non-Chinese minorities in China, the Mexicans have their "Lucha Libre", Sweden's folk wrestling is called "Kragkast", and this list is going to be a very long one if one would include all types and names of wrestling  existed and/or still exist  in the world.

Kakuryu Anand
A Mongolian sumo wrestler named Anand (his Mongolian name) just became the Yokozuna (the highest rank in Sumo) in Japanese professional Sumo. Kakuryu Anand is the 71st Yokozuna in the Sumo history, the sixth foreign-born Yokozuna, and the fourth from Mongolia. The last 4 Yokozunas are all Mongolian citizens, with 3 still active and one retired.  How come the Mongols are so successful in a different type of wrestling than their own? With the last four Yokozunas and more wrestlers in the Makuuchi (top division in pro  Sumo) and other lower divisions, climbing up to the top, this success cannot be called as "accidental". The secret is actually not a "secret", and I'll be more than happy  to share it with you:

1. the ability to adjust
2. the endurance
3. the physical foundation

Just like as one of my co-worker, a black  dude, used to say that the habit of "laying eyes on females" is in their "blood", the toughness and the talent to be "universal" are  in our blood. We have been created so by the nature. There are plenty of examples to prove this. The biggest one would be the invasion of  almost half of the known  world back in 13- 14th centuries. Yes, they could not have  accomplished this if they were "chickens" and weak. They didn't have the  "Kalashnikovs" or tanks, so they had to ride thousands of miles, exposed to all kind of weather conditions, and had to use their  sheer muscles and brain to defeat their enemies.  Why couldn't Germans or Russians do it? Caucasians are of bigger statures than the Asians but they couldn't do do it because they lacked the three "elements" I just mentioned above. Remind you that with "physical foundation" I didn't mean pure the size (height and weight) of the body. Characteristics like the firmness  of the skin and toughness of the flesh should be included in this complex term. The shortness of their body height   must have been a disadvantage on their part, but they could overpower their enemies because their advantages outweighed their disadvantages.

Per Inge Oestmoen wrote, "...In spite of their  being small, Mongol men were in average a little below 170cm [67 inches] , their bodies were powerful. Their weight was about 70 kg [154 pound] trained muscle. Medieval accounts from Persia and elsewhere testify to their great physical strength, disproportionate to their small frame. Still another indicator of prodigious power is the famous Mongol bow. Recurved and powerful, its draw weight lay around 166 pounds. Most grown men of  today will find that a 50-pound bow is about the upper limit of what they can comfortably handle, and modern bows used for competition have draw weights around a mere 30-40 pounds..."   (from "The extraordinary physical ability of the Mongols"  :  http://www.coldsiberia.org/webdoc5.htm )

Not long after the Mongols "discovered" the Sumo in 1990s, and sent some youngsters to Japan, the Mongolian Sumo wrestler  started  causing "troubles" for the native Japanese as their most feared challengers. Among the first Mongolian pioneers, Kyokushuzan Batbayar who retired long ago, was  well-known  for his techniques, and Kyokutenho Tsevegnyam, a veteran,  is still active , amazing the Sumo fans  with his fighting spirit.  Other kids soon followed their steps and in 2003 the first Mongolian Yokozuna, Asashoryu Dagvadorj,   was born. In 2007 Hakuho was promoted to Yokozuna, followed by Harumafuji in 2012, and this month of March a new Yokozuna, Kakuryu Anand, is born. (see:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_yokozuna )
More on Kakuryu Anand, see:





One can feel the "pain" of the Japanese Sumo fans and the  nation as a whole, but there is not much to do unless they prohibit foreign-born wrestlers to compete in Japan. In order to stop and eliminate the Mongol dominance, they should change the rule and forbid the foreigners as a whole, otherwise leaving out only Mongols would look "discriminatory" and make the host country  look "bad".  But I don't think that is going to happen, and that means the Mongol domination will continue. On the other hand the Japanese should be thankful to the Mongols for making their Sumo so attractive and well-known in the other parts of the world, beyond the Japanese borders. Especially, during the "Asa-rule" (68th Yokozuna Asashoryu) the Sumo's popularity grew sky high. And today one can be sure that these three Mongolian Yokozunas will do everything to make the Sumo more attractive and competitive. Every Sumo fan, domestic and foreign alike, will enjoy many fierce fights in the future thanks to the Mongol wrestlers who are born to be "wild".

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