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Robert Rumpf
02-20-2007, 03:28 PM
There has been some discussion recently on Aikiweb about using Sumo principles and exercises in Aikido.

I was wondering if anyone on this site who has personal expertise or training in Sumo would choose to comment on Sumo's availability outside of Japan, applicability to Aikido, similarities and differences between the arts, etc.

Is the overlap in practitioners limited to Japan in the past (and possibly present) or is there lots of Sumo training ongoing outside of Japan as well (in the US, for example)?

Thanks,
Rob

Jim Sorrentino
02-23-2007, 10:04 AM
Hi Rob,

I am very surprised that nobody has replied to this question. Maybe the sumotori are too busy training to talk about it. :)

Did the famous Tenryu (see Aikido Journal interview at http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=449) ever produce any aikido students of his own? Did he steer any other sumotori into aikido? Did any aikido teachers other than O-Sensei instruct sumotori, or take up the study of sumo themselves?

Jim

Ron Tisdale
02-23-2007, 10:15 AM
Can't answer the general questions too well, but here are some thoughts...

I know of Daito ryu groups and aikido groups that use at least some sumo style 'wrestling / randori' for non-cooperative training in addition to kata training. Another connection can be found in the latest book about the closed Sagawa dojo...the writer speaks of Sagawa telling him to train using the sumo 'stomping' as a way of conditioning the body while away from regular training.

Best,
Ron

Edward
02-23-2007, 10:55 AM
I have had the occasion to watch a lot of Sumo a few years ago as I had a subscription to NHK channel. It was amazing for me to see the similarities between Sumo and the group of throws we have in aikido under Kokyu Nage. During my Judo days, we used to do Sumo competitions once a month as a training tool. It was fun.

DH
02-23-2007, 12:52 PM
There were several DR instructors who spoke of Sumo body training and advocated it.
Ueshiba -if he didn't already know -enountered why? In Tenryu.
Tenryu enountered -how- to improve it through DR in Ueshiba
And what sort of training were they doing?
And why did he graduated in three months?

It doesn't mean go do so Sumo.
Why I hear tell that many old time Sumo guys will tell you the new guys ain't doing sumo well at all.
Sound familiar?
Seems everyone, everywhere, is just getting harder and flexing and lifting and its all going down the drain.
Its pretty sad when you meet MMAers who have a better understanding of weight distribition, relaxation VS flexation, stretching through locks, setting up counters and free thinking under stress ....over the "understanding" of so many "Budo" men.
Some of the stiffest, and lightest people to move, I ever met, came from Aikido: the soft art.
Some of the heaviiest were BJJ and MMAers.
Who don't know.... the bu...do.
Cheers
Dan

Adman
02-23-2007, 12:55 PM
Did any aikido teachers other than O-Sensei instruct sumotori...Not much on details, but the following link mentions Tohei sensei's involvement with a couple of sumotori (and others). Apparently, the instruction had less to do with aikido as it did with "ki" principles.

http://universalmind.way-nifty.com/universalmind_english/2005/09/histo.html

There's an image of Tohei sensei instructing Takamiyama in kokyu-dosa.

Adam

Robert Rumpf
02-23-2007, 01:51 PM
There were several DR instructors who spoke of Sumo body training and advocated it.
Ueshiba -if he didn't already know -enountered why? In Tenryu.
Tenryu enountered -how- to improve it through DR in Ueshiba
And what sort of training were they doing?
And why did he graduated in three months?

It doesn't mean go do so Sumo.
Why I hear tell that many old time Sumo guys will tell you the new guys ain't doing sumo well at all.
Sound familiar?
Seems everyone, everywhere, is just getting harder and flexing and lifting and its all going down the drain.
Its pretty sad when you meet MMAers who have a better understanding of weight distribition, relaxation VS flexation, stretching through locks, setting up counters and free thinking under stress ....over the "understanding" of so many "Budo" men.
Some of the stiffest, and lightest people to move, I ever met, came from Aikido: the soft art.
Some of the heaviiest were BJJ and MMAers.
Who don't know.... the bu...do.
Cheers
Dan

Who are these DR instructors?

What are the specific types of training? Are there any books or examples of this training in video form?

Are there any experts that you would recommend otherwise as a source?

Why doesn't it mean go do sumo? If that is a place that has those skills in a way that is repeatable, than why not learn those skills there?

Who are these old sumo guys disparaging the new ones and why? How do we know this isn't typical nostalgia for the days of yore?

I'm not sure how MMA in any way enters the discussion on this thread, since I didn't mention it, but I'd love to know what MMA people are doing in the sumo context.

I'm not sure how your post answers any of the questions or issues that I mentioned when I began this thread in any way whatsoever.

Dan, with all due respect, your post seems to be anonymous, anecdotal, and vague information and another attack on "some" Aikido people with respect on to "some" other people in BJJ and MMA that is seen so often these days on so many other threads on Aikiweb.

Whether this criticism is valid or not, please don't pollute this thread with it unless the discussion is topical and factual.

Here's another point, I vaguely remember John Stevens (in "Abundant Peace: The Biography of Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido," 1987) talking about O-Sensei studying sumo as a teenager in his book as a cure to being "sickly." Is my memory faulty, or am I thinking of someone else? Does anyone know more details than that? Unfortunately, the book isn't here to check.

Thanks for the input, though, Dan...
Rob

Ron Tisdale
02-23-2007, 02:21 PM
Most Japanese males of that time and before did some amount of sumo...the way many males in many parts of the world did some form of wrestling growing up. I remember reading the same thing you did, but have no other details handy.

One of the Daito ryu instructors Dan was referencing was Sagawa Yukiyoshi.

Best,
Ron

DH
02-23-2007, 02:40 PM
Rob
All but one of the post above mine were -as you put it- anonymous, anecdotal, and vague.

*******************************
"There has been some discussion recently on Aikiweb about using Sumo principles and exercises in Aikido......."

"I know of Daito ryu groups and aikido groups that use at least some sumo style 'wrestling / randori' for non-cooperative training in addition to kata training."

"...the writer speaks of Sagawa telling him to train using the sumo 'stomping' as a way of conditioning the body while away from regular training."

"During my Judo days, we used to do Sumo competitions once a month as a training tool. It was fun."

*************************************
Interesting call, Rob. Hhmmm....

The Sumo exercises have even been mentioned here at Aiki web and also why they were either a waste, or useful.

The comments about "sumo training in their youth", as well as the notion that "I was a sickly child, so I trained martial arts." Is a twice told tale in so many budo interview I lost count.

Critiques as just being nothing more than "Nostalgia of the old days?" Go watch and learn.
What is happening in Sumo is happening everywhere.
Heres more vagueres for ya. Judoka have been writing about guys using more and more muscle and lack of refinement for years, Aikidoka-including master level teachers have been bemoaning the level of AIkido they see....for years So the degredation of various arts in the modern era -as-viewed by their own participants- is a corollary to what is happening in Sumo. Some men are reintroducing more stressful training to rediscover how to actually use some of these lost basics. Which was why I mentioned it.
Pollution? Well that's your view.

Dan

Robert Rumpf
02-24-2007, 01:26 PM
Rob
All but one of the post above mine were -as you put it- anonymous, anecdotal, and vague.

*******************************
"There has been some discussion recently on Aikiweb about using Sumo principles and exercises in Aikido......."

"I know of Daito ryu groups and aikido groups that use at least some sumo style 'wrestling / randori' for non-cooperative training in addition to kata training."

"...the writer speaks of Sagawa telling him to train using the sumo 'stomping' as a way of conditioning the body while away from regular training."

"During my Judo days, we used to do Sumo competitions once a month as a training tool. It was fun."

*************************************
Interesting call, Rob. Hhmmm....

The Sumo exercises have even been mentioned here at Aiki web and also why they were either a waste, or useful.

The comments about "sumo training in their youth", as well as the notion that "I was a sickly child, so I trained martial arts." Is a twice told tale in so many budo interview I lost count.

Critiques as just being nothing more than "Nostalgia of the old days?" Go watch and learn.
What is happening in Sumo is happening everywhere.
Heres more vagueres for ya. Judoka have been writing about guys using more and more muscle and lack of refinement for years, Aikidoka-including master level teachers have been bemoaning the level of AIkido they see....for years So the degredation of various arts in the modern era -as-viewed by their own participants- is a corollary to what is happening in Sumo. Some men are reintroducing more stressful training to rediscover how to actually use some of these lost basics. Which was why I mentioned it.
Pollution? Well that's your view.

You're right as always Dan. Can we talk about sumo now?

Let me repeat: I was wondering if anyone on this site who has personal expertise or training in Sumo would choose to comment on Sumo's availability outside of Japan, applicability to Aikido, similarities and differences between the arts, etc.

Is the overlap in practitioners limited to Japan in the past (and possibly present) or is there lots of Sumo training ongoing outside of Japan as well (in the US, for example)?

Rob

MM
02-25-2007, 10:22 AM
During my short stint with Mike and Rob, I got to do shiko. Well, attempted, anyway. But, one thing I thought about was that the shiko exercise builds the framework. But it doesn't seem to build the power structure.

So, my guess is that Tenryu had the framework in place, but what he learned from Ueshiba was the power/path aspect. Pushing Ueshiba up the steps taught him how to work the paths through his body and merge it with the framework that his sumo training gave him.

Mark

Josh Reyer
02-25-2007, 09:05 PM
Let me repeat: I was wondering if anyone on this site who has personal expertise or training in Sumo would choose to comment on Sumo's availability outside of Japan, applicability to Aikido, similarities and differences between the arts, etc.

Is the overlap in practitioners limited to Japan in the past (and possibly present) or is there lots of Sumo training ongoing outside of Japan as well (in the US, for example)?

Rob

There is a good deal of amateur sumo training available in the world. Not a lot, but it's not limited to just Japan. Here's a link

http://www.usasumo.com/what_links.html

Explore that site, and see what you can find.

FWIW, Kosei Inoue, probably the best competitive judoka in Japan right now, has begun making occassional training trips to a professional sumo stable in preparation for the Beijing Olympics.