The International Sumo Federation, founded in 1992, has made sumo more accessible to athletes and fans all over the world. There are now over 80 member nations of the International Sumo Federation, and the sport continues to grow worldwide, since anyone can participate. While the emphasis on respect and discipline is maintained, participants do not need to commit to the sumo lifestyle full-time, as in the case of pro sumo.
One goal of amateur sumo is to get sumo accepted as an official Olympic sport. To qualify for Olympic consideration, weight and gender classes have been established and the traditional Japanese sumo rituals have been abbreviated for international sumo events. However, the standard rules of competition remain the same.
Sumo, as a sport and martial art, is good exercise, developing strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance. Many participants enjoy sumo simply as exercise or recreation, while others take amateur competition seriously. Sumo is a relatively safe contact sport, with the focus on technique and self-cultivation.
American sumo wrestlers today are pioneering the development of Japan’s ancient tradition in the United States. Just as other martial arts have grown and thrived in this country, the development of sumo in the U.S. has great potential, as we continuously work to improve the caliber and number of American sumo athletes.
Men’s Weight Classes
Lightweight: up to 85 kg (~ 187 lbs)
Middleweight: up to 100 kg (~ 220 lbs)
Light Heavy: up to 115 kg (~ 254 lbs)
Heavyweight: over 115 kg (254 lbs +)
Women’s Weight Classes
Lightweight: up to 65 kg (~ 143 lbs)
Middleweight: up to 73 kg (~ 161 lbs)
Light Heavy: up to 80 kg (~ 176 lbs)
Heavyweight: over 80 kg (1776 lbs +)