Description of sumo techniques
This list of sumo techniques is taken essentially verbatim from
the SUMO FAQ for the sumo mailing list on
firstname.lastname@example.org (send message "help" for info).
Contributers include J. Crossley, Y. Hiraga, D. Riley,
and J. Swain.
- Abisetaoshi: frontal force-down; the same as yoritaoshi
except that it occurs inside the ring.
- Amiuchi: net-casting twist-down; grab the opponent's
arms, spread-eagle his body, and then pull him down.
- Ashitori: two-handed leg tip-over; quickly getting his
hands under the rival's leg, he then lifts up to get him off-balance
and dump him.
- Chongake: from a close but non-contact stance, tip the
opposite side leg of the opponent by the ankle (e.g. right leg tips
right ankle), making it aloft, then push opponent down.
- Fusenhai: You don't show up for the match. The
winner-by-default wins by Fusensho.
- Gasshohineri: clasped-hands twist throw; while holding
the opponent's head with both hands, the attacker twists him down.
- Hansoku: (losing techniques) Violation of sumo rules:
These result in automatic loss of the person who did it:
Strike with a fist. It is legal to strike with an open palm
Grab opponent's hair. Quite common, mostly accidental.
Strike weak points like the eye or the pit.
Strike both ears from both sides simultaneously.
Hold or put fingers in the vertical portion of the mawashi. You know
Grab opponent's throat.
Kick opponent's chest or stomach.
Press on one or two of opponent's fingers.
If one's mawashi falls off during a bout (yuck!), he automatically loses.
- Harimanage: rear-belt throw.
- Hatakikomi: winner slaps the opponent's shoulder, back,
neck or arm to bring him down. Often seen right at the tachiai.
- Hikiotoshi: pulling down the opponent's hand or hands to
force him down. Can be used on the opponent's mawashi as well.
Similar to tsukiotoshi.
- Hikkake: arm-grabbing force-out; while grabbing an arm from the inside, a rikishi uses the other hand to grab the opponent's
other hand or arm to to pull or twist him down.
- Ippon-Zeoi: dodge an opponent's TSUKI. grab his stretched
arm over the shoulder and hurl over. Also seen in Judo, except that
you can't knee down in Sumo.
Isamiashi: (a losing technique) At the Dohyo rim, the
offensive side accidentally steps outside. Also commonly used as an
idiom meaning "going too far".
- Izori: dodge opponent's rush by crouching down, rise
while grabbing his leg with both arms and mount him on back, further
lean back making him fall (first). Mainoumi (again!) once did this.
- Kainahineri: two-handed arm twist-down; take opponent's
upper arm with one arm, place palm of other arm from above and press
down, making the opponent turn over.
- Kakenage: combination arm-leg throw where the attacker
locks one arm around the opponent while wrapping one leg around him
also. Then he swings down the off-balance rikishi to the dirt.
- Kakezori: leg-kick sacrifice throw.
- Katasukashi: under-shoulder swing-down; the attacker gets
his own arm under the other's, then twists his body to make the other
stumble forward. Then with the other arm, slap the opponent on his
shoulder to make him fall. If done quickly, the opponent will make a
full flip. Looks a lot like hatakikomi.
- Kawazugake: backward lift counter trip against
tsuridashi, tsuriotoshi or sotogake; in self-defense, a rikishi will
wrap a leg around the back of his opponent's leg. At the same time he
puts the arm on the same side of his around his opponent's neck,
forcing both to fall backwards, and the counter-attacker lands on top.
- Kekaeshi: footsweep; a rikishi suddenly kicks out his
opponent's ankle while pulling him down to the dirt.
- Ketaguri: when opponent comes rushing forward, kick his
ankle from inside-out and he will stumble on his own. Effective as a
surprise attack at the beginning instant, especially against an
- Kimedashi: elbow-clamp force-out; to lock one's arms
around the opponent's thrusting or gripping arms and then drive him
out in style similar to yorikiri.
- Kimetaoshi: elbow-clamp force-down; same as above but the
loser is forced down.
- Kirikaeshi: backward knee trip while in yotsu-zumo; the
attacker gets the underside of his knee on the other's kneecap while
holding his mawashi to twist him down.
- Komatasukui: over-thigh scoop; using a dashinage from the
left, then grabbing the opponent's right leg from the knee or above,
keeping his balance while toppling the other.
Koshikudake: (a losing technique) Lose balance for some
reason, with weight on the back side, and fall from the hip.
- Koshinage: to throw after mounting opponent on one's
waist. Not very effective.
- Kotenage: arm-lock throw; the winner locks his arms
around the other's and then swings him down.
- Kubihineri: press one palm on opponent's neck, grab his
elbow with the other arm and twistingly press down with the arm on his
- Kubinage: head-lock throw; almost exclusively a defensive
technique. Curl an arm around opponent's neck and throw in a twisting
motion. The other arm should "kill", i.e. grab opponent's facing arm.
Also is a sumo-slang for having sex :-)
- Makiotoshi: sideways twist-throw; the rikishi grabs the
other's torso and wraps them around his back to twist him down. This
usually becomes tsukiotoshi in the end.
- Mitokorozeme: using an UCHIGAKE move, stretch the free
arm under the knee of opponent's other leg to lift up and topple him
- Nichonage: leg-sweep throw; also called a two-leaf throw.
Take a SHITATE, tangle the same side leg around opponent's
opposite-side leg (i.e. for a right SHITATE, tangle right leg to
opponent's right leg), and using it as a pivot, throw him down.
- Nimaigeri: kick opponent's ankle from the outside to make
- Okuridashi: one rikishi gets turned around and the other
pushes him out from behind.
- Okuritaoshi: same as okuridashi but the winner pushes so
hard that the other falls down.
- Oomata: when the opponent advances the opposite leg, lift
it up from the inside thigh and topple him down.
- Oshidashi: frontal push-out, arms folded/bent
- Oshitaoshi: frontal push-down, the loser falling out of
- Sabaori: forward force-down; the attacker pulls on the
other's mawashi from the outside while they are in each other's grip,
then leaning forward to bring him to the dirt in a kneeling position.
Note that sabaori as commonly known (which is more like
pro-wrestling's bear hug, clenching fists behind the opponent's back)
is illegal in Sumo.
- Sakatottari: arm-bar throw counter; freeing the hand that
was held by the opponent, the rikishi then twists down the other man.
- Shitatedashinage: pulling under-arm throw. This by itself
is often not decisive, but will disrupt opponent's stance.
- Shitatehineri: twisting under-arm throw; the attacker
grips inside or under his opponent's mawashi to twist him down.
- Shitatenage: under-arm throw; similar to uwatenage,
except the winner has a grip on the mawashi inside of the other's arm
or under the mawashi.
- Shumokuzori: crouch down and lift opponent up high
before leaning back. Posture similar to pro-wrestling's airplane.
- Sotogake: frontal leg trip; bringing an opponent toward
the attacker from a gripping position, then tripping him from the
front of the leg below the knees.
- Sotokomata: similar to komatasukui, but the attacker
wraps his arm under the other's thigh instead of from above.
- Sotomuso: outer-thigh-grabbing twist-down; the attacker's
arm is over his opponent's and then brushes the area behind his
rival's right knee and twist him down to the right.
- Soto-tasukizori: secure hold one of opponent's elbow,
swing other arm to the same side and stretch to hold his leg from the
inside, then lean back while lifting opponent. Very rare.
- Sukuinage: throw an opponent without a Mawashi grip,
initially shoving opponent's armpit in a slightly upward direction.
- Susoharai: backward footsweep.
- Susotori: if opponent's one leg steps forward right in
one's front, grab that ankle from the outside to make him fall.
- Tasukizori: mount opponent on shoulder grabbing his arm
with one arm and his leg with the other. Lean back to fall.
- Tottari: grab opponent's wrist with one hand, take hold
of the elbow from below with the other, take a side-by-side position
and twist whole body to make opponent topple. Another surprise attack
- Tsukaminage: lift up opponent by the grip and drop down.
- Tsukidashi: thrust out; similar to oshidashi except the
right/left hands are used alternately to force out the other.
- Tsukiotoshi: winner turns suddenly and forces down the
opponent at an angle. Often a defensive tactic by a retreating
- Tsukitaoshi: tsukidashi with the loser being thrust off
his feet in/out of the ring.
- Tsumatori: take opponent by his side and advance to make
him lose balance, then grab an ankle or toe and lift to make him fall
to the front.
- Tsuridashi: hold the opponent by the mawashi and lift
out; the winner carries the loser out of the ring.
- Tsuriotoshi: similar to tsuridashi, but the attacker
cannot lift out his opponent, so he drops him inside the ring.
Requires great strength and it's dangerous to lose by this kimarite.
- Uchigake: inside leg trip; same as sotogake, but tripping
from above the knee of the opponent.
- Uchimuso: inner-thigh-grabbing twist-down; similar to
sotomuso, but the move is to the left instead of the right.
- Utchari: The ultimate reversal tactics. Pressed at the
edge of the dohyo rim, lean back, support opponent's weight on the
stomach, then twist to either side to let him go first. Often very
spectacular, but can be hazardous as the winner leans far back and
twists the other around to toss him out.
- Uwatedashinage: Different from uwatenage in that the
palm faces up, with the two often standing in a side-by-side position.
The throw is more like a dragging motion towards the opposing side
leg. This will cause a rotating motion of the opponent, so he often
falls face up, while in an uwatenage, he falls face down.
- Uwatehineri: twisting over-arm throw; similar to
shitatehineri, but executed with an outside hold on the opponent's
- Uwatenage: winner gets his grip on the outside of his
opponent's arm and on the mawashi to throw him down.
- Waridashi: Take an uwate hold with one arm, press the
other on opponent's upper arm, advance to make him lean back and out
of the dohyo.
- Watashikomi: thigh-grabbing push-down;the attacker grabs
the back of his opponent's calf and pulls it forward, while pushing
against his body and thrusting him out with the other hand.
- Yaguranage: from an uwate hold, lift the same side knee
between the opponent's thigh, and after an initial lifting grip,
- Yobimodoshi: backward push-down; the attacker draws his
rival over to him and then uses that momentum to thrust the man down.
- Yorikiri: frontal force-out; the attacker will be holding
the mawashi of his opponent.
- Yoritaoshi: similar style as yorikiri, but the victor
lands on top of the loser, and this occurs outside of the ring.
- Zubuneri: elbow-twist throw; while the attacker's head
is on the opponent's chest or shoulder (making it a fulcrum), he grabs
the other's elbow and twists down the other rikishi.
Classification of the various kimarite
HANARE (or Tsuki-Oshi & Inashi): Techniques which rely on pushing.
- Tsuki: Tsukidashi, Tsukitaoshi (the
right/left hands are used alternately to force out the other)
- Oshi: Oshidashi, Oshitaoshi, Okuridashi, Okuritaoshi
(pushing the opponent out with two hands)
- Hataki & Otoshi: Hatakikomi, Tsukiotoshi, Hikiotoshi, Sokubiotoshi
(slap down and force down)
- Keri & Kake: Kekaeshi, Ketaguri, Hikkake, Chongake
(force down using the foot as a fulcrum)
- Other: Koshikudake (loss of balance)
KUMI (or Yotsu): Techniques which rely on pulling.
- Yori: Yorikiri, Yoritaoshi, Kimedashi, Kimetaoshi,
Abisetaoshi, Waridashi, Sabaori (pulling the opponent with a grip on
the mawashi or elsewhere)
- Tsuri: Tsuridashi, Tsuriotoshi (lift out)
- Nage: Uwatenage, Uwatedashinage, Shitatenage, Shitatedashinage,
Kotenage, Sukuinage, Katasukashi, Nichonage, Kubinage, Kakenage,
Koshinage, Yobimodoshi, Harimanage, Ipponzeoi, Yaguranage,
Yaguraotoshi, Tsukaminage (throws as in judo)
- Kake: Sotogake, Uchigake, Kawazugake, Kirikaeshi, Susoharai, Nimaigeri,
Oomata, Komata, Soto-Komata (trips)
- Hineri: Uwatehineri, Shitatehineri, Kainahineri,
Gasshohineri (Kubihineri),Zubuneri (twisting the opponent down)
- Uchi & Otoshi: Amiuchi, Utchari, Makiotoshi (twist-throws)
- Muso & Tori: Uchimuso, Sotomuso, Komatasukui, Watashikomi,
Tottari, Sakatottari, Ashitori, Tsumatori (throws with contact in two places)
- Sori: Izori, Tasukizori, Soto-Tazukizori, Kakezori,
Shumokuzori (lifting techniques causing opponent to lose balance)
- Combination: Mitokorozeme (lifting and tripping)
- Other: Isamiashi (stepping outside dohyo)
- Fusensho,Hansoku (defaulting and infractions)
Last modified: 10 September 1995
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