a round is not complete unless an opponents back or shoulders touches the sawdust.
The best resource for Schwingen is at: http://www.swissemb.org/
You can also get information from Christina Koerte’s book “We’re Different, Actually” about the Swiss National identity. Check out the section entitled “Blood, Sweat and Sawdust”.
Basho returns to … Indiana?
67 year-old Gary, Indiana dentist Dr. Hugh “Doc” Smith was distraught.
Before his wife, Patricia, died 6 months earlier, the last thing they bought together was a squat, ugly lawn ornament shaped like a sumo wrestler. “Basho”, as it was called, had disappeared from Doc’s property and along with it the memory of the couple’s sentiments of the purchase. Patricia said it sort of looked like Hugh.
Basho stood watch over their rock garden in Porter Township, near Valparaiso, IN until some statuary scofflaw (or high-end collector – you choose) made off with the figurine.
[key the heroic entrance music]
After 10,000 nautical miles, 67 dives (one as deep as 6000 feet) and 5 months on the open sea, the Research Vessel Ka'imikai-
o-Kanaloa returned to its homeport with its remotely-
operated vehicle and two human-occupied submersibles, Pisces IV and Pisces V. In addition to all that they left with, the vessel returned with some new discoveries.
Among the discoveries of the joint US, New Zealand and German team were measurements of the diversity of marine life, data about undersea volcanoes, the rare interface of life based on sunlight and life based on chemicals, some new species and new ranges for known species.
One new species found off the coast of Jarvis Island, about half way between Hawaii and the Cook Islands, was a large crab they nicknamed “Tyrano”. At about the size of a beach ball, “Tyrano” also sported huge claws and quick movements.
But over at Kingman Reef, between Hawaii and American Samoa, they saw a large
unidentified crab the size of a soccer ball and nicknamed it “sumo-crab”, because its massive body and deliberate movements gave the impression of strength.
There are no pictures yet of the new crabs, but one can imagine the undersea tussles that must take place during mating season.
Sawdust and Sweat
Sumo has long been characterized as “the National Sport of Japan”. The Swiss also have their national sport – “Schwingen”. Similar to sumo, the “Schwingers” do battle on a sawdust-covered floor.
Perhaps it’s modesty that prevents them from doffing their outer clothes, but wrestlers usually go at it in jeans. Those with light blue shirts are the “Sennen” or farmers, who have dominated the sport. Those wearing white pants and shirts are “Turner” or gymnasts.
Instead of a mawashi, the wrestlers wear a loose-fitting pair of shorts or “pant-belt”. Action is similar to sumo, with many finishing moves. However,