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Brazil’s Girls Wrestlers Enter The Ring

Brazil’s Girls Wrestlers Enter The Ring

Brazil’s Girls Wrestlers Enter The Ring

In Japan, ladies are banned from skilled Sumo.

Sao Paulo, Brazil:

If the phrase “sumo wrestler” calls to thoughts a hefty Asian man in a loincloth, Valeria and Diana Dall’Olio, a mother-daughter sumo wrestling crew from Brazil, have a message: suppose once more.

The Dall’Olios are used to individuals saying they’re too small, too fragile or too feminine to observe a sport usually related to hulking Japanese males.

However they are saying that’s simply gas for his or her combating spirit after they get within the “dojo,” or ring.

“There’s quite a lot of prejudice. If you say you observe sumo, some individuals suppose you must be fats,” Valeria, 39, tells AFP, as she prepares for a contest at a public health club in Sao Paulo.

“Girls are all the time below a microscope within the martial arts, as a result of they’re sports activities which have usually been restricted to male fighters.”

She received into martial arts as a woman, learning judo and jiu-jitsu.

In 2016, she fell in love with sumo, which was delivered to Brazil by Japanese immigrants within the early twentieth century.

Quickly, she was successful bouts — all the way in which as much as the Brazilian nationwide title, which she received 3 times (2018, 2019 and 2021) within the middleweight class (65 to 73 kilograms, 143 to 161 kilos).

She added the South American championship to her trophy case in 2021.

‘Extra Combating Spirit’

“I attempt to stability my completely different lives: homemaker, mom of two. I haven’t got a lot free time,” Valeria says.

Girls are banned from skilled sumo in Japan.

In its birthplace, the extremely ritualized sport has been linked for greater than 1,500 years to the Shinto faith, whose believers have historically seen ladies as impure or unhealthy luck for sumo.

Previously, ladies have been banned from attending bouts and even touching sumo wrestlers.

However a world beginner ladies’s sumo championship has been held since 2001. Organizers hope to sooner or later flip it into an Olympic sport.

Being allowed to compete “is an actual victory for us,” says Valeria.

“We have extra combating spirit than males, who normally aren’t used to battling on as many fronts as we’re.”

Diana, 18, says she by no means had a lot curiosity in wrestling — till she was drawn to sumo by its velocity.

The bouts, by which wrestlers compete to fell or push each other from a round, dirt-floor ring, not often final greater than 30 seconds.

Energy, technique and approach are all the things.

Diana placed on a “mawashi,” or sumo loincloth, for the primary time in 2019.

She now competes as a light-weight (below 65 kilograms).

“You possibly can really feel the bias,” she says of individuals’s reactions to her alternative of sport.

“Lots of people say, ‘Girls are fragile, they get injured and give up,'” she says.

“That is one of many issues we’re studying to struggle towards. My technology is rising up.”

Battle For Respect

Sumo is rising quick in Brazil, primarily due to ladies, says Oscar Morio Tsuchiya, president of the Brazilian Sumo Confederation.

Girls make up round half the nation’s 600 sumo wrestlers, he says.

“Due to the Shinto rituals, by which ladies could not even go to the ring, quite a lot of traditionalists have been horrified after they began to compete. However these limitations are being damaged,” he says.

At their Sao Paulo health club, the Dall’Olios brush off the dojo’s dust after a troublesome day, by which Diana received one in every of her three bouts and Valeria misplaced her just one, towards 18-time Brazilian middleweight champion Luciana Watanabe.

Watanabe, 37, is the general public face of sumo in Brazil.

She shares her ardour for the game by educating it to kids in Suzano, a small metropolis with a big Japanese-Brazilian inhabitants 50 kilometers (31 miles) outdoors Sao Paulo.

“Males are normally those who educate sumo,” she says.

“However I feel I encourage the youngsters once I present them my titles.”

She, too, says her objective is to “break prejudice.”

“I would like individuals to respect this sport extra,” she says.

“So many individuals nonetheless suppose it is only a sport for fats males. Sumo is for everybody.”

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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