SUMO wrestling is quickly becoming the next BIG thing in Doncaster!
Just months after being formed, Doncaster Sumo Wrestling Club is now a heavyweight force on the UK circuit.
The Kirk Sandall based club is already pushing for world titles - and now they want more people in the town to become gripped by the ancient Japanese tradition.
Founder Adam Lloyd is one of several reigning British champions at the club.
Team GB wrestler Lloyd is also ranked in the world’s top 20 in the -85kg category - and he says sumo is a sport that can be enjoyed by all shapes and sizes.
He said: “The stuff you see on the television - with the fat guys pushing each other around - is not really a true representation of the sport.
“And you don’t have to wear the pants you see them wear on TV either!
“Sumo is a lot more technical than people think, and very judo-based.
“You don’t have to be massive to give it a go.
“That’s probably how the sport evolved - the fighters piled on weight to gain an advantage and push their opponent out of the ring.
“But I’m only 13 and a half stone and there’s a couple of lads in the club only about ten stone, and sometimes the lighter guy can win against the big guy.
“There’s a lot of tripping involved and it’s very skill-based - it’s popular with lads who play rugby and it can help them develop new skills.
“Everyone who has come down to the club has enjoyed it,” added Lloyd, who also works as a community coach for the Dons.
“It was just by chance that it all started.
“I met someone through work who ran a club in Derby, I went down there one night and really enjoyed it so I decided to set up a club in Doncaster.
“We’ve got 20 fighters at the moment - ten from Doncaster and a few lads travel over from Scunthorpe.”
Wrestlers from Doncaster claimed gold, silver and bronze medals at the latest Yorkshire and British Championships, while members have already competed on the European stage.
Paul Weston, who won silver at last year’s British Championships, said: “I started sumo as a strength training session to help me with my american football with Doncaster Mustangs.
“At first I thought wrestling with massive men would be a problem but then I realised that there were different weight categories like most combat sports.
“It’s not what you would expect after seeing it on TV, it’s very physical and uses a lot of throws from judo and wrestling.
“I am very happy with my progress and I can’t wait to represent England in Europe this year.”
Doncaster Sumo Wrestling Club is based at Matrix Gym and MMA Training Centre on Kirk Sandall Industrial Estate.
For more information about the club email email@example.com.