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beauty

So Sumo

Ever feel like putting on a diaper, pulling your hair into a topknot, throwing some rice around, and, you know, grappling with someone?

No, really. It’s totally normal.

We’re talking, of course, about sumo, the national sport of Japan, and you don’t have to weigh 300 pounds to do it. Think we’re crazy? Look around. L.A. has already bestowed next-big-thing status on Israeli self-defense, stripping, and synchronized high-speed stationary-bike pedaling. So why not?

Plus, sumo is already sweeping the globe as a popular pursuit for normal-size (and, yes, even thin) people, including women. Likened by some to aikido, it’s been traced back to the eighth century, when it’s believed to have represented celestial clashes among the gods. Nowadays, it’s a great way to build strength and balance. Here in L.A., you can learn from the best: Svetoslav Binev, a world champion from Bulgaria, has come to teach sumo at UCLA. All the participants we’ve seen look remarkably fit, and judging from the Website, they seem to favor shorts and T-shirts.

In other words, you should probably keep that diaper thing to yourself.


Sumo classes are every Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the John Wooden Center, on the UCLA Campus, by appointment only. To sign up, call 310-288-3641, e-mail andrew@usasumo.com, or visit usasumo.com.