Former World’s Strongest Man title holder Eddie Hall has ventured into the world of professional fighting before, leaning down and training for speed and agility during his pivot to life as a boxer—before a single K.O. from his fellow strongman-turned-boxer rival Thor Bjornsson put paid to that. In recent videos, Hall has taken on different kinds of sports training, the most recent of which makes full use of his mass and strength: sumo wrestling.

“Sumo, like most forms of wrestling, is thousands of years old,” says former British sumo champion Steve Pateman, who is coaching Hall for his new challenge. “The beauty of sumo is that it’s very, very simple: push your opponent out of the circle, or push them to the ground.” He adds that “strongman is perfect training for sumo.”

While on the surface, those rules sound incredibly easy to follow, Hall soon learns in his training that it’s a lot harder than you might think to go up against a skilled opponent without accidentally stepping over the circular red line. Making things even more challenging is the rule that if you touch the mat with any part of your body other than the soles of your feet, you immediately lose the match.

This content is imported from youTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

And despite having around 150 pounds on his first sparring partner Bangor, Hall still finds himself getting edged out of the ring, before he starts to pick up some of Bangor’s technique. This enables him to perform well in the subsequent competitive rounds against experienced sumo wrestlers, and he eventually earns a top spot on the podium for the day.

“The strongman brain clicked in, where you’ve got to adapt to all different situations,” says Pateman, “and you got better and better.” He even predicts that, were Hall to continue his sumo training even just once a week, his competitive nature and drive could make him a champion.

Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *