Tegumi: The Foundation of Shima – Okinawan Sumo!
In the realm of Okinawan martial arts, Shima has emerged as a unique wrestling style distinguished by its specific focus on techniques. Unlike traditional joint locks and ground fighting, Shima places primary emphasis on footwork, lifting the opponent, and executing throws. These techniques serve as the core methods of engagement in Shima, showcasing its distinct approach to combat.
Shōshin Nagamine recalls (From the book: Tales of Okinawa’s great masters):
Since those early times, tegumi (Okinawan grappling) has been refined and a firm set of rules and regulations has been developed. It unfolded as a popular cultural tradition and has been handed down to this day. According to island folklore, Okinawan sumo ascended from tegumi.
Shōshin Nagamine describes very clearly that Tegumi was the early form of Okinawan sumo (Shima), which is also widely recognized by the people of Okinawa.
From my personal perspective, I firmly believe that Shima, also known as Okinawan Sumo, is undeniably descended from the ancient practice of Tegumi. It serves as a modern embodiment of Tegumi’s legacy, with Tegumi playing a pivotal role in shaping the development and establishing a solid foundation for Shima.
The transition from Tegumi to Shima highlights the growth and transformation of the wrestling style, leading to the emergence of a distinct approach enriched with refined techniques. This evolution represents the ongoing continuum of Okinawan wrestling, honoring its essence while adapting to the demands of the contemporary era.
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