Becoming Sumo – Meet the Storm from the Middle East

One does not simply become a sumo wrestler over a night, the realm of sumo is far from a matter of strength. Learning the basics of Sumo wrestling takes a lifetime’s commitment, not to mention a trained discipline.

Let alone: nailing the technique, the constant weight management, sticking to a tailored wrestler’s diet, learning about Japanese culture and behaving with decorum. As a kick start, Gambarimasu がんばります (in i.e ‘I will do my best‘) will do far much better than a simple konichiwa.

ScreenShot: Abdelrahman Shalan in ‘Becoming Sumo’
ScreenShot: Abdelrahman Shalan in ‘Becoming Sumo’

In ‘Becoming Sumo’ Canadian production company Salazar, set out to look into the life of a remarkable character who aspires to pursue something no one from the African continent has ever achieved.

Originally from Egypt, 22-year old aspiring sumo wrestler Abdelrahman Shalan – or Ōsunaarashi (“The Great Sandstorm”) as he is commonly known in Japan, takes on a quest in hope of mastering the ancient art of sumo. Against all odds, he gains himself a place at a sumo stable led by Tadahiro Otake.

Becoming Sumo: ScreenShot (Directed by Salazar)
Becoming Sumo: ScreenShot (Directed by Salazar)


The four-minute clip above is an excerpt from the 30-min documentary created for Red Bull Media House, available through the RedBullTV App on Apple TV, Xbox and Amazon Fire.



Directed and Produced by Salazar

Music by Edo Van Breemen

Titles: Stuart Langfield

Additional Titles: Peter Hadfield

Sound Design: Vidar Grande