Shot by Nik Nejad in Japan, April 2013.

'Keiko' is Japanese for practice. It is a daily routine starting at 5am for the lowest ranked rikishi(wrestler) and starts with stretching followed by actual practice bouts in a makeshift ring. The most common form of keiko is called moshi-ai-geiko. This form of keiko is basically winner stays in the ring until someone can beat him. As soon as one bout ends, every rikishi at the practice session is expected to rush into the ring towards the winner in hopes that he will be chosen as his next opponent. There is no formal teaching of holds or maneuvers; rather, the rikishi learn these themselves by watching their seniors and practicing endlessly. The higher-ranked a rikishi is, the later in the morning he may enter the practice ring. The Makuuchi rikishi usually arrive at the practice session at 8:30 am and bark out instructions to their inferiors as they stretch ringside. As the higher-ranked rikishi begin their practice, those of lower ranks are busy in the kitchen preparing the first meal of the day.

niknejad.net

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