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Erdene-Ochir Dolgormaa

Русская версия


Dolgormaa    Dolgormaa    Dolgormaa


Erdene-Ochir Dolgormaa. Outstanding Mongolian wrestler-heavyweight (6'0"/217lbs) practicing several wrestling styles; lives in USA. Repeat champion and medallist of national and international tournaments in Sumo, Judo and Sambo.


Tell us about yourself.

I was born in 1977 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I have been practicing Judo, Sambo and Sumo since 1998. I graduated from University of Physical Training as an instructor and coach. I hold the title international master in sports.

What are you major achievements in the sport?

Sumo:

Two-time Mongolian national Sumo Champion;
2002 Gold medal at Asian Sumo Championships;
2004. Two gold medals at the absolute category at the International Sumo Competition;
2006. Two gold medals at US Sumo Open Championships.

Judo:

Five-time national Mongolian Champion;
2001. Two bronze medals at Asian Judo Championships; bronze medal at Eastern Asian Games; 9th place at World Judo Championship;
2002. Two bronze medals at the 14th festival of Central Asian Games; 7th place at World Student Judo Championships;
2003. Two bronze medals in the absolute category at Korea Open International Judo Competition;
2004. Silver medal at Asian Judo Championships;
Participated in Athens 2004 Olympic Games;
Gold and silver medals at World Youth Judo Championships.

Sambo

Four-time national Mongolian Champion;
Three silver medals at World Sambo Championships;
Four-time USA national Sambo Champion;
Gold medal at World Student Sambo Championships;
Three gold medals and a silver medal at Asian Sambo Championships.

It's very striking that you managed to achieve such great results starting wrestling so late (21). Did you practice in Mongolian forms of wrestling?

No, I didn't. It is only for men.

Why?

Apparently, many years ago, when Nadam (Mongolian festivals) first began, a woman disguised herself as a man, entered a wrestling match and won against her male counterpart. She was discovered to be a woman and the men came up with a cunning plan to ensure this would never happen again. The wrestling costume was redesigned, so that the top half fully exposed the chest area whereas in the past, it did not and from that day, forward no woman has dared to enter the competition... Basically, Mongolian wrestlers are considered strong, skillful contestants in Asia and in the world.

How did you come to Sumo? Why did you choose this sport?

I started practicing Sumo in 2002, when I participated in an amateur Sumo competition. I was inspired by Mongolian Sumo wrestlers who wowed Japanese sumotori with their unique skills and professionalism.

What skills in on other wrestling styles are the best for becoming a good sumotori?

Judo is the primary sport that I practice; therefore, I would say it is Judo.

What are the particular differences between Sumo and other wrestling styles?

Basically, Judo and Sumo wrestling techniques are pretty much the same, but the rules are different.

Sounds queerly because as far as I know, unlike Judo, no chokes or painful techniques are allowed in Sumo. Moreover, there is no ground wrestling in Sumo, which is common in Judo. Besides, it looks like Sumo is easier to learn, so even beginners and amateurs can wrestle in this style, whereas Judo is much more complicated. Please compare Judo and Sumo. Which of the two you like better?

I like them both.

Why Sumo turns out to be so popular among girls and women?

Because it is a popular sport in the world.

Are there any particular features of Sumo making it harmful to women?

Once you master the technique and tricks there are no particular features of sumo make it inappropriate to women.

Some people think that Sumo is more appropriate for women because a match is short and there is no locks, chokes or painful techniques. How wrestler's weight is important in sumo? We know examples when under trained and under skilled persons managed to achieve good results in Sumo just due to their huge mass.

Weight plays an important role in Sumo. I think besides heavy weight and sheer power, Sumo wrestlers should be talented and skillful.

How female and male sumotori gain weight?

They eat certain food to gain weight.

Are there combative sports you would advise women to practice?

I would pick Judo.

Would you like to try a striking combative sport, such as boxing?

I never thought about it.

Besides wrestling, what other sports have you participated in?

In my spare time, I like playing basketball.

What wrestling gives to you?

Physically good shape, world wide fame and a lot of friends.

What your training consists in?

Jogging in the morning. Attending technique class

Isn't it scary to be thrown down? What a wrestler feels when she is thrown down?

You have to master the technique how to land when you are thrown down. There is nothing to be afraid of.

I guess, it still was painful and scary when you were badly thrown and pinned by robust Huanyuan Liu (who was called "a monster of a woman") at the Asian Judo Championships in 2003. Do you feel yourself as a special woman; do you stand out among ordinary non-combative women? Is it visible for other people that you are a wrestler?

My fans and my friends might answer that question better than I do.

Do you consider wrestling as an appropriate activity for an average woman or she must be extraordinary? Would you recommend your daughter (if you would have her) to practice in wrestling?

If you like wrestling and talented nothing is gonna stop you. So, go for it. I don't know if I want my daughter to become a wrestler.

Have you wrestled with boys or men?

I do practice with male wrestlers in a daily basis. But I don't wrestle with them.

How men react when discover you are a wrestler?

They treat me like an ordinary woman.

Do you protect breasts when wrestling?

No, there is no protection for that. I wish there was.

Why women never participated in combative activities during centuries but all the sudden they just burst into the world of physical combat?

Lots of things have changed over the years.

Why female combat became so popular? There are so many movies, TV shows, video films and pictures with fighting women. Why?

No idea.

What do you think about widespread opinion that women's wrestling looks erotic in men's eyes?

I don't think so; maybe it's a little bit intimidating.

Do you believe that women should do whatever men do?

No, I don't think so.

Do you consider physical superiority of men over women acceptable and natural?

Yes, it is acceptable and natural.

Would you imagine that your husband or boyfriend is weaker than you are?

No!

Have you ever fought on the street? Are you ready to defend yourself or even attack someone if you think it necessary?

I have never fought on the street. But I can defend myself if someone attacks me.

Do you wrestle just for fun with friends?

No.

Do you know Russian?

Yes, I speak Russian a little bit.

Thank you so much for the interview! We estimated your patience at its true worth - that is not so easily done to be interviewed in two foreign languages.

We are also thankful to Andrew Freund for making the interview possible as well as for giving us the Erdene's photographs.



July 2006


Erdene Dolgormaa in a sumo action

Erdene-Ochir Dolgormaa in a sumo action


Huanyuan Liu pins Erdene Dolgormaa

Erdene-Ochir Dolgormaa is pinned by "a monster of a woman", robust Huanyuan Liu from China in Judo Asian championships in 2003



We have asked Andrew Freund, president of the CSA (California Sumo Association) and Director of the US Sumo Open, who has organized the interview to give some comments.

Until about 15 years ago, there was almost no women's sumo. The International Sumo Federation began to cultivate the development of amateur sumo throughout the world. One major goal is to make sumo an Olympic sport. One step in that process was to introduce weight classes on the amateur level. Another step was to introduce women's sumo, so that both men and women can compete (if women do not participate, the Olympic committee would not consider a sport - FSCClub). The interest by women has been very positive.

Is sumo easier to learn than other combat form?

I think a lot of people get into amateur sumo at older ages (20s or 30s), after careers in other sports (wrestling, judo, football, etc.). I agree that, in some ways, it is easier to learn the basics in sumo than those of judo. We have a lot of people who just practice a few times, and then start to do relatively well in sumo competition. The rules are easier to grasp in sumo, but of course, many subtleties take a long time to learn.

Sumo is relatively easy to learn, but it takes time to perfect one's skills. The aspect that may appeal to many people is that almost anyone can participate. Everyone can try to use their own strengths. Heavier people can use size and power. Other people can try to use quickness to surprise an opponent. People with strong technical skills from judo or wrestling can often quickly learn similar techniques. So, there are a lot of angles or strategies that you can try in sumo, even though the basic rules are very simple.

Do you practice Sumo yourself?

I do practice sumo. I have been teaching classes here for about 9 years. I used to work in Japan about 16 years ago, and became familiar with the sport there. I used to compete in amateur sumo here, but recently, I am mostly producing and announcing at the events, so it is not possible to always compete. I produced all the US Sumo Open tournaments. I also worked on and announced at Grand Sumo Las Vegas last year (with pro sumo), and I worked on many movies and TV shows related to sumo, including "Memoirs of a Geisha" (I was the Technical Advisor and my interview is on the DVD).

July 2006




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