The object of sumo is simple. There are two ways to win:
Force your opponent out of the
15-foot dohyō (sumo ring)
Make your opponent touch the ground with
anything other than the soles of the feet
To accomplish this, rikishi (sumo wrestlers) must use a wide variety of kimarite or winning techniques. Scroll over each for more info.
As you can see from the different techniques displayed here, a variety of fighting styles exist in sumo. Some rikishi physically control their opponents, while others use their opponent's momentum against them. Some take a strong grip on the belt, while others use pushing or armlocking techniques. Some use upper body control, while others rely on leg trips. Yokozuna tend to be proficient in a variety of techniques.
Some techniques are forbidden, and wrestlers using forbidden techniques risk disqualification. These forbidden techniques include punching, kicking, biting, pulling hair, and choking. However, rikishi can and often do strike with an open palm, trip or sweep the legs, and thrust to the throat.