Partly because of its long history and ritual nature, sumo has a very extensive and detailed vocabulary. There are special words to describe all the possible ways to attack an opponent, and there are dozens of words to describe particular belt holds (one of the key techniques is getting a favorable hold of the opponent's belt).

Of course, there are also special words to describe the different ways of winning a match. To win a sumo match, you need to make the opponent either step out of the ring, or fall down. However, there are many ways to do this. For example, you can push them down, pull them down, throw them down, trip them, push them out of the ring, pull them out of the ring . . . and so on.

Kimarite ("winning hand", or "winning technique") is the word used to describe all different ways of winning a sumo match. At the end of each match, the referee announces the kimarite. A wrestler"s skill is often judged by how often he uses a difficult kimarite. For example, pushing the opponent out of the ring is not as difficult as throwing the opponent down or tripping the opponent.