Atascocita Fire Department trains as sumo wrestlers with Shogeki Sumo

Firefighters have to keep up with their training and the Atascocita Fire Department decided to try out a new training method to improve their performance: sumo.

On Sunday firefighters took the ring with Shogeki Sumo Wrestlers to hopefully learn new techniques to apply when fighting a fire.

Sports teams do the same thing to help with their performance. For example, athletes try cross-training, football linebackers try ballet for their agility, and basketball players use yoga for flexibility.

SUGGESTED: Teen killed in NW Harris County trailer fire, 2 including firefighter hospitalized

"It’s definitely a little outside of the box. When you think of firefighters or sumo wrestlers, you wouldn’t normally consider their skill sets linked, but in fact, the forces acting upon the athlete or firefighter are very similar," said LT Keith Sagray, who organized the training event. "I think there’s a lot of lessons that our firefighters can take away from these competitors that will give us tools to improve our performance and to provide faster, safer, more effective service to our citizens."

Image 1 of 7

Photo courtesy of OnScene Houston

Sumo wrestlers train to resist an opposing force and then to drive against it. They use strong body mechanics, physics, such as a low center of gravity, and good footwork, to overcome the force of their opponent.

"What we're hoping is using the fundamental of sumo, our guys can improve the speed at which were able to advance a line while flowing. We're resisting a lot of force against the fireman while simultaneously dragging quite a bit of weight behind us," LT. Sagray said.

The Shogeki wrestlers say after the training they realized just how strong the firefighters are and have a new respect for them.

"I knew it was gonna be fun no matter what, but…my hope was that it would actually be useful and able to be transferrable," says Nicholas Ton with Shogeki.

To learn more about Shogeki Sumo, click here.