Smoking, eating and holding cameras are banned from the front rows at sumo wrestling matches because they could slow the spectator's escape.

Those ringside seats are only for those with quick reflexes and quick feet. No children allowed either.Those locations could be dangerous, with wrestlers weighing up to 525 pounds just a few feet away, pushing and slapping each other.

Sumo rings have no ropes, no barriers, nothing to stop those masses of flesh and muscle from falling right into your lap.

The object of sumo is to force an opponent to touch the dirt with something other than his feet or to push him out of the ring.

Because the latter method is the most popular, some interaction between athlete and audience is almost unavoidable.

Still, a Sumo Wrestling Association official said serious injury is the exception, not the rule.

Maybe so, but an Osaka fan club took out insurance for its 84 members attending a tournament.