Over the years, there have been a few foolish challenges at Tsurugi, first Wasabi Challenges, then the rather dangerous Soy Sauce Challenge. The format has been fluid, either a 1 on 1 battle where the winner progresses to face the next challenger and all are welcome to re-challenge champs, or battle royale style, where there can be only one at the end. There have been two challenges in the past (emphasis on in the past):
- Wasabi Challenge
- eating extra-wasabi-laiden wasabi rolls until someone catches fire or drinks all the sake at the table and passes out
- Conrad Kinsey is known to challenge other people and himself to eat a full wasabi ball. Only water or sake is allowed to help wash it down.
- Soy Sauce Challenge
- The original intent of the Soy Sauce Challenge was for it to be a warm-up round before the Wasabi Challenge, as well as to weed out those who appeared to be immune to the painful effects of a teaspoon of wasabi. The challenge itself involved all participants to take soy sauce shots until only one remained. For the initial challenge, Kikkoman Lite soy sauce was poured into saucers or sake glasses for six rounds. Each participant consumed the equivalent of a table-top soy sauce bottle, approximately 8 fl. oz.
All such challenges are BANNED - wasabi is painful and can cause some nasty indigestion, and while soy sauce is said to be better for you than red wine, too much is no good.