SUMO - 2017 Aki Basho (Sept. 10th - Sept. 24th)

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by GoForkYourself, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. GoForkYourself 아이유

    GoForkYourself
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    [​IMG]

    It's that time again, and another sumo tournament is about to start. Unfortunately there are going to be a lot of absences at the top of the ranks this time, but that should also mean a pretty wide field of potential tournament winners. Let's take a look at the rankings:

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    Tournament Topics:

    • One debuting Makuuchi wrestler - The only wrestler making his debut in the top division this tournament will be Asanoyama. He's young at 23, and from Takasago-beya, the same stable as former Yokozuna Asashoryu, who haven't had a wrestler in the top division for a while. He's coming in never having picked up a losing record in a tournament, and although the top division will obviously be a step up for him, I expect him to get a winning record again.
    • Fan favorites are spread out - Although last tournament three of the big fan favorites were ranked pretty close to each other, thanks to some good performances and some bad they're now pretty spread out. Endo picked up an injury and had to pull out of the last tournament on the fifth day and consequently had a terrible record which has led him to be ranked so low. If his injury has healed he should be able to get a winning record at this rank, and losing would put him in danger of dropping back down to Juryo. Ishiura dropped a little, but didn't fall much and is ranked where he should be. Ikioi picked up a kinboshi last tournament, but otherwise did pretty poorly, and at M7 he'll be looking to work his way back up to the upper Maegashira ranks.
    • The ultimate fan favorite - One of the most exciting (if not THE most exciting) wrestlers in the top division, Ura only dropped from East to West M4, and although he had a losing record last tournament, it was only a 7-8 and he also picked up a win over a Yokozuna and at this rank for a guy his size and with his style, that's excellent. He'll pick up more great experience at this rank, and a winning record would be phenomenal.
    • Struggling former Ozeki - Former Ozeki Kotoshogiku dropped out of the Sanyaku last tournament, and I really wonder how much longer he'll stay in the sport. He can still get winning records, but I think he'll always struggle to do so from here on.
    • Dangerous Sekiwake and Komosubi - This tournament the lower Sanyaku guys seem really capable of pulling off something big this tournament. With only one Yokozuna competing (we'll get to that later) and two Ozeki in danger of demotion (that too), these guys will play a huge role in the tournament. Although I haven't been that impressed with Tochiozan, he's a talented guy and is coming off a 12-3 tournament. Tamawashi has been really solid in 2017 and can get wins over anyone. Yoshikaze is a wild man, and Ura's only competition for the title of "most exciting wrestler" in my opinion, and can also be a real giant killer, and Mitakeumi is a great young wrestler who has his sights set on those Ozeki ranks.
    • Struggling current Ozeki - Two of the current Ozeki are coming into this tournament kadoban, meaning if they get a losing record they'll be demoted. Terunofuji is maybe the strongest guy in the sport when he's healthy, but unfortunately he hasn't been injury-free in basically two years. He did have some good tournaments earlier in the year which made it look like he was back to normal, but after dropping out of the last tournament I think he'll struggle here too. Goeido has also struggled ever since being promoted to Ozeki, aside from a 12-3 tournament and of course going 15-0 and winning the tournament a year ago. I don't think he'll stay an Ozeki much longer, but he's managed to just barely hang on to the rank for a long time.
    • Second time's the charm - This will be Takayasu's second tournament as an Ozeki and I would expect him to do much better, and with only one Yokozuna in the race I think he's in a good position to go for a championship.
    • Decimated Yokozuna ranks - The biggest story heading into this tournament is the number of Yokozuna who will be sitting this tournament out due to injury. Kakuryu is kyujo this tournament, which is his third in a row and fourth this year. Although the other times he started the tournament and then pulled out early on, this time he'll be out from the first day. This is a really bad sign for Kakuryu, and will lead to even more questions about his status as a Yokozuna. Kisenosato will also be watching this tournament from the sidelines. This is his first time in his whole career sitting out from day one, but also his third tournament in a row where he has pulled out. It's not good for him either, but he has the benefit of being Japanese and a record of consistency that Kakuryu doesn't have. Finally, Hakuho is also sitting this one out. His left knee was injured during training I believe, and he wasn't able to heal in time. He is obviously above having his Yokozuna status questioned, but it's clear that he's no longer in his prime.
    • And then there was one... - So that leaves us with Harumafuji as the only Yokozuna at the top of the ranks. This means there will be a lot of pressure on him, and Nishonoseki the chief judge said that "this basho rests on Harumafuji's shoulders. I would like him to lead the yusho race till the final day!" I don't know how Harumafuji will deal with that pressure, and he's almost certainly not in the best shape himself, but it would be great to see him do well.
    -----------------------------

    So there you go!

    Stay tuned to Kintamayama's YouTube Channel for daily highlights of the top division, and the taka sumo YouTube Channel for possible daily posts of the NHK digest of the top day's action (in Japanese). Also check out Robert Mensing's YouTube Channel for English versions of the NHK digest episodes (although I don't think they include all of the top division matches). Or go straight to the source, on NHK World's Sumo website. There's also a good blog at tachiai.org with news and information.

    And as usual, for anyone who'll be watching the sport for the first time, please feel free to ask any questions you might have here and someone will try to answer them. Also be sure to check out my Introduction to SUMO thread for a brief (although quite outdated at this point) overview of the sport.

    Hakke-yoi!

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    @JkMMA @PurpleStorm
     
    #1
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  2. GoForkYourself 아이유

    GoForkYourself
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    tournament preview by Kintamayama:


    tournament preview by Jason:


    goofy, typical Japanese variety show goes to Isegahama Beya (Harumafuji's stable):
     
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  3. JkMMA Purple Belt

    JkMMA
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    This right here is the best sumo highlight I've seen. This dude doesn't even have the physic like a sumo wrestler! And yet, he still fks them up!
     
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  4. GoForkYourself 아이유

    GoForkYourself
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    takanoyama is sorely missed, for sure. he had a pretty long (14 years) career in sumo, and at least he was able to get into the top division for a few tournaments. he was able to fight so well as a smaller guy, using arm drags and stuff particularly well, and he was another fan favorite for sure. he and his stablemaster really tried to get him a bit bigger, but it just never happened.

    here's a highlight video of Ura, one of the guys currently competing in the top division who also uses unorthodox techniques and fights as a smaller wrestler (not as small as Takanoyama though):


    the video starts with kisenosato's tournament win, but then gets to Ura's matches, starting from really really early on.
     
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  5. JkMMA Purple Belt

    JkMMA
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    Damn, the dude with the pink at the end was good lol.
     
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  6. GoForkYourself 아이유

    GoForkYourself
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    hahaha yeah, that's Ura. he's got the babyface, the pink mawashi, and he's not afraid to show his emotions:
     
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  7. GoForkYourself 아이유

    GoForkYourself
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    highlights of day 1:
     
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  8. GoForkYourself 아이유

    GoForkYourself
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    day 1 NHK english commentary digest:


    good debut for asanoyama, and great start for onosho. chiyotairyu also looked fantastic against yoshikaze.

    not great start of the tournament for a lot of the top rankers though, with only takayasu and harumafuji winning from the sanyaku ranks.
     
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  9. Asurah ㅜㅜ

    Asurah
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    I didn't like the way Ura landed at all, knew it was going to be an injury immediately. I know sumo is usually a bit injury heavy but this is getting ridiculous. The yusho might come down to the last man standing.

    Was also hoping for Yoshikaze to finally get a yusho but that train has derailed pretty hard. Good to see Harumafuji avoid the slow start that has plagued him lately but he might run away with this if someone doesn't step up in a big way.
     
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  10. GoForkYourself 아이유

    GoForkYourself
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    day 2 kintamayama:


    day 2 NHK:
     
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  11. GoForkYourself 아이유

    GoForkYourself
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    yeah, really sucks to see a bunch of injuries on day 2. tamawashi seemed like the only one who might be able to continue, but i don't even know if he'll be able to.

    with all of the injuries that have caused the guys at the top to sit this one out, and with wrestlers like terunofuji obviously crippled with injuries but still trying to compete, this is a problem.
     
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  12. Asurah ㅜㅜ

    Asurah
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    Next year or two are going to be weird if the Yokozunas can't get healthy. Ozeki ranks are depleted as well with Terunofuji's body steadily crumbling, Goeido usually ineffective, and now Takayasu injured.
     
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  13. PurpleStorm Yellow Belt

    PurpleStorm
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    Great thread
     
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  14. GoForkYourself 아이유

    GoForkYourself
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    yeah, it's entirely possible (but unlikely) that takayasu is the only ozeki next tournament, and that he's kadoban and injured, and that he subsequently loses his rank too. and i think it's likely that kakuryu will be pressured into retiring soon as well.
     
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  15. GoForkYourself 아이유

    GoForkYourself
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    day 3 kintamayama:
     
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  16. Sano Brown Belt

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    Nice video, thanks. Man he gained a lot of weight huh? I take it that you cannot succeed at the high level in Sumo without being very large?

    I've always found Sumo fascinating, but never really gotten into it. Same with Mongolian wrestling, I like that too, but never developed a thorough understanding of it.
     
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  17. GoForkYourself 아이유

    GoForkYourself
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    yeah, sumo is an amazing sport with really rich history, but it can definitely be hard to get into as it's so foreign from a western point of view.

    and yeah, size does make a big difference in sumo. that's not to say that there aren't smaller guys who haven't succeeded in the top division, and because they have success as a smaller wrestler they get lots of attention from fans, but they do struggle to get to the top of the top. you can be too big though, and you generally don't see the really big guys at the very top either, aside from the hawaiians.

    harumafuji who is the only yokozuna competing this tournament is relatively small or at least 20 or so pounds lighter than the average wrestler. small in sumo is obviously relative though, and harumafuji is still over 300 pounds.

    chiyonofuji (recently passed away) was the smallest yokozuna since the late 60's and at around 280 he wasn't exactly "small":


    mainoumi was one of the most popular smaller guys in the 90's at a little over 200 pounds, and competed against the huge hawaiians:


    and just for some history, the smallest yokozuna ever was tochigiyama (at a little over 220 pounds) who competed during the 20's. i think he's in this video doing the stomps in front of the striped cloth and on the left in the following match:
     
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  18. Asurah ㅜㅜ

    Asurah
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    Oh Harumafuji, it was a blatant matta but you of all people should know to go until the gyoji calls it out
     
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  19. Asurah ㅜㅜ

    Asurah
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    Just came across this from yesterday, nice little foot sweep. He's from a judo background


    Also saw Aminishiki's bout from yesterday, pretty fun one. Hope we see him back in Makuuchi to end the year.
     
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  20. GoForkYourself 아이유

    GoForkYourself
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    great foot sweep.

    the match between aminishiki and sokokurai was great too. amazing what aminishiki can do at 38 and with two messed up legs. it would be great to see him back in the top division. toyonoshima too, but he fell further and hasn't gotten out of makushita yet.
     
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