mikawa

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mikawa last won the day on July 29 2018

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  1. mikawa

    97th National Student Championships

    No reasons were given, but there is speculation that Shiroyama may have suffered a severe injury somewhere along the line. It is truly a great loss for sumo, he could have been the next Mitakeumi.
  2. mikawa

    97th National Student Championships

    Below are videos of Kawazoe Keita's bouts in the team quarter-final (left), semi-final (right) and final (left). Check out those moves!
  3. mikawa

    97th National Student Championships

    It truly has been an incredible year for Nakamura Taiki eh? Reminds me of a certain other first year from a few years ago (looking at you Shiroyama Seira). But whilst Taiki still has the National Amateur Championships to aim for next month, Toyo's team captain Seira has apparently QUIT the sumo club. So much credit has to go to Nihon University's Kawazoe Keita for their team win. Keita may not be as big as most of the other competitors, but he had to step up to the plate in both the quarter-final and the semi-final with his team at 2-2, and both times he won the bout spectacularly (I'll post videos of those bouts in the next post). Truly an MVP performance! It's been a great year for the Kawazoe family., what with Keita helping his team win this tournament, and his younger brother Fuma and his Buntoku High Sumo team-mates winning the Inter-High. And on top of that, their kohai at Kawakami Dojo won the team Yusho at the Hakuho Cup at the start of the year. The Kumamoto rikishis are coming. Nihon University's Ishioka Mikiya is so so unlucky with injuries. I seem to remember that it was an injury that prevented him from appearing in his semi-final match in the Inter-High title a couple of years ago, and he got injured in the team final this time around. Luckily his team-mates were there to bring home the Yusho. And speaking of the team final, both Sawada Hitoshi (Nihon University) and Hatsuyama Sho (Toyo University) are Tachikawa Renseikan graduates, with Hitoshi helping his team to win the whole thing and Sho a whisker away from getting to the individual semi-finals (it was a ring-edge reversal). Renseikan's Sagawa-sensei sure knows how to nurture them talents!
  4. Last Saturday’s keiko was postponed due to Typhoon Hagibis, so it was nice to see everyone again at tonight’s training session, safe and sound. Following on from everyone’s advice in last week’s post, I am pleased to report that that particular opponent's tsuppari attack has been nullified. But...... I found it hard to get to his belt, so Sagawa-sensei suggested charging in head-first at the tachi-ai, getting under his thrusts. That worked like a treat. However, doing that does raise an issue about possible concussion. This session was the first time that I got to experience pushing an opponent during butsukari-geiko. Again, you are supposed to charge in head first, and push your opponent upwards with your hands. Too low a stance however gets you knee first into the sand. I still found it difficult to get a right-hand inside grip, so Sagawa-sensei showed me a way to get it. At the tachi-ai, aim for your opponent’s chest with your right hand, and then immediately use it to parry your opponent’s left arm outwards, and ta da, migi-yotsu grip. However, I’m yet to figure out how to do that whilst keeping a low stance...... There were quite a few times tonight that I thought I had pushed my opponent out of the ring, so I stopped pushing, only to realise that they are still on the edge, and not quite out yet. This would last for only a split-second, but it was enough to turn a winning position into a losing one. It can be so hard sometimes to judge it right. There were times when I would instinctively try a pulling move, even though it has never worked. It’s very very difficult to get the timing and direction right. Training with the teppo (that wooden pillar) is very hard, you’re supposed to push your whole body away from it using only the strength in your arms. There are always more members during Saturday’s training session than Tuesday’s, because it takes some of them quite a bit of time to get to Tachikawa, and homework is a thing. Also, there are those (like the Hirano family) who travel two hours to sumo practice, each way. It’s already 11pm when they get back home on keiko days. Talk about dedication...... When club members use “ore” instead of “watashi” when talking to you, that’s when you know you’re no longer a stranger. Many thanks to everyone at Tachikawa Renseikan Sumo Dojo for allowing me to join in with their training, it’s been a fantastic experience every single time. And many thanks also for the Banzuke they gave me tonight. Every sumo club / dojo in Japan distributes them to club members before a basho.
  5. Update: Saturday's keiko has been cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis
  6. Maybe a lower stance would help to get to the belt?
  7. Side-stepping definitely works, but what to do after that to nullify the thrusts is the question. I tried arm pulling, but it didn't work as well as I'd hoped.
  8. Many thanks for the advice! I can try that during Saturday's training session, but as you say, theory and practice can be two very different things. Tuesday was only my second time participating in a keiko, there are still a lot of things to learn and to try.
  9. Went to Tachikawa last night to train with the guys at Renseikan Sumo Dojo. The session went better than it did last summer, but it was still very very hard. My arms and legs are still sore this morning. Below are some of the takeways from the keiko. Someone once said in a documentary that "when not in the ring, you must train". He's definitely right about that. Unless you're waiting for your turn in moshi-ai (winner stays on), you need to be constantly doing exercises and drills at the edge of the ring Stamina plays a more and more important role in training bouts, especially as the session goes on. If your stamina struggles to keep up, then strength and skill can only do so much Against more experienced opponents, it's actually really hard to get your favored grip, which in my case, is the migi-yotsu grip (right arm inside). There were so so many times when I had to settle with a right hand outside grip. Takeda Kanato said that it's because of what happens at the tachi-ai, and the need to keep both arms close together Whilst strength plays a major role against bigger opponents, positioning is very important against smaller opponents. They move so quickly that you have to move around the ring just as quickly. Getting a belt grip makes you life so much easier in this situation I tried using moves like katasukashi (under arm swing down) and kakenage (hooking inner thigh throw), but couldn't get them to work. Not enough force perhaps? On the other hand, uwatenage worked really well last night, as did that one kubinage (head lock throw), though I was told afterwards to not use it as it was potentially dangerous It's a great feeling when you hear club members saying "[insert real name] fighto!" (they were cheering for both sides). There's a real sense of comradery about it, and I can only imagine what it must be like when your whole club are cheering for you during a tournament bout When lending your chest to someone in butsukari-geiko, you really feel the impact from their charges, and your chest will become redder and redder. The soles of your trailing foot will also feel the effects of friction after sliding across the ring so many times I really struggled against an opponent who was using a tsuppari-attack (arm thrusts). Any advice on what to do in this situation please?
  10. Komatsuryu Dojo's road to glory:
  11. Action from the middle schoolers:
  12. Action from the Grade 4, Grade 5 and Grade 6 categories:
  13. And now, let's introduce everyone who gave it their all for Tachikawa Renseikan today. Hirano Juito Ozawa Kaito Tsurumi Yusei Miyazaki Keijiro Mizuno Kentaro Miyazaki Yoshiyuki Kinoshita Shun Takahashi Yoji Hirano Noato Hirano Shurato Mitsuhashi Toma Endo Kanta Takagi Yuisei Hamaguchi Matasaburo Tsurumi Rukito Abe Mizuki Ando Kataro Sasaki Ifu Takagi Taiyo
  14. Practical Considerations The tournament programme listed every member from every team participating, but wait, there's one glaring omission - there were barely any teams from outside Kanto. Out of the 67 teams in total, a staggering 57 teams were from either Kanto or Chubu. The most likely reason for this is that the Monday following this tournament is a working day, so clubs from further away may have felt it was too difficult to get back to their normal lives in such a short turnaround. Why is it Always 2-3? Tachikawa Renseikan Sumo Dojo sent out four teams today (only Bunkyo Harigaya Sumo Club had more), hoping to repeat last year's heroics. Although Renseikan C and Renseikan D couldn't make much of a headway against strong competition, everyone were optimistic following Renseikan A cruised through the preliminaries 5-0 and 5-0, and Renseikan B made it to the pre-finals playoffs. Beating Hyogo's Soshindo Sumo Club meant that only Gifu Mokuyo Sumo Club stood between Renseikan B and a place in the knockout rounds. Things were looking good with Renseikan B going into a 2-1 lead, but then that became 2-2, and then 2-3. The team members were distraught after that. However, there was still hope. With the way Renseikan A were performing, and with Hirano Juito beating older opponents left, right and center, another quarter-final finish was certainly looking likely. That is until they faced Komatsuryu C and trailed 1-2 after three bouts. Up stepped Miyazaki Keijiro, who had the hopes of the entire dojo upon his shoulders. His task? To beat Nakazawa Musashi, a member of Komatsuryu's golden generation. Everyone got so excited after Keijiro managed to get a double inside grip, that is, until he got pushed out anyway. Even with Mizuno Kentaro winning the final bout, Renseikan A still ended up losing 2-3. Everyone tried their best, but today, it wasn't enough. Renseikan A Renseikan B Renseikan C Renseikan D The Future isn't Orange When former Wanpaku Yokozuna Kodama Hayato parted ways with Mitaka Sumo Club last year, it was uncertain where his new path would lead. Now we have confirming - both of the Kodama brothers, Hayato and Sosuke, have joined Fuchu Sumiyoshi Sumo Club just north of where they live in Inagi City. Kodama Hayato has shown today that he has now added leg trips to his arsenal, not relying so much on his incredible arm strength any more. But whilst Hayato now has a Plan B, most of his new team-mates don't, so what ended up happening is that the Kodama siblings would win their bouts, but their team would go on to lose 3-2. As for the reason they left their old club? Apparently there were disagreements between their parents and Mitaka. The plot thickens......
  15. For Tsubasa Ever since last year, early October has a very special meaning for John Gunning's Komatsuryu Dojo - it marks the anniversary to the passing of Yanagisawa Tsubasa, a talented member, a great role model for the club's youngsters. He had such a bright future ahead of him, but alas, illness took its toll, and 16 years is far too short. So going into this tournament, up against 66 other teams from around Japan, everyone at Komatsuryu Dojo wanted to give it their all, to win it for Tsubasa. They made it all the way to the final, where they would face their biggest and fiercest rival - Katsushika Shiratori Sumo Dojo from across the Arakawa River. Let the photos speak for themselves. And so, their team (from left to right) of Mashiko Takuya, Hata Taishi, Suekawa Atsuki, Saito Seigo (captain), and Kumagai Kyuta brought home Komatsuryu's first ever triumph in this tournament. Tsubasa-senpai, we hope we made you proud!