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About RabidJohn

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  • Birthday 05/03/63

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  1. I barely understood a word of the commentary, but the speed of it and the amount the commentator managed to fit in was astounding - even while the match was effectively stalled for an extended period. If you'd played it over a horse race video, I wouldn't have suspected anything amiss!
  2. Endo is still beating Ura for kensho. I wonder how long that will last?
  3. I've noticed that the Japanese for "yusho interview" is "yusho interview", and that phrase of yours made me wonder, do they have [Japanese word for] shame interviews? I'm imagining Kokonoe-oyakata telling Chiyonokuni, "OK, it's time for your shame interview. Try to look contrite!"
  4. I didn't mean it in that way. Yes, the tsuppari and harite hit just as hard and the pushing is just as strong. You see the holding back in the way they acknowledge a loss at the ring edge with step back and a tap on the winner's back, rather than resisting to the very limit and falling as a result; the same sort of thing that in a honbasho they would get warned about for not trying hard enough. I could be totally wrong about this because I've seen far more honbasho footage than jungyo or training footage, but it seems to me that the effort expended in a honbasho is a step up from that in training or regional tours - with the exception of butsukari-geiko of course, which is always exhausting for the recipient.
  5. A lot of it is to do with rank. As a makuuchi rookie, Onosho wouldn't be expected (or expecting) to win; he's there for the recovering yokozuna to test himself against. Remember how Kisenosato practised with makushita and juryo opponents before the last basho? He was easing himself back in. A day after his session with Onosho, Kisenosato has obviously decided he's fit enough to step it up again and has session against ozeki Takayasu, and there's a w/l figure for it. Even so, they will both have held back somewhat so as to avoid unnecessary injury.
  6. I don't often find myself part of a majority on anything, but two thirds of us seem to have faith in Mitakeumi!
  7. They can go all out in a honbasho, but in a training scenario like this they take it willingly. He'll still have been expected to do his best, though, if nothing too risky. Kisenosato has bestowed a signal honour on Onosho by practicing with him at his heya. Onosho will regard it as a debt he owes Kisenosato, which he can only 'repay' by doing well himself.
  8. I knew Ura was popular, but I didn't expect to see him 2nd!
  9. Takakeisho at M7W is only 20 to M9W Kagayaki's 23. I like Kagayaki, regardless of his disturbingly shapely manboobs. I remember not thinking much of him after his uninspiring makuuchi debut, but he's bounced back up and he's made it stick, so he's definitely improving - but it's so steady as to be imperceptible at times! As you say, time is on his side. I'm more excited by Takakeisho, though. I don't know about Takayasu hype, but what surprised me about his successful ozeki-run was his great leap forward from that elevator rikishi who couldn't string KKs together; suddenly he can, and how! You are totally correct that the rikishi who start sumo young are overwhelmingly those who make it to the top. However, the ex-collegiate champions, particularly those who get a tsukedashi entry, tend to do disproportionately well compared to the general rikishi population, at least in terms of making it to makuuchi and staying there, even if they do show a general inability to make it to yokozuna. The vast majority of them have come along since Wajima, who was only the 8th ever ex-college rikishi, so it feels like it's been plenty long enough for another really good one to turn up.
  10. How come Ura gets all the reflected glory from Mainoumi? He's twice the size of Mainoumi (figuratively if not exactly before anyone rushes off to search SumoDB) and moves in a totally different way. Ishiura comes a lot closer to Mainoumi in terms of size and physique (though again a different style), yet they never seem to be mentioned together... Like Asashosakari, I'm glad we won't be seeing them up against anyone the size of Konishiki - because I don't want to see Ura's or Ishiura's careers effectively ended by a broken leg, like Mainoumi's was when the losing Konishiki fell on it. With hindsight, Mainoumi's clinging, judo-ish style of wrapping a leg around his opponent's was a very risky strategy considering what could (and eventually did) come crashing down on it...
  11. I wouldn't think of predicting any makuuchi debutant making it to the top because there are too many unknowns, but I can understand people having high hopes and speculating. It's just human nature. Endo pre-dates my return to sumo, but I saw Ichinojo's astonishing makuuchi debut and Osunaarashi's kinboshi over his first 2 yokozuna opponents. I can well understand people getting excited about that, but persistent injuries seem to have made fans scale down their expectations now, though. I asked elsewhere on this forum very recently whether there was a 'yokozuna Ura bandwagon' and apparently there isn't. Ura's unorthodox style, speed and agility make him very entertaining, so he has legions of admiring fans including TV pundit, moto-yokozuna Kitanofuji, and me, but I reckon even the most optimistic of us merely hope he can make it to sanyaku one day and that he won't injure himself again. It's those bloody injuries that ruin our speculations and shatter hopes, but that ain't gonna stop us! I'd say Mitakeumi and Shodai are highly speculation worthy at the moment, but they're both well past their top division debuts now and both maintaining an overall upward trend, particularly Mitakeumi. So far Hokutofuji is following a similar path, having just bounced back from his first MK in his 3rd top division basho, just as they did. It felt to me a bit like Hoshi/Hokutoumi had returned to the dohyo the first time I saw Hokutofuji in makuuchi, which was encouraging. The invasion of the shorties continues apace, continually proving that you don't have to be 180cm+ to hold your own in makuuchi. This is my favourite area of speculation, and I'd like to welcome Onosho to the party! Of all the short guys Takakeisho holds the most promise for me. I thought he was a bit one dimensional, if effective, then he went and out-grappled Tochinoshin! Big test coming up with his joi debut, where I think he'll do better than Ura. Still just speculation, though, but where would this forum be without it?
  12. You'll pick it up in no time! Just ask if you don't know - someone will always explain. Of all the internet forums I've been on, this one has the friendliest and most helpful community I've ever come across.
  13. You (and Asashosakari) make valid points. I agree that Ura continuing to do what he does now won't last long. Mind you, he still has speed in abundance even with all that extra weight, which I didn't expect to see. He can slow down quite a bit and still be way too fast for some rikishi. He's developed a great deal since he rose to sekitori, though, and my faith in his ability to continue developing the physique and technique he's going to need won't be shattered until I see that development has definitely stopped. I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm not exposed to any Japanese hype around Ura, so is there really a "yokozuna Ura bandwagon"? I thought I was at the optimistic end of the scale thinking that, if he develops as I hope he will, he may get a sanyaku KK one day!
  14. Looks like physiotherapy.
  15. Erm... Takekaze is 3cm shorter than Ura, and he's the oldest in makuuchi at 38 (Dang, Benihana beat me to it!). Toyonoshima is 6cm shorter and he was 36 before injury sent him down. The notion that short rikishi don't do well or have any longevity in makuuchi is ridiculous. Reaching the very top is an altogether different matter, but that's the reserve of the very cream of the crop. The vast majority of hiramaku who ever were did not make it there, and I imagine most of those were bigger than Ura. Nobody who makes it to makuuchi is a failure, and anybody who manages to spend several years amongst the top 42 in ozumo has done really well. Size, especially height, is a distinct advantage, but ability and attitude can really be made to count. Look at 35-year-old Yoshikaze, who's only 2cm taller than Ura. You can't tell me he hasn't done well just because he hasn't made it to ozeki.