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About neonbelly

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  1. neonbelly

    Aki Basho 2018 Discussion [SPOILERS]

    I think Ichinojo would do well to lose weight, too. For as big as he is he always gives ground to his opponents, and even when he's "good" Ichinojo he's still winning with throws and grappling techniques at the edge more so than driving anyone out from his tachi ai. Aoiyama, for example, has a body matched to his style. Big old boy there to push and shove. Ichinojo is more of a grappler anyway.
  2. neonbelly

    Aki Basho 2018 Discussion [SPOILERS]

    No one's finding their way to a win in Kakuryu's funhouse. I love seeing him send his opponent spinning and stumbling down a hall of mirrors til they practically walk themselves off the dohyo.
  3. neonbelly

    Nagoya Basho 2018 Discussion [SPOILERS]

    Yeah Takayasu did a swim move to get around Ichinojo's right arm inside grip and establish a left inside grip of his own, then Ichinojo decided to take his lunch money and won via throat shove from hell.
  4. neonbelly

    Nagoya Basho 2018 Discussion [SPOILERS]

    I don't see him as yielding when his joints are in perilous positions though, like an arm getting twisted for a throw or knees torquing during circular footwork. He's quitting during straight-on pushing matches. I mean, ffs, he ALWAYS gives up ground at the tachi ai, regardless of the size or power of his opponent.
  5. neonbelly

    Nagoya Basho 2018 Discussion [SPOILERS]

    Someone needs to teach Ichinojo how to physics.
  6. neonbelly

    Nagoya Basho 2018 Discussion [SPOILERS]

    I sort of lol'd at Ichinojo mistiming his giving up and stepping out... but man that guy's sumo can look so sad.
  7. He definitely was the prettiest (so far).
  8. All the same, we could totally make money off a supplement called "Yolk-o-zuna Mass".
  9. neonbelly

    Hakuho's dominance to continue?

    I think Hakuho's matured to the point where he understands "not bad for a Mongolian" is all he's going to get from the Kyokai, so he isn't going to sweat their minor reproofs and reprimands. Part of Hakuho's success is that so many wrestlers look visibly rattled when they take him on--partly because he's so good at sumo, and partly because he's a devil on the dohyo. As Kisenosato's celebrated promotion showed, the Japanese will always esteem him, but never love him like they will one of their own. His 40 championships don't mean much juxtaposed with a Japanese ozeki finally breaking through. Hakuho's role is to be a dragon. Respected, feared, but not loved. And if the Japanese don't like him snorting some extra fire after a win, then let one of their heroes go and slay him.
  10. neonbelly

    Hakuho's dominance to continue?

    It blows my mind sometimes when I realize that even with a decade of being the definition of a yokozuna (strong, dominant, intimidating), Hakuho is only 32. Father time will get him eventually but that's not necessarily going to happen any time soon. In addition to probably being a better natural athlete than any other active rikishi, and possibly any rikishi in history, Hakuho takes better care of himself and trains smarter than any other wrestler so far as I know. He keeps the alcohol to a minimum, trains with weights like other modern elite athletes, and takes the time to properly tend to injuries when his body needs it. Barring something catastrophic he's going to have serious longevity. I've also noticed that Hakuho has slimmed down over the past few years. If you look at him in 2012 and earlier he looks significantly bigger, and controlling his weight as he ages is going to help him stay in fighting form. His physique is also excellent--his consummate skill means he doesn't have to get too big to compensate for any technical gaps--his weight is concentrated in leg and back muscle, meaning much of his weight is "weight that moves itself" rather than dead weight that'll slow him down--in this regard he's much like Taiho and Asashoryu. He's somehow strong enough to bang with the big guys, and technical enough to grapple confidently with the tricky guys like Ura, Harumafuji, etc. He has no apparent weaknesses and there's no "blueprint" for imagining what an effective rival would look like. He also seems to have the right stuff psychologically--never nervous, over eager, and totally resistant to demoralization.
  11. I know that feeling, but when I think about it, "the difference" always has to come from somewhere, and it can never entirely be effort and virtue. Genetically-influenced physical traits are an obvious example, but technology has always played a role in "enhancing" athlete performance, too. From simple knee and elbow sleeves to surgically reconstructed body parts, plus the scientifically-produced innovations in diet, training equipment and training methodology, what a wrestler brings to the ring is always going to be an expression of the technological environment he comes from. We tend to think of surgery/therapy and tape/braces as something that restores a rikishi to a "natural" state, but the fact is it's natural for bodies under stress to break down and fail, and we use technological interventions to prevent this "unnaturally". If steroid use is against the rules, a rikishi should not do it. However, there ought to be a good reason for it to be outlawed, and I've never heard one that makes a convincing harm/benefit case. Additionally, if an organization can't test in a way that all but guarantees users will be caught it puts athletes into a game theory problem which recommends the use of steroids out of rational self interest ("I know my competition is doing it, so I have to, too"). In effect, the organization is simultaneously forbidding steroid use on pain of suspension/expulsion, and obligating its athletes to use steroids if they want to be competitive and have successful careers.
  12. Let me also add that I believe sumos and athletes generally should be permitted to use steroids. There's no evidence that properly managed use of these kinds of drugs is a fatal threat to a person, and it's CERTAINLY less hazardous then being 350lbs, getting the shit beaten out of your head at the tachi-ai and with palm strikes, and all the alcohol these guys drink. Most of the "deaths from steroids" you hear about are heart attacks caused by being HEAVY, which rikishi obviously are and will be regardless of steroid use. If steroids allow wrestlers to maintain a high level of strength and athleticism at a lower bodyweight it's probably a better option then having 500 and 600-pound guys gasping for air after throwing salt.
  13. I'm fairly knowledgeable about steroids for a layman, though I've never used them, and here's my view. 1. "Roid rage" is just a pop-media myth. An increase in testosterone (steroids are testosterone or synthetic testosterone) will generally make a male user feel more "up", with an increase in energy, wakefulness, positive mood states, etc. So whatever a person's underlying personality is, it might create a more assertive version of it, but spells of rage or uncontrollable aggression are not a side effect of steroids. There's a huge population of non-athlete steroid users that no one ever seems to think of: middle-aged and elderly men. Whether it's called "Testosterone Replacement Therapy" or "Hormone Treatment", it's just steroid use--the addition of testosterone from outside the body. It'll help those guys get hard, avoid depression, and feel more energetic, but there's no epidemic of baby boomer-aged men going berserk from roid rage. 2. Steroids can be classed by their balance of angrogenic and anabolic effects. Endogenous testosterone (the stuff your body makes naturally), is considered 50/50: androgenic effects are things associated with male physical puberty/maturity/aging (acne, hair loss, prostate enlargement, mood changes etc) and are not desired by steroid users, while anabolic effects are what steroid users do desire--tissue repair and growth. The reason synthetic steroids exist is because they attempt to modify testosterone to reduce androgenic effects while preserving anabolic effects. In the first place, not everyone will respond to exogenous (from outside the body) testosterone by presenting the same side effects; some may get acne, some may lose some hair, some may not--there is no sinlge tell-tale side effect when it comes to androgenic side effects. And, of course, people get acne and lose their hair without steroids, too. Furthermore, there are drugs which combat the androgenic effects of steroids, so looking for "signs" of androgenic effects is meaningless. The choice of synthetic steroid an athlete will make will depend on the demands of their sport and the kind of testing they will face, and also determine what kinds of side effects they may experience. A sumo wrestler doesn't care about water retention, or sparing lean mass at low bodyfat levels, or promoting aerobic endurance, so he'll be using different steroids than a bodybuilder or baseball player or cyclist. This means that you can't apply eye tests that might be useful for one kind of athlete suspected of using steroids on another kind of athlete. Most of the pop-wisdom about signs of steroid use come from the 60s when there was straight testosterone, oral Dianabol, and really nothing else. The ripped guy at your gym using Trenbolone E won't "show the signs" either, but he's using all the same--just newer, better engineered stuff. Additionally, modern steroid users will be book ending their cycles with female fertility drugs to help their body maintain normal, healthy function, and further suppress any unwanted side effects. 3. There are performance enhancing drugs besides steroids and GH, but first a note on GH: despite it's name, the use of Growth Hormone in athletics is very misunderstood by the public. In physique/weight class sports, GH is largely used to preserve muscle mass while getting lean/maintaining a controlled bodyweight. In other sports, it tends to be a minor component of a PED regimen. The drug I'd expect sumo wrestlers to be using besides steroids is insulin. Insulin will promote anabolism (growth) beyond what a body will naturally do--and would fit well with the massive carbohydrate intake which is typical of a wrestler's diet. I believe Takanoyama was caught using insulin at one time. 4. On the anabolic side, male bodies tend to have the strongest concentration of androgen receptors at the top of their bodies, and fewer as one moves toward the feet, and steroid users report that their trap and shoulder muscles quickly increase in size before the rest of their bodies starts to catch up. This means that one "eye test" that is useful is looking at a guy's shoulders+arm, specifically the traps. Chiyonofuji is the best example, but it can been seen on Hakuho and various others also: based on their style of sport and training, both have disproportionately developed traps and arms. This isn't proof of anything, but it is something to notice when trying to assess the probability that an athlete is using steroids. CONCLUSION Steroids help with all kinds of physical performance, and even strict testing can reliably be beaten with a proper approach, though random testing can be a problem, and I don't know what sumo's protocol is. It's been proven that wrestlers will fix matches to benefit their careers, so there's no reason to think they wouldn't use steroids if they thought they could get away with it.
  14. neonbelly

    Is a knee in the Kintamayamas legal?

    If it isn't illegal, can we all be OK with Aminishiki using it in January? HNH = Henka-Nut-Hit
  15. neonbelly


    I'm too old to go to Med School and turn pro, but your beautiful post inspired me to get into amateur colonoscopy just for the love of the game.