Thorbjarn

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About Thorbjarn

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  1. Thorbjarn

    Nice photo, so own thread..

    It has been said a lot, but it bears repeatung: Araiso Oyakata looks very happy in almost all his Media appearances since retiring. It was heartbreaking seeing the desperation and tension in almost all his bouts post-injury in the final two years as Kisenosato. He seems to be at peace with himself, his path and his current situation, and this makes me very happy. Loving the photo.
  2. Thorbjarn

    Goeido to Retire

    I always have the feeling the Mongolians who are good at Yotsu, especially the Yokozuna, are willing to go chest to chest and not go all out in regards to resisting/trying to get last minute desperation throws at the tawara. I can understand the sentiment of considering this for an dishonest effort, but to me it seems to be more of a Gentlemen's agreement. Like when football (soccer) teams kick the Ball over the sideline when a player goes down with an injury or people in the early days of MMA not using punches to the groin or hairpulls despite those being allowed back then. If the idea / concept of dishonesty in Sumo is that you always approach every match in a way that yields the best (Match) result for you as an Rikishi, there are probably multiple dishonest efforts at least every Basho. Goeido would be to blame aswell, because with seven losses on the clock he decided not to go for what worked best for him during the last few years (aka bullrush pushouts), but went to a belt battle with Asanoyama, who is really good and had youth, strength and fitness on his side. To me it seemed as if Goeido decided against a more promising approach (regarding chances of winning) in favour of showing up and fighting a good fight. Hakuho (maybe) gifting Kotoshogiku a Yusho after a ten-year-wait is of course not in the same vein. But again, there is also a head game in sumo, like in every other sport. As soon as the mere thought of "well, maybe it's not bad if a Japanese wins this! And that Kotoshogiku dude is a nice guy... " enters the head, even if you decide to not throw the game, you will very likely not get into the right mode. It looks really iffy, but there is also the possibility of a big mistake accompanied by arguably the greatest of all time not getting his head into the game. I can definetly see a foundation for the points of @sekitori and @robnplunder
  3. Thorbjarn

    Goeido to Retire

    Maybe it's case of: "The bigger the lie, The harder it is to detect...", but if this was a fight thrown on purpose, the job was so poorly done, especially with the fresh Match fixing scandal not too far removed. I won't say it is a thrown fight, but I won't say I know this to be 100% legitimate contest. That being said, no matter how good you are, mistakes do happen, better athletes loose to lesser ones even in sports which are decided over way longer durations, due to Individual mistakes. A sumo bout tends to be over within seconds, a moment of doubt can easily be enough to break your rhythm and cost you the Match. It doesn't happen often to Hakuho, but this doesn't mean it can never happen to him.
  4. Thorbjarn

    Goeido to Retire

    The point is you're accusing people of revisionism while using it yourself. I'm not going to argue your opinion, it is yours. Also I'm aware of the bout fixing scandal. In every sport there is (and yeah, sumo is more than just a Sport) there have been match fixing allegations and actual Match fixing. Especially combat sports. I'm not naive enough to discount that, especially in combat sports. The concept of Match fixing in Sumo is not a 2011-thing from what I read about it, it might well have been around since it was a competition. My question is: when did Goeido, Kotoshogiku and Kisenosato get actually proven/found to be guilty of matchfixing? There is this concept of people being innocent until proven guilty not the other way around. Same goes with "OBSC", it may very well exist/have existed, but until now all we have is analysis of people watching sumo claiming it to exist. If you believe Goeido and the other two guys to be paper-Ozeki and their statistics not being worth a dime, that's fine. You'll have your opinion thought out and it's not my goal to force my view upon you (not that I could). I will however show my interpretation of the facts and statistics out there aswell as you post yours on a public forum. If my relatively short time as an avid sumo fan discards all the merit of my POV in regards to this or other sumo-related topics to you, that's also fine, although I still see a value in sharing my trains of thought as long as I take my time to formulate them. I will try and watch as much Sumo from the past with the limited time I have, and maybe it'll change my view, but up until now I haven't seen any Goeido-bouts that convinced me that the fix was in.
  5. Thorbjarn

    Goeido to Retire

    Are the other Ozeki of questionable quality (aka goofs) Kotoshogiku and Kisenosato? Like 24 Double digits as an Ozeki Kisenosato? 11 Jun Yusho Kisenosato Ozeki? 1 Yusho Ozeki Kisenosato? Sorry to be blunt, but I don't see how anyone can question Kisenosato as an Ozeki of legendary status worthy of the rank.
  6. Thorbjarn

    Goeido to Retire

    @Shio-kago wrote a fantastic post. My point will be more blunt. In the short time I have been back to watching Sumo, Goeido seemed not to be among the greatest technicians or the strongest rikishi, but he certainty seemed among the most tenacious and able to rally when things seemed to take a bad turn. I remember him underperforming, but I also remember the dramatic turn of his Aki 2017 and him looking really fine in 2018 and 2019 at times. Kudos to him for calling it a day now, in recent past this seems to go against the grain, which is never an easy thing to do.
  7. Thorbjarn

    Hatsu 2020 Basho Discussion (SPOILERS)

    Very impressed with Tokoshoryu's composure. I would have preferred a Shodai Yusho, or Takakeisho, but 14-1 is always worth a Yusho, especially if you beat the direct rival and the remaining high ranker (the only one in form aswell). Wild ride all in all.
  8. Thorbjarn

    Hatsu 2020 Basho Discussion (SPOILERS)

    I'm sorry to being really late to the party and I really don't want to stirr things back up. But is this really fair and accurate? Kakuryu had horribly bad luck with injuries, especially 2016 and 2017, but he had a really decent 2018 while he was under a lot of pressure and looked quite well last summer until news spread about his Oyakata dieing. Hasn't the (often illadvised) pulling always been a part of his Sumo? Not saying he was a prime-performance Dai Yokozuna, but he never was, tbf. I agree with you btw, I assume that he will retire very soon and that it's probably the time. His spirit seems broken this time, and reading about his history and path in Sumo I can sure see why.
  9. Thorbjarn

    Banzuke for Hatsu 2020

    I'm not saying it is unfair, and triple Kachikoshi from Komusubi 1 e including back to back 9-6 is first and foremost bad banzuke luck. I say I'm somewhat surprised. There have been three Sekiwake in the past, there has been a remarkable alternation from the usual sanyaku layout as recently as last Basho and they could easily have promoted Abi to Sekiwake and Asanoyama to Abi's rank. They apparently choose not to and the decision is definetly not the worst in Banzuke-making-history, but I still wonder if the scandal tipped the decision in Asanoyama's favour. I'll never know, but it seemed worth a thought.
  10. Thorbjarn

    Banzuke for Hatsu 2020

    I'm kind of surprised they didn't promote Abi to Sekiwake. SNS scandal may actually be a factor?
  11. Thorbjarn

    Sumo year best awards 2019

    True, but not neccessiarily contrary to what I meant to say. Shodai had a strong first week in Kyushu, but would he have had the usual Shodai Performance in Aki (7-8 or 9-6) instead of the abysmal 3-12, he could have been very close to the top again and might have had a bigger differential in that category. The severe de-ranking he got probably helped getting a rather unusual 5-2 in week 1.
  12. Thorbjarn

    Sumo year best awards 2019

    Shodai would probably have had a bigger differential without the anomaly that was Kyushu 2019 for him after the huge drop in the banzuke.
  13. Thorbjarn

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    Liked today's bouts a lot. Endo vs Okinoumi the most. I'm amazed by Kagayaki suddenly looking solid. Is this one of his bi-annual Kachikoshi coming through? Glad that Asanoyama is having another good showing, I like his Sumo a lot. I will chime in with my own two Cents (aka a longish ramble) on the Enho debate, so if you feel like enough has been said already, feel free to ignore. I'm one who in every basho within the last 18 months or so considers Enho to have reached his glass ceiling, and every basho so far he surprised me. I honestly thought he would not make it out of Juryo, than go 4-11 in his first Makuuchi basho, and 2-3 wins at best once he got to single digit Maegashira ranks. I' m positively surprised by his results and always looking forward to watch his performance, so I may be the antithesis to Rocks. He already had a fine career in my opinion, although I hope he will get some longevity out of it aswell. As for the matta, I honestly think it was a wrong call. Both were up and in fighting stance, albeit neither one of them bullrushing the other. Additionally I have not seen more matta in Enho matches than in other Matches while following live streams. Sumo is an extraordinary phenomenon in many regards, and the start to bouts is pretty much in line that. The opponents have to consent for a start and an umpire has to evaluate said consent to get the match underway. There are bound to be misunderstandings and there are also bound to be tactical usages of the Tachiai. Soft or slow tachiais happen far more often, some looking matta-esque. I remember the Hakuho vs Yoshikaze bout two years ago were Yoshikaze got really slowly out of the blocks into a really soft Tachiai, visibly throwing Hakuho off-game, who tried to get the shimpan to Call a monoii matta afterwards. I honestly think there is nothing wrong or indignified about submarine tachiais (which the smaller guys including Enho often go for) when you are certain size and fight guys with an average of 60 kg advantage. As long as you are within the rules of course. I'm not a fan of Aoiyama, but I won't try to outlaw pushing attacks, and not only for him especially. As for special treatment, I haven't seen it up until now. On the contrarary, in the first two Makuuchi basho he had numerous close bouts where they could have at least given him a torinaoshi if he actually was their golden boy. This is not to say they won't be happy about a young and populär Rikishi performing well, just saying that there isn't a lot of special treatment outside of the privileges earned due to his efforts.
  14. Thorbjarn

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    Easy win, not really sure what to make of it. Just judging by looks and movement, Terunofuji doesn't look too Bad. I loved the Sumo displayed today. Quite a few good Matches and two great ones to me. Good stuff.
  15. Thorbjarn

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    I know there is been lots of talk about Hakuho intai following yesterday's loss with him not dancing on the tawara etc, but is the one to really worry about Kotoshogiku actually? He is quite far down the banzuke and off to an 0-3 start, iirc getting his hip bump going every Match, but lacking power to follow through and/or defend counter throw. Both Takayasu and Takakeisho look far from 100%, but it looks like the injured body parts are kind of okay. It seems more like it's "dohyo-rust" to me.