WAKATAKE

Basho Talk - Natsu Basho 2016 +++ Spoiler Alert! +++

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To be honest I wasn't paying much attention to Ura, but after seeing him a bit closer last basho and now I find him quite interesting. I tend to dislike too unorthodox a style, but in his case it is working quite well (so far). I am curious to see what will happen when the novelty effect wears off as it is not that easy to adjust that brand of sumo.

Ura reminds me of Satoyama. Both are too short and light to do well in Makuuchi division. At best, they will journey back and forth between the top 2 divisions. I like them both though.

Akiseyama is one dude whom I believe can benefit from losing weight.

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Kyokutenho had both... he had the yusho, AND the long career.

I wanted to write just that, but then I realize they were talking about an injury free career at ozeki.
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Ichinojou just does not have the athleticism to go anywhere.

He does need to lose a few pounds. I think he will be either a good ozeki or lousey Yokozuna. He's just finding his style. The guy was sekiwake the same year he began sumo. This is barely his third year in sumo. Just seems like half his battles are outside the ring.

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Ichinojou just does not have the athleticism to go anywhere.

I disagree. Although he is a very big man he doesn't seem overweight: his size well matches his style. He has consistently shown good balance; I would say his biggest flaw is overreliance on his size to the detriment of technique. He's only 23 and was a sekiwake at 21: give him time and I think he could definitely get to Ozeki.

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The unthinkable has just happened:

Sato won by yorikiri for the first time ever in his career, which includes 59 wins.

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Sato wins with a YORIKIRI. World must be ending! His first ever Yorikiri. :D

And Ura of course can't win by any normal means, Watashikomi.

Okay, Ura might not win the Yusho but he is going to get 10 wins at least.

Sato & Chiyonokuni will decide it.

Also Asabenkei is still having the best basho of his life. Where is this coming from?

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Ichinojou just does not have the athleticism to go anywhere.

I disagree. Although he is a very big man he doesn't seem overweight: his size well matches his style. He has consistently shown good balance; I would say his biggest flaw is overreliance on his size to the detriment of technique. He's only 23 and was a sekiwake at 21: give him time and I think he could definitely get to Ozeki.

I'd like to give him chance/time but he seems to give up too many bouts. That tells me he does not have mental strength. What others think?

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Ichinojou just does not have the athleticism to go anywhere.

I disagree. Although he is a very big man he doesn't seem overweight: his size well matches his style. He has consistently shown good balance; I would say his biggest flaw is overreliance on his size to the detriment of technique. He's only 23 and was a sekiwake at 21: give him time and I think he could definitely get to Ozeki.

I'd like to give him chance/time but he seems to give up too many bouts. That tells me he does not have mental strength. What others think?

I fear I'll beat a dead horse in talking about his youth but I think it bears repeating. Ichinojo is the second-youngest rikishi in Makuuchi behind Daieishou: the youngest rikishi ranked above him are Terunofuji (~20 months older) followed by Kotoyuki (2 years, five months older). Shodai, at the same rank as Ichinojo, is a little more than two years older than him. My point is that, most rikishi gain experience and technique (along with mental fortitude) as they put on weight and climb the ranks. Ichinojo, who started in Makushita at a Makuuchi-type weight, is much less experienced than almost everyone he fights and because of this tends to appear as a novice or as if he isn't sure what he is doing. Despite this lack of experience, he is wrestling in upper Maegashira–M1 might be too high for him but I'd say he could easily post kachikoshi at M5. Give him two years maturation and I am confident he will establish himself as a sanyaku rikishi.

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I think Ichinojo has all the physical attributes to succeed, but not all of the mental attributes. He'll have a successful career, but it will be filled with visions of all the things that could have been.

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Ichinojo already has reached Sekiwake rank, no one can take that achievement from him. Most people who visit Makuuchi never even reach Sanyaku. And 90% of all rikishi never even reach Makuuchi. Suceess is completely subjective.

I would say everyone who reach any Sanyaku rank is a brilliant rikishi who deserves respect.

That said: If Ichinojo doesn't become complacent and injury prone like Terunofuji I could see him becoming Ozeki in a few years. He has the size and talent but does lack in spirit and experience. Both of them are easily fixed with time, and he has a lot of it.

---

I am excited by Sato's success. Will he be the youngest rikishi to tread Makuuchi?

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I fear I'll beat a dead horse in talking about his youth but I think it bears repeating. Ichinojo is the second-youngest rikishi in Makuuchi behind Daieishou: the youngest rikishi ranked above him are Terunofuji (~20 months older) followed by Kotoyuki (2 years, five months older). Shodai, at the same rank as Ichinojo, is a little more than two years older than him. My point is that, most rikishi gain experience and technique (along with mental fortitude) as they put on weight and climb the ranks. Ichinojo, who started in Makushita at a Makuuchi-type weight, is much less experienced than almost everyone he fights and because of this tends to appear as a novice or as if he isn't sure what he is doing.

That's true, but the weight gain itself is also part of what helps a rikishi get better, not just the experience gain. That means Ichinojo, despite his young age, is already much further "developed" than one would expect of the typical 20-year-old prospect.

Just compare him to Kisenosato and Kotoshogiku who were around 150 kg when they began to be competitive around M1, and are 175-180 kg now, or Kakuryu who went from 135 to 155 kg, or Harumafuji who went from 115 to 135 kg. Ichinojo is already at 210 kg (which he has struggled with at times), and a commensurate weight gain would be putting him in the 240-250 kg range. That's almost certainly not going to happen, so one area of improvement is off-limits to him.

(Of course, it's possible that he's actually too big at 210 right now, and his weight-based improvement will come from getting leaner, not larger...)

Late edit: Why did I write 20-year-old? He's 23, of course.

Edited by Asashosakari
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Some people have expressive faces. Hakuho has an expressive face. Terunofuji has an expressive face. Ichinojo doesn't. He looks the same whether he defeats Hakuho or gets slammed out of the ring. Doesn't mean he doesn't have a drive or any of that. Kakuryu looks like hes going to fall asleep most of the time, hes a yokozuna.

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Wow, major kachiage fail by Osunaarashi there. Well done, Endo.

failed kachi-age attempt = make-age? ;-)

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Is Terunofuji learning how to fight with his knee braces?

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suspense...

seconds before the world's first Goeido-Hakuho sandwich. That was hilarious to watch!

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Is Terunofuji learning how to fight with his knee braces?

i guess that comes first, before learning to fight with his opponents

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Wow, major kachiage fail by Osunaarashi there. Well done, Endo.

Maybe 'sandstorm' will have to come up with something different at the start of a match now..

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Kisenosato at least ensured another yokozuna run next basho - hardly he'll lose all 3 and Harumafuji win all as well.

Edited by Akinomaki
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Anybody wanna take an early stab at sansho predictions? Other than Kaisei hopefully getting one if he KK's, I'm drawing a complete blank. I guess there are a couple of guys like Mitakeumi and Endo who would look sansho-worthy if they win all three remaining bouts, but...

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