Kuroyama

Training question

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From all the video I've seen of keiko, rikishi do a lot of strength and stability training, and go through a lot of practice bouts, but do they ever do any kind of training or drilling in how to perform various kimarite? Or is that supposed to be the sort of thing they pick up as they go?

There are more unusual kimarite we see once in awhile -- and we seem to be seeing a few of them this basho, like amiuchi or katasukashi or sotogake -- which in other martial arts would be specifically taught and practiced. Does that happen in sumo?

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Just speculating, but I would expect that training methods differ from heya to heya. However, one thing I would imagine to be consistent across the board (and a trend in Japanese athletic training in general) is endless drilling.

So, again, just speculating, but I would expect the answer to that to be "Yes."

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9 hours ago, Dwale said:

Just speculating, but I would expect that training methods differ from heya to heya. However, one thing I would imagine to be consistent across the board (and a trend in Japanese athletic training in general) is endless drilling.

So, again, just speculating, but I would expect the answer to that to be "Yes."

I would expect it too, but I've never seen it in any video of keiko.

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I have often wondered about the same thing.  The videos and photos show a lot of body building and oshi training, but there is never anything showing any technique instruction or belt training.

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The problem is that nobody in real life would stand still for you to get the grip and perform the technique. Forward driving power always comes first, the stance that protects against being toppled, the legs that have to do the driving. Whout these basics, technique is a moot point.

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19 minutes ago, orandashoho said:

The problem is that nobody in real life would stand still for you to get the grip and perform the technique. Forward driving power always comes first, the stance that protects against being toppled, the legs that have to do the driving. Whout these basics, technique is a moot point.

But the makuuchi division is dominated by rikishi who are primarily technicians.  Pushme-pullyou is a start, but those who excel must learn to use the belt and execute the throws. It is never shown in the training.

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57 minutes ago, orandashoho said:

The problem is that nobody in real life would stand still for you to get the grip and perform the technique. Forward driving power always comes first, the stance that protects against being toppled, the legs that have to do the driving. Whout these basics, technique is a moot point.

So they never train technique? No wonder Mongolians have come to dominate, then, since I'm positive Mongolian

Really, this is no different from any other martial art. In a judo bout, no one stands still for a given throw either. Yet, they train judo techniques by examples and drilling. Same in karate, jiu-jitsu, taekwando -- even Western fencing, Greco-Roman wrestling, boxing, MMA, etc. If sumo really never does train technique, that's astonishing.

Edited by Kuroyama

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They can always drill it by themselves. "Today, I'm only going to win with overarm throws, and I'm only going to open with a right-hand inside." Then someone ranked above you, will tell you to pivot your hip this way or point your toe this way. But there is a much more "figure it out yourself" attitude in sumo. I remember seeing Asashoryu telling a young pup to push-thrust with his elbows in, because that connects your thrusts to your body. He then let the kid drill on him for a few minutes. That's how I imagine most technique is taught- as it comes up.

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Several years ago Doreen Simmons would take me to many heyas for morning keiko. At one I saw an "assistant coach" pull aside a junior rikishi and show him proper technique on an arm throw. But that is the only time in all my heya visits that I saw instruction.. Always the oyakata sat there smoking, drinking coffee, and grunting instructions to the rikishi.

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5 hours ago, Gaijingai said:

Several years ago Doreen Simmons would take me to many heyas for morning keiko. At one I saw an "assistant coach" pull aside a junior rikishi and show him proper technique on an arm throw. But that is the only time in all my heya visits that I saw instruction.. Always the oyakata sat there smoking, drinking coffee, and grunting instructions to the rikishi.

As somebody said, it varies with the heya. Personally I have very often seen a senior take a junior into a corner (I.e. not in the ring) and give him some one on one training, focussing on something he wasn't getting right in the bouts he just had. I was following this thread with some puzzlement,  because all the observations seemed to be based on what a camera was showing, not what was happening in different places in the training room and outside on the street.

And what do you suppose the beginners do in their six months in the Kyoshujo -- the sumo school occupying the second floor room that extends the full rear of the Kokugikan? Everyone who gets through maezumo and is presented to the public has to spend six mornings a week outside of basho time leaning all the postures and all the movements (and recite the rules!). The only ones excused this are the university and amateur champions who are admitted into the makushita ranks; they train at the proper level in their heya  -- but they still have to go to the Kyoshujo mid-morning for the classroom lessons. 

Orion

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2 hours ago, Orion said:

because all the observations seemed to be based on what a camera was showing

Because for those of us who have never been to Japan, never visited a heya, never observed keiko, never sat in on Kyoshujo, what cameras show is all we have to go on. I thought it highly unlikely that kimarite were never specifically trained for, but this is an aspect of training that I have never seen discussed. It's a puzzling omission to say the least, but that's why I asked.

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I suppose that any kimarite training would become important only after a rikishi has established where his strengths lie. It takes time and experience to get to that point, during which time the body changes as well. It seems to me that the process of shaping a top level rikishi is in constant flux. Aside from the strength to drive forward and to withstand bulldozering attacks, there are so many other factors that determine the chance to win. Random factors present split-second opportunities that require a ready arsenal of techniques to take advantage of them. The ability to recognize these opportunities and trick your opponent into creating them is of crucial importance. I think that concentrating on a single technique too much would be detrimental to a sense of flow.

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And don't forget that most rikishi have a sumo-background. They learn sumo in local clubs and/or in school and those who did no sumo often did other martial arts. Have a look at the new recruits. Only 1 of 6 new Isegahama recruits did no sumo or judo.

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5 hours ago, Benihana said:

And don't forget that most rikishi have a sumo-background. They learn sumo in local clubs and/or in school and those who did no sumo often did other martial arts. Have a look at the new recruits. Only 1 of 6 new Isegahama recruits did no sumo or judo.

I think you're very much overestimating what it means to do youth sumo. The minority of rikishi who've been part of a reputable sumo club and regularly competed in tournaments will have a solid foundation, but for most others it will have been little more than "giving the kid something to do after school". They'll know the basics of what sumo is like, but I'd hardly expect that it has prepared them for a professional career in any way.

Edited by Asashosakari

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5 hours ago, Benihana said:

And don't forget that most rikishi have a sumo-background. They learn sumo in local clubs and/or in school and those who did no sumo often did other martial arts. Have a look at the new recruits. Only 1 of 6 new Isegahama recruits did no sumo or judo.

Take a look at some of the videos of the maezumo follies.  Are these rikishi who have no further need of training??

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33 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

I think you're very much overestimating what it means to do youth sumo. The minority of rikishi who've been part of a reputable sumo club and regularly competed in tournaments will have a solid foundation, but for most others it will have been little more than "giving the kid something to do after school". They'll know the basics of what sumo is like, but I'd hardly expect that it has prepared them for a professional career in any way.

 

23 minutes ago, Asojima said:

Take a look at some of the videos of the maezumo follies.  Are these rikishi who have no further need of training??

Well, i didn't say they are fit for professional sumo or don't need further training, but as Asashosakari said, they aren't total noobs, at least most of 'em. It would be a shame for the japanese school- and club-system, if they didn't teach the kids at least some techniques. When i see rikishi like Ura, Ishiura, Mitakeumi and so on, i come to the conclusion, that some of them (admittedly a minority) learned pretty much before entering ozumo.

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For those that followed the Homarefuji fiasco, there is a good training video with moto-Konishiki going over pushing techniques with the new guy. Given the number of coaches in some heyas, and the fact that only a couple guys can actually be wrestling at the same time, I assume this sort of stuff is happening all the times on the sidelines. 

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42 minutes ago, Benevolance said:

For those that followed the Homarefujinishiki fiasco, there is a good training video with moto-Konishiki going over pushing techniques with the new guy. Given the number of coaches in some heyas, and the fact that only a couple guys can actually be wrestling at the same time, I assume this sort of stuff is happening all the times on the sidelines. 

fixed

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