Rocks

Basho Talk Hatsu 2018 (SPOILERS)

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22 hours ago, ALAKTORN said:

...unlike Terao, Hakuhō hasn’t hit any KOs with it… it’s not like Terao’s slap, or a kachiage to the chin...

Search for 'Sumo KO' on YT and you will find the one from 2012 when Hakuho instantly felled Myogiryu with a kachi-age to the chin (followed by a where-am-I? wobbly-kneed stagger back to the tawara!), and he's wobbled a few others with with tsuppari too.

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I suspect that, apart from not getting paid, Hakuho is quite happy with the current situation. After all, his own legend is only added to significantly by being the first since the legendarily peerless rikishi Raiden to have restrictions placed on his technique!

His style has already changed quite a bit in the couple of years I've been watching him. Some have commented that sometimes he looked like he was trying new techniques because he was growing bored. Others have suggested his erstwhile slap-and-grab/kachi-age style evolved to accommodate his accumulating injuries. We also know that he's constantly on the lookout for the next challenge to keep himself motivated. In that sense the YDC has been very helpful in giving him another challenge to rise to. I've little doubt that he will.

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I was rooting for Hokutofuji of course, but I took satisfaction in seeing Kisenosato get a win by adapting his style too. The couple of uncharacteristic, strong tsuppari thrusts he got in when the gap opened up seemed to me to be decisive.

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Talking about things you don't see very often, what about the length of the bout between Takayasu and Kotoshogiku? I don't remember ever seeing the Geek on the dohyo for so long!

Edited by RabidJohn
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Re Hakukou, for sure, slaps are a legal move, but they should really only be thrown in to mix things up, rather than relied upon as a staple of the repertoire or favourite move.  Overuse makes them seem cheap.  The whole elevation to yokozuna encompasses the notion that you are a master of your art.  It's as much about performing your art with sophistication as victory.  If you are a gymnast, you not only have to acquit yourself technically on the apparatus, but also finish with a graceful landing in a prescribed form.  The limitation requested of the most successful active yokozuna is quite small when you consider his wealth of experience and victories.  If he can only win easily with one tachiai technique then doesn't that mean that he's got a teensy bit lazy by relying on it to such a degree?  I think it may be about a higher ambition on the part of the YDC; making the master revise his grounding will, if anything, improve his quality overall, make him more adaptable and also more enjoyable to watch due to injecting some breadth of variety back into his arsenal.  He's not my favourite rikishi but I've enjoyed the last couple of days, not because he might lose, but because I want to see what he might pull out of his sleeve instead.  I prefer to think of it like a reverse grid in motorsport - if you place the fastest guys at the back and you will really see an entertaining race as the have to rely on all their skill to get to the front, rather than simply camping out front the whole time.  

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10 hours ago, Yukiarashi said:

Takagenji didn't bow again when he entered the ring.......

 

Why bow when you are conditioned to be able to do anything by Takanohana? This is probably one of the many changes he seeks to implement in his crusade for Sumo Reformation. I mean, screw the traditions, good manners, and sportsmanship. What are those? They don't give you wins, glory or even $.

I mean we would all love the sport we already love so much if...you know...if it was DIFFERENT!

/s

 

Okay, but seriously speaking. Takagenji has either been eating a lot of palm-hamwich and doesn't remember to bow. Or maybe the discipline at Takanhana-beya is slippery-slope.

Edited by Jyuunomori

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Surprised Ichinojo was able to defend; usually when Hak swings you around like that a hard impact with the clay is imminent, no matter how heavy you are.

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1 hour ago, Yatagarasu said:

Re Hakukou, for sure, slaps are a legal move, but they should really only be thrown in to mix things up, rather than relied upon as a staple of the repertoire or favourite move.  Overuse makes them seem cheap.  The whole elevation to yokozuna encompasses the notion that you are a master of your art.  It's as much about performing your art with sophistication as victory.  If you are a gymnast, you not only have to acquit yourself technically on the apparatus, but also finish with a graceful landing in a prescribed form.  The limitation requested of the most successful active yokozuna is quite small when you consider his wealth of experience and victories.  If he can only win easily with one tachiai technique then doesn't that mean that he's got a teensy bit lazy by relying on it to such a degree?  I think it may be about a higher ambition on the part of the YDC; making the master revise his grounding will, if anything, improve his quality overall, make him more adaptable and also more enjoyable to watch due to injecting some breadth of variety back into his arsenal.  He's not my favourite rikishi but I've enjoyed the last couple of days, not because he might lose, but because I want to see what he might pull out of his sleeve instead.  I prefer to think of it like a reverse grid in motorsport - if you place the fastest guys at the back and you will really see an entertaining race as the have to rely on all their skill to get to the front, rather than simply camping out front the whole time.  

First and foremost,  sumo is a combat sport like boxing and wrestling. Once on the dohyo, the rikishi supposed to use all he have to win, as long as the rule allows. It's not fair to put additional restrictions on a rikishi for any reason.

Hakuho uses face-slapping as a distraction so he may gain advantage at the tachiai. By forbidding him to use it, he is supposed to be somehow handicapped thus losing more bouts. Let's see.

Anyway, I'm amused to see the YDC put restrictions on Hakuho, which makes Hakuho  the second rikishi after the legendary Raiden to be forbidden to use certain skills. In addition, because YDC dislike those two skills, I believe no one else will dear to use those two skills any more.

Edited by Dapeng
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3 minutes ago, Dapeng said:

First and foremost,  sumo is a combat sport like boxing and wrestling. Once on the dohyo, the rikishi supposed to use all he have to win, as long as the rule allows. It's not fair to put additional restrictions on a rikishi for any reason.

Hakuho uses face-slapping as a distraction so he may gain advantage at the tachiai. By forbidding him to use it, he is supposed to be somehow handicapped thus losing more bouts. Let's see.

Anyway, I'm amused to see the YDC put restrictions on Hakuho. Hakuho has become  the second rikishi after the legendary Raiden to be forbidden to use certain skills. In addition, because YDC dislike those two skills, I believe no one else will dear to use those two skills any more.

Completely disagree. The quoted post is a stellar example of what Kintamayama was talking about.

Furthermore, I don't think the YDC placed any formal restrictions on Hakuho. They voiced their displeasure, but I haven't read of any punishments or fines if Hakuho continues his ways. It is Hakuho's choice to whether to continue his tactics at the tachiai.  

And how the heck is Hakuho "disadvantaged" if no one else is using the same tactics against him at the tachiai? Please elaborate.

Cheers,

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4 hours ago, Kintamayama said:

This is a bit long and will annoy many. Deal with it or move along.

You (and others here) don't seem to understand what sumo is all about, but that's OK. When you will grasp what being a Yokozuna really means in sumo, you will then see what the fuss is all about. Hakuhou doesn't HAVE to do anything. He can keep on slapping his opponents' head off and no one will force him to retire. But he actually KNOWS what being a Yokozuna means, he KNOWS he's moved a way from that a bit lately on a few fronts, and is now trying to make amends. This may sound arrogant, condescending and rude to some of you, but that's how it works in sumo. Stick around for a while, learn the inner workings. I don't think anyone who has followed sumo for at least 5 years thinks that a Yokozuna should be allowed to do whatever he pleases, disregarding tradition etc.There is stuff I don't agree with in all sports, but I can't argue with the tradition. I hate bunts, I hate the offside rule, I don't like the egg- like shape of a football, but I respect those sports and wouldn't dream of going on a  Cricket forum for example and saying it's dumb to wear those stupid clothes and why are the matches so long etc. without having watched for a few years.

It is true that i am still trying to figure out what sumo is all about and my perspective is from a fan of the surface of sumo, i barely know anything about what goes around behind the scenes, the little i know is about the recent Taka-Haru scandle. I don't think a Yokozuna can do everything he wants, at the same time, you shouldn't be told you shouldn't use a completly legal aspect of sumo. IMO it's the same as not allowing Wajima to get a left hand inside, but the again, Hakuho is not Japanese. Kachiage is an overpowering weapon and the problem is that it's legal so a great rikishi can master it to then be talked out of it. As i said, might aswell have it written that dominant Yokozuna can't use it.

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16 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

You think it's a disgrace to sumo that the guys on the YDC are doing exactly what they're tasked to do? The tsk-tsk'ing about Hakuho's tachiai hardly started with them; they've just given an official voice to something that's been talked about for quite a while.

They're doing what they're tasked to do, so it's understandable, but yes - I firmly believe that no one should be telling Hakuhou how he works his magic, as long as he stays within the rules. I indeed think it's disgraceful that some people's personal aesthetic considerations should come before his freedom to fight his matches the way he wants. And it's nonsense anyway, because his slap-and-grab is beautiful to watch.

By all means, they should continue to complain, but I was really hoping that Hakuhou would continue to completely ignore them. :-)

edit: One other thing. I get what being a yokozuna means to these people, and I get why they want perfection from them. I understand all that. I just disagree with it, that's all.

Edited by dada78641
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48 minutes ago, Joaoiyama said:

but the again, Hakuho is not Japanese. 

This is exactly the sort of argument that has no basis whatsoever. It has no bearing on this discussion. The only aspect that remotely makes it relevant is that Hakuhou, being foreign, had to LEARN and STUDY what sumo with all its tradition is all about, while Japanese rikishi grow up knowing it. Other than that, blaming everything on the Kyokai's xenophobia is pretty shallow. And I will remind you, again, that it's not the Kyokai telling Hakuhou not to do it, but the YDC, which is an advisory board of old men. And it's not even them-it's one guy-the chairman, who said it is ugly sumo for a Yokozuna. He didn't file a complaint, nor did he ask Hakuhou to stop doing it. Hakuhou, very cleverly decided to do this on his own. 

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16 hours ago, Tochinofuji said:

Not sure that Terunofuji is able to do so. By convention, isn't an ozeki supposed to retire if the drops out of Makuuchi? Or is it if he drops out of the sekitori ranks entirely? 

There have been two examples of ex-ozeki competing in juryo - Daiju and Miyabiyama - so no reason why Terunofuji couldn’t. But there has never been an ex-ozeki (or indeed, any makuuchi yusho winner) competing in makushita. 

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1 hour ago, Dapeng said:

First and foremost,  sumo is a combat sport like boxing and wrestling. 

I guarantee you there is not a single rikishi or oyakata who shares that opinion. 

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Hidenoumi is looking strong so far, even with the hot pink mawashi. 

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8 hours ago, Rocks said:

Who would have though Hakuho would have looked like the weakest Yokozuna today? He did though. Ichinojo had him beat at the start but couldn't finish.

Against Ichinojo, even dame-oshi doesn't work.

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4 hours ago, RabidJohn said:

Search for 'Sumo KO' on YT and you will find the one from 2012 when Hakuho instantly felled Myogiryu with a kachi-age to the chin (followed by a where-am-I? wobbly-kneed stagger back to the tawara!), and he's wobbled a few others with with tsuppari too.

I watched that bout live. I’m not sure why you bring it up– as I mentioned, that was a kachiage to the chin, which I’m completely against anyone using. What Hakuhō has been doing recently is a light slap to the face. I don’t see the problem with that.

Edit: I think without the slap he’d be more susceptible to henka. I wonder if anyone is gonna try to do that…

Edited by ALAKTORN
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1 hour ago, ryafuji said:

I guarantee you there is not a single rikishi or oyakata who shares that opinion. 

It doesn't matter whether they agree or not. Banzuke, which is decided purely by win-loss, speaks louder than anyone. 

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11 minutes ago, Dapeng said:

It doesn't matter whether they agree or not. Banzuke, which is decided purely by win-loss, speaks louder than anyone. 

Except the banzuke isn't decided solely  by wins and losses.  This is precisely why the YDC exists, because there are considerations in promoting a rikishi on the banzuke besides just his numerical record. 

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39 minutes ago, ALAKTORN said:

I watched that bout live. I’m not sure why you bring it up– as I mentioned, that was a kachiage to the chin, which I’m completely against anyone using. What Hakuhō has been doing recently is a light slap to the face. I don’t see the problem with that.

Edit: I think without the slap he’d be more susceptible to henka. I wonder if anyone is gonna try to do that…

Sure, kachiage to the chin can be dangerous especially when used by a strong and heavy rikishi against a weak and lighter rikishi. A light face-slap at tachiai is a strategy to gain advantage. Also, Hakuho never injured anyone with it and rarely used it during a bout. It's not an invention of Hakuho either. I don't know why some people dislike it when Hakuho is skillful with it.

 

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2 hours ago, dada78641 said:

I indeed think it's disgraceful that some people's personal aesthetic considerations should come before his freedom to fight his matches the way he wants.

Unfortunately that are not personal but national aesthetic considerations - public opinion - all Japanese fans that get interviewed agree with it - the fans want to see yokozuna-like sumo from a dai-yokozuna.

Still, I stick to my opinion that Hakuho does it because he wants tell them: "You won't have me stay as oyakata like this, so I have to do it quick and dirty to go on" - and that he will return to his usual style next basho or even earlier, if he feels this "aesthetic" style causes him to ruin his body more than he is willing to allow.

Edited by Akinomaki
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More great oshi from Aoiyama, but also more giving up at the tawara.

The best match today was Kotoshogiku's I Love Long Matches

Orora's And Gagamaru's Were Disappointing. Kisenosato tried to hard to me. i know he's trying to avoid intai, but he could really hurt himself:

Possible yusho winners: Hakuho, Kakuryu, Goeido, Ryuden

 

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13 minutes ago, Tochinofuji said:

Except the banzuke isn't decided solely  by wins and losses.  This is precisely why the YDC exists, because there are considerations in promoting a rikishi on the banzuke besides just his numerical record. 

I mean the sumo is a combat sport than anything else, because if a rikishi cannot win, he will be demoted out of banzuke and disqualified. A yokozuna, first and foremost,  must be competitive to yusho. If he cannot  he will be forced to retire, even though  he is considered as highly in hinkaku.

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3 hours ago, Dapeng said:

First and foremost,  sumo is a combat sport like boxing and wrestling. Once on the dohyo, the rikishi supposed to use all he have to win, as long as the rule allows. It's not fair to put additional restrictions on a rikishi for any reason.

No, it is not. It is a cultural event with heavy religious connotations and a 1200 year old tradition. If they established some pro-sumo league that is managed like any other sports event like boxing/MMA/K1/UFC, THEN it would be absolutely ok for the top dogs to resort to cheap tactics. But in such a system whom being the top dog would be decided just by numbers, not by a council that looks for numbers AND worthiness.

Edited by Benihana
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23 minutes ago, Dapeng said:

Sure, kachiage to the chin can be dangerous especially when used by a strong and heavy rikishi against a weak and lighter rikishi. A light face-slap at tachiai is a strategy to gain advantage. Also, Hakuho never injured anyone with it and rarely used it during a bout. It's not an invention of Hakuho either. I don't know why some people dislike it when Hakuho is skillful with it.

 

None of the reasons you gave (to gain advantage, never injured anyone, rarely used (disputable), not Hakuho's invention, Hakuho's skill at using it) are relevant to the judgment whether the tactic is worthy of a yokozuna.

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3 minutes ago, Benihana said:

No, it is not. It is a cultural event with heavy religious connotations and a 1200 year old tradition. If they established some pro-sumo league that is managed like any other sports event like boxing/MMA/K1/UFC, THEN it would be absolutely ok for the top dogs to resort to cheap tactics. But in such a system whom being the top dog is decided just by numbers, not by a council that looks for numbers AND worthiness.

Well, the "numbers" is essential in deciding a rikishi's position in the banzuke. Also true in promoting someone to yokozuna. That's why Kisenosato was not promoted until last January. No "numbers", no promotion. 

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9 minutes ago, Dapeng said:

Well, the "numbers" is essential in deciding a rikishi's position in the banzuke. Also true in promoting someone to yokozuna. That's why Kisenosato was not promoted until last January. No "numbers", no promotion. 

Benihana's point is that win-loss record by itself is not sufficient for promotion, that there are other considerations unique to sumo. His point is not that it is inessential, so your response is neither here nor there.

Your argument is a perfect example of a "straw man" argument:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

Edited by wys
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2 minutes ago, wys said:

None of the reasons you gave (to gain advantage, never injured anyone, rarely used (disputable), not Hakuho's invention, Hakuho's skill at using it) are relevant to the judgment whether the tactic is worthy of a yokozuna.

Well, if there are moves not worthy of yokozuna, then there should be moves not worthy of ozeki and other rikishi too, because every rikishi is expected to exhibit high morality or hinkaku. True, a yokozuna is expected to show high morality, but this does not mean that a hiramaku is NOT expected to show high morality. Every rikishi is equal before the morality. 

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