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Training with a Sumo Dojo in Tokyo - Part 3

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Last Saturday’s keiko was postponed due to Typhoon Hagibis, so it was nice to see everyone again at tonight’s training session, safe and sound.

Following on from everyone’s advice in last week’s post, I am pleased to report that that particular opponent's tsuppari attack has been nullified. But......

  • I found it hard to get to his belt, so Sagawa-sensei suggested charging in head-first at the tachi-ai, getting under his thrusts. That worked like a treat. However, doing that does raise an issue about possible concussion.
  • This session was the first time that I got to experience pushing an opponent during butsukari-geiko. Again, you are supposed to charge in head first, and push your opponent upwards with your hands. Too low a stance however gets you knee first into the sand.
  • I still found it difficult to get a right-hand inside grip, so Sagawa-sensei showed me a way to get it. At the tachi-ai, aim for your opponent’s chest with your right hand, and then immediately use it to parry your opponent’s left arm outwards, and ta da, migi-yotsu grip. However, I’m yet to figure out how to do that whilst keeping a low stance......
  • There were quite a few times tonight that I thought I had pushed my opponent out of the ring, so I stopped pushing, only to realise that they are still on the edge, and not quite out yet. This would last for only a split-second, but it was enough to turn a winning position into a losing one. It can be so hard sometimes to judge it right.
  • There were times when I would instinctively try a pulling move, even though it has never worked. It’s very very difficult to get the timing and direction right.
  • Training with the teppo (that wooden pillar) is very hard, you’re supposed to push your whole body away from it using only the strength in your arms.
  • There are always more members during Saturday’s training session than Tuesday’s, because it takes some of them quite a bit of time to get to Tachikawa, and homework is a thing. Also, there are those (like the Hirano family) who travel two hours to sumo practice, each way. It’s already 11pm when they get back home on keiko days. Talk about dedication......
  • When club members use “ore” instead of “watashi” when talking to you, that’s when you know you’re no longer a stranger.

Many thanks to everyone at Tachikawa Renseikan Sumo Dojo for allowing me to join in with their training, it’s been a fantastic experience every single time. And many thanks also for the Banzuke they gave me tonight. Every sumo club / dojo in Japan distributes them to club members before a basho.

Edited by mikawa
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Ha, reading your posts makes me have dreams of being a kid in Japan with the chance to do sumo. There are probably so many little techniques and tricks that you can only really grasp by doing it.

Edited by Katooshu
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