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Kaminariyuki

Flat Earth Society and Sumo

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44 minutes ago, Asojima said:

If I am reading this right, steps should be taken to reduce the possibility of injuries to the rikishi.  Shonanzakura may be the wave of the future. 

You know, not exerting yourself enough is just as bad as overexerting yourself...

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5 hours ago, Churaumi said:

What would happen when Ichinojo climbs the turnbuckle and it bends over?

Not to worry; those turnbuckles have been tested by the heavyweights of WWE like Andre the Giant (240 kg), Earthquake (ex-Kototenzan, 220 kg), and Yokozuna (actually Samoan, 265 kg).  Ichinojo (180-190 kg) is a bantamweight by comparison.

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40 minutes ago, Yamanashi said:

Not to worry; those turnbuckles have been tested by the heavyweights of WWE like Andre the Giant (240 kg), Earthquake (ex-Kototenzan, 220 kg), and Yokozuna (actually Samoan, 265 kg).  Ichinojo (180-190 kg) is a bantamweight by comparison.

Until he gets Tokushoryu up there for a suplex off the top rope:-)

Edited by Churaumi
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On 30/01/2021 at 01:28, Tsuchinoninjin said:

Let's look past whether or not the raised dohyo causes injuries or not. The fact is that rikishi carrying injuries, especially knee/back injuries, are quite loathe to even step off the dohyo in a hurried fashion after suffering oshidashi. In this case, perhaps you'd see better sumo from a flat dohyo as these rikishi may put up more resistance at the edge.

Well, that's the thing. Would that actually prevent more injuries than it causes? I could swear over the years I've seen more serious injuries from rikishi heroically resisting at the tawara too long and their knees giving out on them awkwardly under their opponent's pressure, than I have from rikishi crashing into the ground outside. So I'm not sure if encouraging that particular kind of "better sumo" would be a good deal. In fact, I get the feeling that many fans subconsciously block out those injuries as "happened in the heat of battle, shrug, can't do anything about that in a combat sport" while treating the dohyo crash injuries as "happened after the battle and must be dealt with immediately because of that".
 

On 30/01/2021 at 02:30, Eikokurai said:

My faith leads me to think the problem is less how far they fall and more where they land. Those surfaces around the dohyo do nothing to protect a rikishi from a fall. 

That's pretty much my position on it. I have no particular urge to see the dohyo lowered, but padding the outside with some sturdy gymnastics-style mats - sturdy enough that turning ankles on jumping impacts doesn't become a significant new issue - feels like it would be an easy and significant improvement, without running into any particular "tradition" issue. Not so much an improvement in terms of preventing major injuries, but the gradual buildup of wear and tear that affects all rikishi. (I wonder if the Covid tournaments will inadvertantly raise the issue of moving the audience back a bit permanently, which would probably be required to install decent padding.)

Edited by Asashosakari
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Playbark (actually a rubber material) is commonly used in the UK as a flooring surface for kids' playgrounds. It's designed to minimise injury when they fall off swings, roundabouts, slides, etc., so it would seem ideal as a surface to use around the dohyo without overly changing the aesthetics.

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On 30/01/2021 at 03:35, Yamanashi said:

a shark pit

I knew one day this image would become handy. I knew it!

LE16_1L.thumb.jpg.e93cb5fd492d1e4ac68744bb8b963d74.jpg

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6 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

Well, that's the thing. Would that actually prevent more injuries than it causes? I could swear over the years I've seen more serious injuries from rikishi heroically resisting at the tawara too long and their knees giving out on them awkwardly under their opponent's pressure, than I have from rikishi crashing into the ground outside. So I'm not sure if encouraging that particular kind of "better sumo" would be a good deal. In fact, I get the feeling that many fans subconsciously block out those injuries as "happened in the heat of battle, shrug, can't do anything about that in a combat sport" while treating the dohyo crash injuries as "happened after the battle and must be dealt with immediately because of that".
 

That's pretty much my position on it. I have no particular urge to see the dohyo lowered, but padding the outside with some sturdy gymnastics-style mats - sturdy enough that turning ankles on jumping impacts doesn't become a significant new issue - feels like it would be an easy and significant improvement, without running into any particular "tradition" issue. Not so much an improvement in terms of preventing major injuries, but the gradual buildup of wear and tear that affects all rikishi. (I wonder if the Covid tournaments will inadvertantly raise the issue of moving the audience back a bit permanently, which would probably be required to install decent padding.)

I think those injuries at the edge must be related to the rikishi weights. I don't have much knowledge of how it was when rikishi were more svelte but I'd imagine there was more give and take back then anyway.

As for the dohyo edge, what is the floor there like anyway? Is it really super hard or is more of a tradition Japanese floor with some give to it? I'd much rather be body slammed into the floor of the inaka home I stayed at compared to the stone floor at my house.

Edited by Tsuchinoninjin

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Can we agree that, like any other sport or any other dangerous business, there is in Sumo a defined playing area, the dohyo?  All action that counts toward victory occurs on the circular area on the dohyo -- in fact, grazing your heel outside the bales is disqualifying.  Now, imagine a sport which is raised a few feet above ground level without any mechanism to keep players from falling out?  Boxing and pro wrestling take place on a raised arena -- do they allow athletes to go crashing off the playing surface if they are outside the legal playing field?

If we've got the statistics to show that raising the arena a few feet off the ground makes no difference, why not do the same for amateur wrestling, kendo, fencing, etc.  Wouldn't it improve the view to put those athletes up on a raised platform with spots where you are half a meter from the edge?

Would it make everyone happy if we increased the width of the dohyo by 2 or 3 meters, so that a crushout victim would land on the dohyo?  Wouldn't that also help resolve all the "plane of the dohyo" chatter when a rikishi flies out?  I would be satisfied with that; I understand that we can't 100% prevent injury from, say, some guy "going for bento" after an oshidashi and landing awkwardly.  And (even if they had to remove a row) it would lessen the damage of 150 kg rikishi rolling through a clutch of retired CEO's sitting behind Shimpanayama Oyakata.

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12 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

That's pretty much my position on it. I have no particular urge to see the dohyo lowered, but padding the outside with some sturdy gymnastics-style mats - sturdy enough that turning ankles on jumping impacts doesn't become a significant new issue - feels like it would be an easy and significant improvement, without running into any particular "tradition" issue. Not so much an improvement in terms of preventing major injuries, but the gradual buildup of wear and tear that affects all rikishi. (I wonder if the Covid tournaments will inadvertantly raise the issue of moving the audience back a bit permanently, which would probably be required to install decent padding.)

Watching old videos serves the answer. Place more people closer to the dohyo, like in the olden times. For example disgraced oyakata whom you want to have an "accident" *cough*Tokitsukaze*cough*.

Jokes aside, padding might at least be a first step in the right direction, i admit. But only a tiny one. There are more important issues to solve at the moment, like the coconut-situation.

 

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6 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

Would it make everyone happy if we increased the width of the dohyo by 2 or 3 meters, so that a crushout victim would land on the dohyo?

It wouldn't make the NSK happy, because that would eliminate a good number of the most expensive paid seats.

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On 30/01/2021 at 02:44, Katooshu said:

When was the last time, if ever, that a basho was held on a non-raised surface by the way?

My guess would be the 1945 one held in the bomb-damaged Kokugikan with no spectators. They didn't build the dohyo in the usual way for that tournament, they pretty much just drew a circle on the ground. 

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8 hours ago, ryafuji said:

My guess would be the 1945 one held in the bomb-damaged Kokugikan with no spectators. They didn't build the dohyo in the usual way for that tournament, they pretty much just drew a circle on the ground. 

And the rikishi in makushita and below had their honbasho bouts at Kasugano-beya's training grounds for that tournament, where they presumably also didn't build a proper dohyo on top of the training ones.

I wonder if the three tournaments held outdoors at Meiji-jingu in 1947/48 were on an elevated dohyo?

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17 hours ago, Sue said:

It wouldn't make the NSK happy, because that would eliminate a good number of the most expensive paid seats.

It will be interesting to see what the next generation of Kokugikan has for safety features (someday). They could build in a bigger space for more safety around the dohyo, better options for medical needs, etc. NFL stadiums basically have small hospitals inside them. Probably doesn't need to be that exhaustive but at least some sumo sized equipment to stabilize and transport sumo sized patients quickly and safely should be handy.

Assuming the Kyokai cares.

Edited by Churaumi
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1 hour ago, Churaumi said:

They could build in a bigger space for more safety around the dohyo, better options for medical needs, etc.

The NHL could build arenas sized for the larger international rink size, which results in a better game of hockey, but they don't. (Or put the international rink in existing arenas.) Money speaks louder than minor improvements in play.

Edited by Sue
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37 minutes ago, Sue said:

The NHL could build arenas sized for the larger international rink size, which results in a better game of hockey, but they don't. (Or put the international rink in existing arenas.) Money speaks louder than minor improvements in play.

Probably why we won't see any improvements to the current arena. 

Or, if a rikishi could bring a convincing negligence lawsuit, which seems like a miniscule likelihood.

Edited by Churaumi

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5 hours ago, Churaumi said:

Probably why we won't see any improvements to the current arena. 

Or, if a rikishi could bring a convincing negligence lawsuit, which seems like a miniscule likelihood.

Plus, I imagine they sign a waiver when they enter sumo absolving the heya, kyokai, etc. from responsibility for injury, death, etc. 

Edited by Kaninoyama

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On 29/01/2021 at 19:48, John Gunning said:

I'll admit I was unsure whether or not to use the term.

I wasn't actually implying a correlation in terms of ridiculousness. More a tongue in cheek appropriating of a well known phrase to describe those who want the earthen ring to be flat.

Perhaps it was a bad choice.

On reflection, it could seem I was picking on you to bring this up here. If it seemed that way to you, I apologize.

I actually thought the selection of the term was amusing, simply because the folks who clung to the notion of a flat Earth were not the folks proposing a wild new approach or view. They were the ones clinging to a traditionally held view with not much to back it up. I understand not being able to share the data for the reasons you give, but your statement rather implied that the readers should be aware of it, which is apparently impossible. How about the anecdotal evidence? 

I have learned through many years of science that just because something seems like a given result should be obtained, that does not mean that a well-designed experiment will reveal that it is so. The raised dohyo truly may not be a problem at all, but since it was in the Japan Times I thought we might kick it around a bit. I really am interested in hearing knowledgeable views, if not solid data.

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On 30/01/2021 at 11:16, shumitto said:

If the data is not public and the only other "proof" is anedoctal evidence, then it is not very surprising that people still believe the raised dohyo is a cause of injury. Also,  data doesn't provide us with "facts" (objective entities existing regardless of perception), but only with the basis for our judgement, which in this case has to be a probability judgment, because science is  inductive logic. 

Science uses both inductive and deductive reasoning. I can see that they could both apply to this question.

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On 31/01/2021 at 03:18, RabidJohn said:

Playbark (actually a rubber material) is commonly used in the UK as a flooring surface for kids' playgrounds. It's designed to minimise injury when they fall off swings, roundabouts, slides, etc., so it would seem ideal as a surface to use around the dohyo without overly changing the aesthetics.

I really wish I'd discovered sumo at an age where I still might have given it a go (just for funsies, not joining a heya), but every English account I've read has noted how incredibly hard the packed clay surface is to land on. Sounds and looks pretty brutal.

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14 hours ago, Kaminariyuki said:

... every English account I've read has noted how incredibly hard the packed clay surface is to land on. 

And it's covered in sand and salt for the extra graze and sting factor! But that's the dohyo surface, which is not the subject of this thread.

Thinking about it, a playbark surround for the dohyo would only be possible at the Kokugikan where I believe the retractable floor is already of composite construction. I don't know what the floor at the Osaka or Aichi Prefectural Gymnasiums is made of, but I suspect it's solid concrete or asphalt.

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The dohyo's elevation "gives" rikishis more time to prepare their bodys for the impact of the fall... But i guess is better to not believe on that than be an antivac df*

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