Akinomaki

Natsu basho 2021

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13 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Asanoyama seems like a guy with impostor syndrome. That is, he doesn’t look like he believes he’s really an Ozeki. He has the skills, and when he executes them you can see he’s pleased with himself, but he doesn’t strike me as someone who believes he’s going to win every time he steps on the dohyo. He doesn’t have the swagger of a man in charge. I hope he gets over it because he has the physical talent and appearance of a Yokozuna. 

I think part of it is also that he's pretty much a one-trick pony. If he doesn't get his yotsu "kata," as he calls it, he's at a loss for how to proceed. And since everyone he faces knows exactly what's coming, they're well game-planned for it each time they face off against him on the dohyo. 

Until he can either find a way to assert his preferred style, a la Takakeisho, or expand his repertoire, he may continue to struggle.  

Edited by Kaninoyama
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He's gotten double digit KK in the last 8 tournaments he's completed, 5 of those being 11 wins or higher, which makes him a high performing ozeki.

What do people expect of him? What would be satisfactory?

Edited by Katooshu
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19 minutes ago, Katooshu said:

He's gotten double digit KK in the last 8 tournaments he's completed, 5 of those being 11 wins or higher, which makes him a high performing ozeki.

What do people expect of him? What would be satisfactory?

This is true. What the heck are we even talking about?

Maybe we expect so much of him, and he expects so much out of himself, that anything less than being in the yusho mix, especially with the Yokozuna out of the picture, feels like a disappointment. 

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32 minutes ago, Katooshu said:

He's gotten double digit KK in the last 8 tournaments he's completed, 5 of those being 11 wins or higher, which makes him a high performing ozeki.

What do people expect of him? What would be satisfactory?

Separate issue. I agree his records are just fine, and have said as much on here many times, but his body language still says he doesn’t truly believe in himself. Talent and the confidence to use it are different things. How many potentially excellent athletes fell short of greatness because of a loss of self-belief? It happens to strikers all the time in football. They don’t score for a few games and they start thinking they never will again. 

Edited by Eikokurai
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What specifically does he show that suggests he lacks confidence and thus isn't using his ability to its fullest? Does he look too friendly? Needs to stare at opponents more fiercely? 

Edited by Katooshu

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3 minutes ago, Katooshu said:

What specifically does he show that suggests he lacks confidence

Just compare his body language to sb like Terunofuji, Hakuho or Takakeisho. They always look like the senior guy in the ring, like they’ve already won and consider the bout a formality. It’s in their eyes, their shoulders, their posture. Asanoyama doesn’t give off the same vibe. He often looks less comfortable than his junior-ranked opponent and against his Ozeki rivals he definitely doesn’t project a vibe of ‘we’re peers, you and me, and don’t forget it’.

Edited by Eikokurai
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I wouldn't say he looks any less confident than Takakeisho, who is pretty much always a neutral slate and shows little one way or the other. Hak and Terunofuji do have that swagger, but I'm not really convinced that Asanoyama would become a better sumo wrestler if he suddenly started acting the same way.

His manner looks fine to me, and everyone expresses confidence differently. Plenty of confident people are quiet and restrained about it (especially in Japan), plenty of unconfident people are more expressive. 

All the talk about this terrible mental game of his seems pretty baseless IMO. Worse than Kise's, not because of repeated choking or anything like that, but because he doesn't swagger and smirk around the dohyo?

I think if people expect a lot more from him than he's showing lately, performing as a strong ozeki, they are probably overrating him.

Edited by Katooshu
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2 minutes ago, Katooshu said:

I wouldn't say he looks any less confident than Takakeisho, who is pretty much always a neutral slate and shows little one way or the other. Hak and Terunofuji do have that swagger, but I'm not really convinced that Asanoyama would become a better sumo wrestler if he suddenly started acting the same way.

His manner looks fine to me, and everyone expresses confidence differently. Plenty of confident people are quiet and restrained about it, plenty of unconfident people are more expressive. 

All the talk about this terrible mental game of his seems pretty baseless IMO.

It’s hardly baseless when all impressions formed of everyone we ever meet are based on our perceptions and that’s what we’re talking about here: perception. His opponents see what everyone else sees. I read somewhere once that people in sumo regard the pre-bout ritual as part of the bout itself, not just a warm up. You can win or lose on how you psyche out your opponent and project your confidence in those face-offs. If I and others are sensing something in Asanoyama, maybe his opponents are too and that may give them confidence they can beat him. An Ozeki with the look in his eye can scare the shit out of his opponent.

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So, if he suddenly starts scowling at opponents, what improvement in his results do you expect we''d see?

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1 minute ago, Katooshu said:

So, if he suddenly starts scowling at opponents, what improvement in his results do you expect we''d see?

I get the feeling you’re not taking this all that seriously, so I’m not sure my time is best spent going further on this. :)

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Why not though? Your previous post was about how perception affects opponents -- if he started scowling and looking meanier and more confident, it should follow from your line of reasoning that it would impact the bout. At least that's how I read it.

So now, with a scowl, he is in Hakuho/Terunofuji mode instead.

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41 minutes ago, Kaninoyama said:

Maybe we expect so much of him, and he expects so much out of himself, that anything less than being in the yusho mix, especially with the Yokozuna out of the picture, feels like a disappointment. 

For me, this is exactly it. With no Yokozuna present, a young Ozeki like Asanoyama should be in the yusho mix of every tournament. 

What his strong scores are hiding is that he is consistently giving away matches to lower-rankers early in tournaments. I mean, look at this:

image.png.98e8eac04f0b81952ca2ef3e0c01d30b.png

But for his debut tournament (which only served to increase excitement) he keeps starting off poorly, having a decent middle of the tournament and then getting himself a respectable score -- while never truly being in the race. 

Ozeki SHOULD NOT be losing those early matches, so scores non-withstanding, he's been disappointing, especially for someone who we know is capable of hanging with and outperforming his Ozeki peers. 

I think it's fair to say the pressure has gotten to him, but he still has plenty of time to overcome that hurdle. I'm certainly not writing him off, if he can stop those early losses he's right back in the mix for the next Yokozuna (after Teru, obvs).

Edited by Houmanumi
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(Thinkingindepth...)There’s rather more to confidence than just scowling at people … 

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Sure, you started talking about mere perception and what the opponent sees --- how opponents can be intimidated and mentally cave in at a face-off. This all is coming from your own post.

Does it not follow then, that a change of demeanor would impact the bout results? If you don't mean that, what exactly was your 'perception' post about?

Edited by Katooshu

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6 minutes ago, Houmanumi said:

But for his debut tournament (which only served to increase excitement) he keeps starting off poorly, having a decent middle of the tournament and then getting himself a respectable score -- while never truly being in the race. 

This is more or less how 2018 Takayasu was as an Ozeki: plenty of jun-yusho and an otherwise very respectable record at the rank, but never setting the pace or co-leading. Narrative matters in sumo as much as in any sport.

Edited by Eikokurai
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1 minute ago, Katooshu said:

Sure, you started talking about mere perception and what the opponent sees --- how opponents can be intimidated and mentally cave in at a face-off. This all is coming from your own post.

Does it not follow then, that a change of demeanor would impact the bout results? If you don't mean that, what exactly was your 'perception' post about?

Perception runs deeper than reading a scowl too. 

(Is there a facepalm emoji on this site?)

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You're basing your assessment of his confidence on his appearance, and have stated that opponents are affected by what they see pre-bout. So I'm just asking, if he gives off a genuinely mean looking scowl -- one that is believable - how does it impact his results? I don't see why you're so reluctant to answer when it all follows from your posts that this could have some type of impact.

Edited by Katooshu

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1 minute ago, Katooshu said:

You're entirely basing your assessment of his confidence on his appearance. I'm just asking, if he gives of a genuinely mean looking scowl -- how does it impact his results? I don't see why you're so reluctant to answer when it all follows from your own posts.

I’m basing my assessment on my perception of him over time. I feel you’re being kind of reductive about human nature and sport psychology by reducing the issue to ‘he doesn’t scowl’. It’s that and not reluctance that’s behind my refusal to discuss the impact of changing a fleeting facial expression once in a while. 

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I don't really get it mate. Your post about perception and stare downs was pretty much entirely about opponents being impacted by what they see in front of them pre-bout, with 'fear' being stoked in the stare downs. It doesn't make sense to me that someone would bring this up, but then be unwilling to answer a question about how someone's results would be impacted by their pre-bout appearance, the very same thing you were stressing before.

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Just now, Katooshu said:

I don't really get it mate. Your post about perception and stare downs was pretty much entirely about opponents being impacted by what they see in front of them pre-bout, with 'fear' being stoked in the stare downs. It doesn't make sense to me that someone would bring this up, but then be unwilling to answer a question about how someone's results would be impacted by their pre-bout appearance, the very same thing you were stressing before.

Let me put it another way. You’re talking about it as if it’s performative – like he just needs to act confident for a few seconds before a bout. I’m talking about him actually being confident. People can tell the difference. This is psychology 101 stuff, tbh.

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You were going on about perceptions too, and one need not actually be confident for people to perceive them as confident. 

And besides, I'm just asking a simple hypothetical: let's assume just for the hell of it that Asanoyama starts giving off a convincing looking scowl --perhaps he's been to acting class--it's intense and looks real. How would it impact his results? 

Edited by Katooshu
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1 minute ago, Katooshu said:

You were going on about perceptions too, and one need not actually be confident for people to perceive them as confident. 

And besides, I'm just asking a simple hypothetical: let's assume that Asanoyama suddenly starts giving off a convincing looking scowl --perhaps he's been to acting class--how would it impact his results?

So your ‘rebuttal’ is to basically double down on the whole performative thing and ignore the point? I give up.

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Just to prove myself wrong, in their matches since Ozeki (and including Takakeisho's Ozekiwake basho), their win ratios by rank are more or less in sync. 

Asanoyama

Opponent Rank Matches Wins Win %
Ozeki 4 2 50%
Junior San'yaku 20 11 55%
Joi (M4+) 40 30 75%
Outside Joi (M5-) 7 5 71%
Total 71 48 68%

Takakeisho

Opponent Rank Matches Wins Win %
Yokozuna/Ozeki 7 4 57%
Junior San'yaku 36 19 53%
Joi (M4+) 79 55 70%
Outside Joi (M5-) 22 17 77%
Total 144 95 66%
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It's to note that one of your previous posts was dedicated to the perception opponents have, and not actually what is coming from the rikishi themselves. You can scroll up and read it yourself mate. Further, you pretty much suggested yourself that physical apperance (body language) is what assumptions of confidence are based on, and Asanoyama scowling would certainly be a change in his body language.

I really don't understand why the question rattles you so much!

Edited by Katooshu

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3 minutes ago, Houmanumi said:

Just to prove myself wrong, in their matches since Ozeki (and including Takakeisho's Ozekiwake basho), their win ratios by rank are more or less in sync. 

Asanoyama

Opponent Rank Matches Wins Win %
Ozeki 4 2 50%
Junior San'yaku 20 11 55%
Joi (M4+) 40 30 75%
Outside Joi (M5-) 7 5 71%
Total 71 48 68%

Takakeisho

Opponent Rank Matches Wins Win %
Yokozuna/Ozeki 7 4 57%
Junior San'yaku 36 19 53%
Joi (M4+) 79 55 70%
Outside Joi (M5-) 22 17 77%
Total 144 95 66%

Interesting, thanks for posting.

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