Hoshifransu

Too much weight ?


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Did you know the facts Syd Hoare revealed on today Hatsu Basho re-coverage on Eurosport ?

He said that over the last few years, many criticisms have been made in Japan by the "hard line traditionalists" in the Sumo Association that the wrestlers were "over-weighted, lazy and unskillful" and that great control rules may be introduced for rikishi over 170 kilos body weight, and that this is made the wrestlers slower and they get injured more, etc..

Well, I'm not so well informed as a main part of big Sumo Fans in this site, and so do you know if these special controls are made currently for rikishi over 170 kilos ? Or when could that be made ? I'm really afraid about that ... Because you know perhaps but "unskillful and over-weighted" wrestlers are my favourite wrestlers and for me, that's the big reason why I like so much Sumo and why Sumo is a so outstanding and so uncommon sport ! They can't do that ! I ask myself some questions like : is that the main reason why wrestlers from Hawaii are on their way out in Sumo ?

But I would say one thing to these men (Devilish thought)

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Well, I'm not so well informed as a main part of big Sumo Fans in this site, and so do you know if these special controls are made currently for rikishi over 170 kilos ? Or when could that be made ? I'm really afraid about that ...

Few years ago kyokai measured the fat percentages of several rikishi. Probably all of the sekitori if not even more. I think about the only thing done then was that those rikishi whose fat percentage was undesirably high were encouraged to do something about it.

I'm not sure what to think about this. Japanese in general have grown several decades in succession, I think. It's only natural the average size of the rikishi has gone up, too.

How big is too big? How clear is the connection between the growth of the rikishi and their increased tendency to get injured? What's the significance of old men's need to belittle the younger generation?

"When I was young, I practised twice more than these spoiled kids. Look at that flabby boy! I'd beat him still even if I'm 63 and paralyzed from the neck up? And that one! Him I'd beat in a coma! Mumble, mumble..." (Grr...)

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I moved this thread to Ozumo discussions as it more naturally belongs there. This subforum (Sumo related questions, that is) is meant for questions not related to sumo as such as a sport. Please use Sumo related questions subforum to questions that are tangential to sumo as a sport. Ask questions like those exemplified on the subforum description.

I do want to apologize for not being able to paraphrase the purported function of this subforum more clearly.

Sorry. :-/

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"When I was young, I practised twice more than these spoiled kids. Look at that flabby boy! I'd beat him still even if I'm 63 and paralyzed from the neck up? And that one! Him I'd beat in a coma! Mumble, mumble..." (Grr...)

Hehe! Somehow I can just see Sakaigawa mumbling something about this. Especially remembering how he apparently completely forgot that they did NOT put their hands down properly at tachi-ai in his days either...

Now, one of the problems might be that people does not see sumo the way they used to. The rules of sumo makes weight and one-way-movement very important. As I understand it, in the old days (say 19th century) this made a lot of sense because the wrestlers being much bigger than folks in general was very much part of the point. They were admired as being behemots fighting it out, a bit like the way American sports are not only sports, but show as well.

Nowadays, health and food

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It's true that Kyokai seems only able to complain and bemoan the current situation, instead of doing something to change it (reminds me of our Parliament, sigh). They lack a new perspective - sumo might be a traditional sport, but some fresh aproach to marketing and popularisation would be welcome. Their Japanese audience is growing old, they need to attract the younger generation. I also think Kyokai isn't aware of sumo's growing popularity among gaijin, a huge possible market that hasn't been properly tapped yet. I heard Kokkai's yusho interview, and in it the interviewer seemed surprised that Kokkai watched Ozumo (on Eurosport! Kokkai proudly explained in his broken Japanese) and knew much about it before coming to Japan... BTW, Kokkai seems really nice and talkative kind of rikishi (compared to Maru, for example), he doesn't let his awquard Japanese stop him. I think he will be very popular if he holds on! I simply love to hear more detailed interviews, not just 'Hai, ganbarimasu'...

And about weight... there really can be too much (Konishiki lumbers to mind), but if rikishi can carry it succesfuly (Konishiki again) and perform good and exciting sumo, I see no problem with that. It does put the strain on knees, but even lighter rikishi (Takamisakari) have knee problems. Most professional sports bring injuries and problems later on in life, so sumo is no exception... It would be sad if only the big rikishi remained, but current healthy mix of smaller and bigger, technical and powerful makes the sumo great to watch... Just think of Maru-Kaiho bouts! One thing that makes sumo so watchable and exciting is the non-existance of weight categories: if you're good enough, you will rise to the top, no matter how big you are. And that's how it should be!

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Guest Kaikitsune

Some ideas...

The correlation between the weight and injury proneness is far from clear. Simple statistical tests implied that the lightest and heaviest ones bear a little bit (in statistical sense not significant) bigger risk compared to the average size rikishi. However the procedure in choosing variables, dividing the variables in classes, choosing data (insufficient in many ways) and especially determining what to study in data (whether to simply regard the absent days of the rikishi as a dependent variable as a meter of injury proneness or add some more elaborate data) since many rikishi probably are more injured than their kyujo days indicate.

In Makuuchi the injuries by heavy rikishi have not really been weight-related since Maru has had wrist injuries for quite some time now and nobody can blame his weight for that (they don`t fall and cushion the encounter with dohyo by putting their hand down first..). Back problems by Kaio and Musoyama might have something to do with their weight but I doubt it. Kaio first hurt his back in 1997 in a very unfortunate bout against Takanonami and Musoyama`s defense technique is very straining to his lower back (and he does it even now when he has had the problems). Also shoulder injuries by Musoyama and Miyabiyama are not weight-related. Knees are the weak point when forced to carry a massive weigh. Then again many heavy rikishi have tremendous power in the legs and knee-area.

In general I find behemoths an important part of sumo. I would hate to see 40 rikishi weighing 180+ kg fighting each other but I wouldn`t want 40 Asashoryu either no matter how entertaining they might be.

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The correlation between the weight and injury proneness is far from clear. Simple statistical tests implied that the lightest and heaviest ones bear a little bit (in statistical sense not significant) bigger risk compared to the average size rikishi.

I seem to recall Kaikitsune-zeki making a real statistical study about this a year or two ago. He said his mentor was positively surprised to see the subject of ozumo brought up as he had already seen far too many statistical exercises based on the NHL scores or some such. :-P

His true genius was revealed when he asked rhetorically whether Kaikitsune was interested in the sport itself. :-/

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Would you believe it, everybody ? Would you believe it ?

I asked this question to Mr Syd Hoare personally !

That's his answer to the question :

"I do not think that heavier rikishi will be penalized in future. Its just the Sumo Association keeping a fatherly eye on them. I am not sure that they want too many super heavy pacific islanders in future. They are seen by some as distorting the system."

Check this out on Eurosport's special space to interact with him

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Did this idea of penalizing rikishi for being too heavy ever go anywhere?

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I know an oversized coffin will be required for a grave dig of such epic proportions

 

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2 hours ago, Chanko Thief said:

Did this idea of penalizing rikishi for being too heavy ever go anywhere?

It looks like a big part of their concern was the "super heavy pacific islanders in future ........ distorting the system".  This was 2002, after all.

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10 minutes ago, sumojoann said:

It looks like a big part of their concern was the "super heavy pacific islanders in future ........ distorting the system".  This was 2002, after all.

True....yet there are still some pretty big boys in sumo today. Though granted, they aren’t as dominant as the Pacific Islanders in question.

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@Chanko Thief I appreciate your enthusiasm but... this thread was started 18 years ago. Have you read the Sumo Forum Rules? Under "Strongly discouraged actions" it says:

3. Resurrecting old threads

If you wish to continue discussing a subject whose thread has withered several months ago, create a new topic and post the link to the old topic in your opening post. There are some obvious exceptions (threads in Sumo Information subforum), but when in doubt start a new thread.

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The NSK has something of a track record of trying to keep foreigners out of sumo. Samoans too big? Float weight limits. Mongolians wrecking competition? One foreigner per stable. At least they are pretty generous with what counts as "foreign." Don't know what they'll come up with next time a new group shows up to take over the top of the banzuke.

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15 hours ago, since_94 said:

I know an oversized coffin will be required for a grave dig of such epic proportions

They'd have to muscle up a bit. But it would sure be a show worth watching.

Spoiler

FnFKxry.png

 

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3 hours ago, Churaumi said:

The NSK has something of a track record of trying to keep foreigners out of sumo. Samoans too big? Float weight limits. Mongolians wrecking competition? One foreigner per stable. At least they are pretty generous with what counts as "foreign." Don't know what they'll come up with next time a new group shows up to take over the top of the banzuke.

I had no idea that these rules get put into place as a direct result of certain groups of foreigners succeeding in sumo....interesting....

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2 hours ago, Chanko Thief said:

I had no idea that these rules get put into place as a direct result of certain groups of foreigners succeeding in sumo....interesting....

It's hard to make a case one way or the other.  Samoans have a propensity to get immensely heavy, and Pacific Islanders in general are more likely to be obese than are members of other groups (in the Pacific region).  I'm going to bet that a study of all rikishi with Hawaiian/Pacific Island backgrounds won't show a huge mismatch, mostly because so many of those rikishi left Ozumo after a couple of years, before they had a chance to really pack on the rice 'n' chanko.  Also, many of that group were of mixed ethnicity, which complicates things.

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The Samoans that made it to the top were some kaiju, though. I doubt the NSK would have cared if Konishiki, Akebono, and Musashimaru had fallen out in sandanme.

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Was this issue ever raised in relation to the likes of Orora, Kenho or Yamamotoyama, I wonder?

 

Swami

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10 hours ago, Swami said:

Was this issue ever raised in relation to the likes of Orora, Kenho or Yamamotoyama, I wonder?

 

Swami

This topic was raised and properly put to bed when Orora was a svelte 192 and the other 2 hadn't even thought about pursuing a sumo career. (Eh?)

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