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Fukurou

Kokkai's Behavior

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In the Komusubi thread it was written:

b) bad behaviour by Kokkai (reportedly, after last bout)

What is Kokkai supposed to have done?

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This guy needs to either wise up or go home. First, his lack of cleanliness. He comes up on the dohyo with a three-day stubble, looks absolutely terrible. Now that he has a decent kachikoshi, all of his bully-boy crap comes out... the posturing at shikiri, the lack of any humility or grace.

He lost his match because he has the worst tachiai in makanouchi -- straight ahead, face first and eyes down. He completely screwed up, clearly lost and then pisses and moans after the decision. Just a bunch of eye rolling and glaring, no bow and a lot of poor-me.

This is not what sumo is about. And I see it all the time from him. At least buy a friggin' razor -- he looks like Bluto from Popeye and Olive Oil.

Sorry, but this guy really gets on my nerves...

Edited by Kotoku

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This guy needs to either wise up or go home. First, his lack of cleanliness. He comes up on the dohyo with a three-day stubble, looks absolutely terrible. Now that he has a decent kachikoshi, all of his bully-boy crap comes out... the posturing at shikiri, the lack of any humility or grace.

Plenty of native Japanese rikishi are also superstitious, and don't shave while on winning streaks. I don't hink it's Kokkai's fault his beard is thicker/fuller than the locals' beards. Not so long ago Tochiazuma was noted for his "lumberjack" look after sporting the unshaven look while on a string of wins. I suppose you'd like Baruto to dye his shameful kinpatsu a more appropriate black ;-)

As for his manners, that's another story. He should work on improving his sumo, not blaming his luck and/or the judging. His tachiai & his suriashi in particular need work :-)

I wonder if the company he keeps has any influence on his behaviour (Laughing...) I saw him on several occasions in Nagoya last summer, at asageiko and the tourney. He was always in the company of a young man who by his ride (georgeous silver Merc with black tinted windows all round), wardrobe (straight outta the movies), and demeanor (again, a carciature) strongly suggested gangsta.

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This guy needs to either wise up or go home. First, his lack of cleanliness. He comes up on the dohyo with a three-day stubble, looks absolutely terrible. Now that he has a decent kachikoshi, all of his bully-boy crap comes out... the posturing at shikiri, the lack of any humility or grace.

He lost his match because he has the worst tachiai in makanouchi -- straight ahead, face first and eyes down. He completely screwed up, clearly lost and then pisses and moans after the decision. Just a bunch of eye rolling and glaring, no bow and a lot of poor-me.

This is not what sumo is about. And I see it all the time from him. At least buy a friggin' razor -- he looks like Bluto from Popeye and Olive Oil.

Sorry, but this guy really gets on my nerves...

wow i have been sucked through a black hole back into the already closed Roho thread. lighten up. some of us have to shave more then others, its really not that serious.

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I think it was bad body language. Yes, I agree that body language matters. Kokkai almost always appears to be sullen and angry, as does Roho. I am a foreigner living in Japan, too and I understand that it is not easy when you are a minority. One is very self-conscious of being an outsider. That is why it is not for everybody, because everybody does not handle it well.

On the contrary, Baruto impresses me because he is always smiling, not sullen. Five-o

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The stubble is something he confessed to being a superstitous thing when he's on a winning streak. And as a previous post pointed out, others do that as well. Or don't, shave I mean, when they are... oh, you know what I mean! :-)

As for the attitude... I watch the thing really late last night, and only the bout. The impression I got was that they both were a bit surprised over the fact that Tochinonada won. I didn't ever see it until the second re-run! But then, I didn't see the bowing part of it...

I actually like Kokkai's beard, you just don't notice when the other guys haven't shaved, until a week has gone by! (Laughing...) But he does look like a thug sometimes, especially when not happy.

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The sordid thing about Kokkai's glowering after the bout, it seems to me, was that it was apparently directed at the judging. The tachiai was straight-forward, the maneuvering was clean, but it looked as if Kokkai thought there should be a mono-ii. That was the galling thing. How in the world did he persist in thinking--after the in-the-zone heat of battle, with no view of his or his opponent's feet--that he was in a position to question the shimpans' decision?

(And can I add, as an aside, a vote for the most wonderful after-the-bout, technically-speaking-inappropriate show of facial emotion? The classically composed Takanohana's extraordinary facial contortion of triumph after beating Musashimaru fully 24 hours (or was it even 48?) after sustaining a leg injury so severe that it would eventually end his career. That win and that look was one of the greatest moments in sports history--any sport.)

Edited by Olenishiki

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i dont think he was necessarily challenging the shimpans decision, i think he was likely looking at him expecting the mono-ii but no one moved. which in all honesty i was quite surprised they didnt have one as the result looked very very close in live action, as apposed to slow motion replay.

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He lost his match because he has the worst tachiai in makanouchi -- straight ahead, face first and eyes down.

Isn't straight ahead, face first tachiai the standard and what the oyakatas want to see from they rikishis?

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i dont think he was necessarily challenging the shimpans decision, i think he was likely looking at him expecting the mono-ii but no one moved. which in all honesty i was quite surprised they didnt have one as the result looked very very close in live action, as apposed to slow motion replay.

But if it wasn't the decision he was upset about, what was it? There was absolutely nothing that Tochinonada did to provoke Kokkai's ire. And the context of the initial reaction clearly had to do with his thinking he'd won. But it wasn't just an expectation of a mono-ii and that was the end of it. Kokkai's visible piss-offedness went on and on and on, all the way down the hanamichi.

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He lost his match because he has the worst tachiai in makanouchi -- straight ahead, face first and eyes down.

Isn't straight ahead, face first tachiai the standard and what the oyakatas want to see from they rikishis?

It's often a matter of honor to move forward with speed and power at the tachi-ai, but of course not every rikishi is built to wrestle that way. Kokkai certainly is built for that type of sumo though, as are many of the bigger, stronger guys who prefer oshi-zumo over yotsu-zumo. I honestly don't think that Kokkai's tachi-ai is that bad. In fact it's better than that of Tosanoumi who often gets slapped down because he's not watching where he's going! I like Tosanoumi, an honest-to-goodness oshi-zumo rikishi who grunts with extreme effort in many of his bouts, but his career is unfortunately winding down, and he's struggling to stay in Makunouchi.

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Guest Orr
Actually, his tachiai is one of the best in makuuchi. He wins most of his bouts right there.

At least one of the most powerful

Edited by Orr

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old-time Miya, Kokkai, Tosanoumi, Buyuzan and Kakizoe are "begging" for a henka every time they squat down at the shikiri line. I would try a henka every time i met them only to see who would be the first one to realise it and try not falling on his belly.

after 25 straight bouts we might have found a winner ... :-P

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Guest Orr
old-time Miya, Kokkai, Tosanoumi, Buyuzan and Kakizoe are "begging" for a henka every time they squat down at the shikiri line. I would try a henka every time i met them only to see who would be the first one to realise it and try not falling on his belly.

after 25 straight bouts we might have found a winner ... :-P

Considering one of Hokutorikis-Kokkai boats from near past, I think we can state that this one has no chances :-P

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Ok, I'll try to counter Kotoku's arguments which seem rather subjective and off to me.

This guy needs to either wise up or go home. First, his lack of cleanliness. He comes up on the dohyo with a three-day stubble, looks absolutely terrible. Now that he has a decent kachikoshi, all of his bully-boy crap comes out... the posturing at shikiri, the lack of any humility or grace.

The stubble thing has been answered, to put it in a compact way - there's nothing wrong with being superstituous and not shave after winning streaks and it's not Kokkai's fault that his beard grows abnormally fast for Japanese standarts, actually, I think it's not that seldom that that it is the case in the part of the world where he comes from.

shikiri posturing is one of the most important parts of the bout, and Kokkai is but trying to get a certain psychological advantage, which essentially is a part of a shikiri game and is not only off by sumodou terms, but is actually encouraged. (Remember Kokkai-Chiyotaikai about 1 year ago or so? Taikai won that bout when he countered that evil look from Kokkai with a look of his - that's were he won the bout pretty much)Sumo bout is a mind game after all much more than any other wrestling contest. Now the lack of humility and grace is a totally subjective thing and it's not that much of a deal if Kotoku finds Kokkai's shikiri tactics lack grace and humility.

He lost his match because he has the worst tachiai in makanouchi -- straight ahead, face first and eyes down. He completely screwed up, clearly lost and then pisses and moans after the decision. Just a bunch of eye rolling and glaring, no bow and a lot of poor-me.

This has been answered as well, just a couple details. Kokkai's tachiai is a standart powerful tachiai for an oshi man - nothing special - actually it's powerful enough (if not et by a henka, indeed) to get an upper hand on all but a couple makuuchi wrestlers, I mean just the tachiai, not the whole bout of course. If you look at all the bouts he's won on this basho, at least 7 of them were won at the tachiai - his aite lost his balance and was backpedalling, struggling to stay within the dohyo when Kokkai would pull him down, which indeed is not the best brand of sumo, but that's what the aforementioned wrestler can do, after all, he's just a joi-jin caliber wrestler who is pretty much no good against most of the sanyaku..

One more. Whereas in western world a smile is nothing but a display of politeness, in the Caucasus you will rarely find a male (or a female, even) smiling for no reason - that's the way it works - a cultural thing. I'm not saying that it's good or bad - actually I myself believe that this kind of attitude is destructive for a human in a long run, but things don't change in a flash and neither do certain individuals even though after a long stay abroad. I've no idea how it is in Japan, but the fact that Baruto or whoever else smiles more than Kokkai is not that much of an argument.

I could not see what exactly Kokkai did after his Day 15 bout - was not even visible on an info-sumo video, but I guess he acted like a bully, That means that his demeanor was wrong at that very moment. I've heard that he's done that before, but not that often. Other times (again, impression comes from online videos) he's been graceful, bowing after the bout and everything.

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The place for reigi is at the beginning of the bout (when they bow), and at the end of the bout (when they bow). At shikiri they can and should glare all they want, provided they can back up. The crowd loves a good stare down; that's originally what the shikiri was for in the first place. The problem is when you have a rikishi like Kisenosato: glaring like hell for the five minutes of shikiri, then losing in two seconds. His oyakata wisely told him to stop wasting energy glaring and focus on his sumo. Once Kisenosato gets his sumo in good condition, he can glare all he wants.

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Okay, let's clear some things up.

Tachiai: Don't look down. Period. Watch this guy. He is looking at the shikiri-sen, even when he is well past it. His de-ashi is too far forward, much as the gentleman above noticed in comparing him to Tosanoumi -- a guy by-the-way I've liked from the start.

Manners: again, as above, you bow when you come up dohyo, and again when you leave if you have just lost. Period. And not some little head shrug. You can pose and posture all you want at the shikiri, but once you are done, that's it. Back in the day, rikishi invariably said "I dunno" when asked how they won. Like most combat sports, it is all reaction and preparation.

The Hesei Era has seen a real loss in manners, from the eki to the dohyo, and all points in between. It is a lot worse when it is mixed in with a self-pitying attitude. Poor gaijin me, no mono-ii, the police checked my bicycle boo-hoo-hoo... You can bet he isn't gonna get the benefit of the doubt if he keeps that up.

Cleanliness: I also have a heavy beard. I have shaved every day since I was 14. I think better technique and a more sincere attitude towards keiko will go much farther to improving one's sumo, than ditching the Gilette, but YMMV.

Last, the company he keeps: From my own experience, I would be surprised indeed if he hangs out with guys in Waste Management. In general, they don't usually associate with hakku-jin, and especially anyone even remotely connected to Russia or its old satellites. But I could be wrong, hell things change.

And to Baruto-zekkei. Serious here, if sumo gets old, and you are still under 30, you should look into American Football. You would be a tremendous nose tackle, make a pile of $$$ and no doubt be a huge star off the gridiron. I'd miss your sumo, and my wife would miss your smile. Just a thought. With your size, and willingness to kick ass, you might find playing for the Green Bay Packers a whole lot of fun! :- )

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