November 2017, Day 6, Endo v Okinoumi

Good persistence by Okinoumi today against Endo. He grabs onto Endo’s left arm, mostly to defend against Endo’s underarm grip, but also threatening a kotenage (armlock throw). When Endo switches to the right-handed overarm grip, Okinoumi loses his hold on Endo’s left arm for a moment, but clamps down again when Endo regains the underarm grip on that side. Now at the ring’s edge, Okinoumi sets his hips and cranks hard on Endo’s upper arm, twisting him into the clay. Endo falls to 3-3, while Okinoumi has quietly amassed five wins against only one loss.

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November 2017, Day 5, Shodai v Arawashi

Arawashi gets a hold on Shodai’s left arm right after the tachiai, and he keeps working on that grip until it gives him the victory. A couple of kotenage (armlock throw) attempts throughout the bout must give Shodai an inkling of Arawashi’s plan, but he’s helpless to prevent the final massive throw when Arawashi uses both arms to apply crushing pressure to his upper arm. Arawashi’s doing well at 4-1.

November 2017, Day 4, Endo v Ikioi

Ikioi comes out strong, pushing Endo the length of the dohyo with a tsuppari attack that negates Endo’s arm work. But Endo changes tactics and goes for the belt just as his heels hit the tawara, and he clamps on with a right-handed overarm grip on the front of Ikioi’s belt. This turns the tide for Endo and he pushes Ikioi back the way he came, but Ikioi has a good grip on Endo’s left arm. Sliding backwards while adjusting his grip, Ikioi plants his left foot and catches Endo off guard with the slick kotenage (arm lock throw).

September 2017, Day 15, Takarafuji v Kotoshogiku

Former Ozeki Kotoshogiku hasn’t had double-digit wins in over a year, but he puts it all together this tournament to finish an impressive 10-5. It was only January of last year (seems like ages, though) that he won the championship at 14-1, but two tournaments later he dropped out due to injury and has endured a precipitous decline since then. Nice to see him back in fighting shape. Takarafuji puts up some tough resistance, but ‘Giku keeps his feet under him until he finds an opening for the slick kotenage (arm lock throw). Takarafuji has a fine tournament as well, finishing at 9-6.

September 2017, Day 13, Kaisei v Ikioi

Great recovery and reversal by Kaisei, who first falls victim to a pull-down/sideswipe before stopping his momentum and turning in time to greet the hard-charging Ikioi. Ikioi hits him square, but Kaisei is able to grab Ikioi’s left arm and turn his hips to execute the opportunistic kotenage (arm lock throw). Kaisei earns his eighth win, while Ikioi falls to seven losses.

September 2017, Day 10, Ichinojo v Takanoiwa

Ichinojo adjusts quickly to his opponent’s changing tactics, first grabbing onto the right arm and then the left as Takanoiwa maneuvers for a belt grip. And Ichinojo has a massively stable base when he sets his hips correctly – with a slight twitch of his body he transfers his bulk into immense pressure on Takanoiwa’s left arm, sending him rolling out of the ring by kotenage (arm lock throw). Both men are having good tournaments, Ichinojo at 6-4 and Takanoiwa at 7-3.

September 2017, Day 6, Yutakayama v Sadanoumi

Sadanoumi sat out the first five days of the tournament, so this is actually his first bout on Day 6. Youngster Yutakayama welcomes him back to the dohyo with some strong sumo, starting out with a solid tachiai and some tough tsuppari followed by an arm lock throw attempt from the left side that throws Sadanoumi off balance but doesn’t break Sadanoumi’s right-handed underarm belt grip. Sadanoumi recovers, adding a left-handed underarm grip to his attack that puts Yutakayama on the defensive. With Sadanoumi well under his center of gravity and running out of room, Yutakayama’s only shot is to try again with the arm lock throw. He tries the left side first, since that puts Sadanoumi closer to the edge of the ring, but Sadanoumi gets his foot on the tawara and keeps charging forward. Using Sadanoumi’s momentum against him, Yutakayama switches things up and cranks with the right arm this time. Paydirt. He doesn’t even have a great lock on the arm, so it’s as much a result of pushing with his right fist into Sadanoumi’s ribs, but Yutakayama gets the impressive win.