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.

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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.

September 2017, Day 4, Kotoshogiku v Yoshikaze

Of Kotoshogiku’s 708 career wins, only 62 have come by throwing techniques. And only 15 of those have been kotenage (armlock throw). I guess ol ‘Giku’s feeling his oats this tournament, executing a nice right-side kotenage on the hapless Yoshikaze to stay undefeated at 4-0.

July 2017, Hakuho Yusho compilation

Yokozuna Hakuho wins the July 2017 Grand Sumo Tournament in Nagoya, earning his thirty-ninth top-division championship with a record of 14-1. Along the way he surpassed former Ozeki Kaio to set the all-time wins record with a mark of 1050. Over the course of the tournament he used eight different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (5), tsukiotoshi (2), okuridashi (2), hatakikomi (2), sukuinage (1), oshitaoshi (1), yoritaoshi (1), kotenage (1).