May 2017, Hakuho Yusho compilation

Yokozuna Hakuho wins the May 2017 Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, earning his 38th top-division championship with a perfect record of 15-0. Over the course of fifteen wins he used seven different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (5), hatakikomi (2), uwatenage (2), uwatedashinage (2), yoritaoshi (2), uwatehineri, and oshidashi. Congrats to the champ!

May 2017, Day 4, Okinoumi v Hakuho

Yokozuna Hakuho steadily adds to his win total on Day 4 against the struggling Okinoumi. After an even tachiai, both men end up with right-handed underarm grips. But watch Hakuho’s left arm – it slaps at Okinoumi’s side, reaching forward for the overarm belt hold that will seal Okinoumi’s fate. And indeed it does. Even though it happens out of sight of the camera, you know the moment Hakuho gets the grip – the stalemate ends and he pulls Okinoumi’s hips close to his own, now in total control of Okinoumi’s center of gravity. Hakuho can press the attack without fear of a counter, and he finishes the day still perfect at 4-0. Okinoumi falls to 0-4.

May 2017, Day 3, Harumafuji v Okinoumi

Yokozuna Harumafuji’s four tips to be an awesome Yokozuna:

  1. Head underneath opponent’s chin
  2. Vise-like right-handed belt grip
  3. Hips low and centered
  4. Be Harumafuji

May 2017, Day 2, Kisenosato v Okinoumi

Yokozuna Kisenosato manages to win despite the nagging injury to his left chest, using his bulk well to cut off Okinoumi’s escape routes. Kisenosato gets his left arm underneath Okinoumi’s right side, and despite the belt grip eluding him he uses great lateral movement to keep pressing the attack with his entire upper body until Okinoumi steps out. Good example of a veteran compensating for a weakness with his other strengths.

May 2017, Day 1, Okinoumi v Goeido

Ozeki Goeido is kadoban this tournament due to his 1-5-9 losing record last time out, so he needs to finish at least 8-7 to avoid being demoted from the Ozeki rank that he’s held since 2014. But Okinoumi is no pushover, and provides a stiff challenge on Day 1. Okinoumi brings a big right arm to the side of Goeido’s head at the tachiai, but Goeido shrugs it off and locks onto a left-handed underarm grip. The next sequence happens incredibly quickly, and gives me hope for Goeido’s chances this tournament – he goes for a reversal on the right side, jamming his right arm in-between his body and Okinoumi’s left arm. Okinoumi lets go with his left arm to push on Goeido’s shoulder, trying to keep Goeido from extending his right arm underneath. There’s a split-second pause before Okinoumi reaches forward with his left arm, looking again for the belt grip on that side, but that’s precisely the moment when Goeido leaps backward, pulling his hips out of the way. Okinoumi is grasping at air while Goeido pushes down on his back and pulls with the left-handed underarm grip, and a nifty spin atop the tawara keeps Goeido in the ring while Okinoumi crashes to the dirt. The winning technique is shitatedashinage, or pulling underarm throw.

March 2017, Day 15, Sadanoumi v Okinoumi

Okinoumi looks primed for a return to the top half of the division where he belongs, earning his tenth win of the tournament on the final day. With Okinoumi pushing hard towards the edge, Sadanoumi tries a reversal with the underarm throw from the left side.  But Okinoumi has a good arm lock on that side and reverses the reversal, finishing Sadanoumi with the right-handed kotenage (arm lock throw).