January 2018, Day 3, Shodai v Arawashi

Palpable disappointment on Shodai’s face after a tough loss to Arawashi. He throws a big right shoulder at the tachiai which seems to stun Arawashi for the briefest of moments, but still gives up the left hand grip on the front of his belt. And while he’s busy fighting off that attack, Arawashi deftly maneuvers around the other side and sneaks a right arm in deep for the beltless arm throw. Pulled off balance from two attachment points, Shodai only has the armlock on Arawashi’s throwing arm to defend, and it’s not enough.


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 3, Endo v Shodai

What’d I tell you? The only consistent thing about Endo is his inconsistency. He looks great for the first 9/10 of this bout, good sharp tsuppari thrusts and a solid base. But suddenly Shodai gets both hands under Endo’s arms and Endo can’t drop his hips quickly enough to defend. He loses the positional battle and loses his first bout of the tournament.

September 2017, Harumafuji Yusho Compilation

Yokozuna Harumafuji wins the September 2017 Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, earning his ninth top-division championship. He beat front-runner Ozeki Goeido on the last day to tie things up at 11-4, and then beat Goeido again in a single playoff bout to claim the title. Over the course of the tournament he used four different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (8), uwatedashinage (2), uwatenage (1) and shitatenage (1).

September 2017, Day 13, Onosho v Shodai

Onosho seems to have this one under control – he’s got Shodai on the defensive and moving backwards with both arms around his midsection. But Shodai turns as he approaches the edge, trying for an arm lock throw on Onosho’s right arm. He doesn’t have the lock secured, and Onosho starts to slip out behind him, so Shodai lets go of the arm and spins away from the edge rather than pursue a quickly deteriorating position. It’s a good decision, and he’s able to skirt along the straw bales as Onosho plops to the clay.

September 2017, Day 10, Shodai v Yoshikaze

It’s feast or famine with Yoshikaze this tournament, and right now he’s feasting. After dropping the first four days in a row, he’s roared back with six consecutive wins. Notable today against Shodai is his excellent footwork, keeping his hips low and his weight centered over his feet. No chance for Shodai to pull him down or divert the pressure, and Shodai crashes out to his sixth loss.