May 2017, Day 13, Shohozan v Yutakayama

Shohozan pops Yutakayama a few times in the face to get his attention, but the tide of the bout really turns when Shohozan goes for the belt. With both arms around Yutakayama’s waist, Shohozan presses forward despite a last-ditch effort from Yutakayama to shrug him off to the side. Shohozan wins by yoritaoshi, or front crush out. If he’d had more solid performances like this earlier in the tournament, Shohozan might not be sitting on a losing record of 5-8. Yutakayama drops his eleventh loss.

May 2017, Day 12, Shohozan v Myogiryu

Haven’t seen much from Shohozan this tournament, he’s already got a makekoshi record of 4-8. But he shows flashes of his former potential today, wrapping up Myogiryu by the waist and holding onto the wriggling rikishi for dear life. Myogiryu whiffs with the inside leg sweep and finds himself on the wrong side of the tawara. At 4-9 from the M15 rank, Myogiryu risks falling down to the Juryo division next tournament.

May 2017, Day 9, Shohozan v Ura

Shohozan looks completely out of sorts against Ura, slapping ineffectively at Ura’s head which is about waist high. With Shohozan occupied trying to figure out the strange posture, Ura charges forward underneath Shohozan’s arms, connects with the midsection, and pushes him easily from the ring. The two men are headed in opposite directions this tournament, Ura at 7-2 and Shohozan at 2-7.

May 2017, Day 1, Shohozan v Takakeisho

Shohozan leads with a light right-handed slap to Takakeisho’s face at the tachiai, more of a distraction than a power move, but it doesn’t faze Takakeisho. Takakeisho gets in two strong shoves before Shohozan can even respond, and this sets the tone for the rest of the bout – Shohozan takes some big swings without really connecting, and Takakeisho has better luck attacking Shohozan’s chest and neck. Takakeisho pulls the matador move, sidestepping while pulling down on Shohozan, who reacts instantly and spins to deflect the expected charge from behind. It’s a fine move, but Shohozan just misses the straw with his left foot and steps out before Takakeisho.

March 2017, Kisenosato Yusho compilation

Yokozuna Kisenosato wins the March 2017 Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka, earning his second-straight top-division championship with a record of 13-2, defeating Ozeki Terunofuji on the last day in a playoff. Over the course of thirteen wins (plus one playoff win) he used six different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (6), oshidashi (3), tsukiotoshi (2), kotehineri (1), okuridashi (1), and kotenage (1).

March 2017, Day 11, Tamawashi v Shohozan

You know these two are going to come out swinging. A blistering tsuppari attack from both wrestlers continues until Shohozan finds his heels on the tawara and has to escape, slipping to his left. He’s able to fight through Tamawashi’s renewed attack and get a solid right-handed overarm grip, which he uses to set up a pretty uwatenage (overarm throw), first pushing Tamawashi up and back and then pulling him forward and down. Tamawashi sits at 5-6, Shohozan at 3-8.

March 2017, Day 8, Shohozan v Kisenosato

Yokozuna Kisenosato starts off with a decent tachiai, fighting against Shohozan’s flurry of strong tsuppari thrusts.  He pushes Shohozan all the way back to the edge of the ring, but things fall apart when Shohozan is able to get both hands underneath Kisenosato’s arms and around his midsection. Kisenosato is way out of position and Shohozan drives him the length of the dohyo in the opposite direction. The Yokozuna is desperate to get Shohozan off his line, and uses an arm lock throw attempt from the left side to relieve some of the pressure. With Shohozan now pulling to his right to defend against the throw, Kisenosato uses the momentum shift to do two things simultaneously – he smashes Shohozan’s face with his right hand and cranks hard with the left-hand arm lock to twist Shohozan to the ground. It’s the first time on the blog we’ve seen this technique: kotehineri, or arm lock twist down. Nice save by the Yokozuna to escape a spot of real trouble.  Kisenosato stays perfect at 8-0, tied at the top of the leaderboard with Sekiwake Takayasu. Shohozan’s tournament is almost totally wrecked with a record of 1-7 after eight days.