January YDC Soken Reports

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During Monday, the Yokozuna Deliberation Council held a supervised practice session, referred to as “Soken”. It features the top men in sumo going through both practice moves and test matches. In general the civillian YDC advisory group watches the proceedings and makes a series of vague comments about the rikishi and their state of preparation for an upcoming tournament. Some excerpts courtesy of Herouth, who has been posting excerpts on twitter:

Tochinoshin sits out the Soken, still working through injuries

Kisenosato still having problems with his body position in the tachiai. As we saw during Kyushu, the Yokozuna was consistently high, and off balance.

Hakuho gave Kyushu yusho winner Takakeisho some direct and specific attention during the Soken, and soundly beat the shin-Sekiwake 5 straight times. To be fair, Takakeisho has struggled against “the boss” and has yet to formulate a good attack plan against the dai-Yokozuna.

Yokozuna Kakuryu had more bouts out of the 3, turning in a 7-3 performance for his 10 practice bouts, dropping 1 to Kisenosato and 2 to Takayasu. Meanwhile it seems Goeido was struggling against Yokozuna, failing to take a single match from Kisenosato or Kakuryu. According to a write up by sumo luminary Kintamayama, Kisenosato was looking hurt by the end of the Soken:

At the end of the session, Kisenosato seemed to have injured his leg. “It looked like he was in pain.. I hope it’s nothing serious. I would have liked to see him do 4-5 more bouts. The two other Yokozunae seem to be in great shape.”


Some additional details from Herouth’s twitter feed. Firstly looks like Enho, Uncle Sumo and some others were in action during the Soken. Sadly I doubt we ever get to see video of their sparring.

And as a bonus, some video footage from the Soken. It pains me to say it, but it seems Kisenosato continues his rough and chaotic sumo that was so ineffective during Kyushu. It is a far cry from his pre-injury sumo, which was always low, strong and incredibly heavy. I fear the worst for him.

3 thoughts on “January YDC Soken Reports

  1. very interesting indeed. i think the big positive out of this review, Hakuho well on the way to full recovery and Takakeisho accepted his session as a very good learning curve – smart young man. if he can mentally absorb everything from his session with the Boss then strategize into his own game plan, then that will prove very smart indeed.

  2. sorry to see Tochinoshin is still not genki—does anyone know what area the muscle pull is in? Or his chances of recovery in time to complete?


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