Hatsu Genki Report Audio Podcast

As part of our new segmented podcast experiment, here is 20 minutes of Andy and Bruce running through their pre-basho Genki Report, covering the strong, the injured and the broken for the first basho of 2020. We cover Hakuho, Kakuryu, Goeido, Takayasu, The Joi-Jin with special attention to Asanoyama, Abi and Mitakeumi.

Audio now, video later today on YouTube. This time we are not letting Bruce monkey with the video, and it should work correctly the first time.

4 thoughts on “Hatsu Genki Report Audio Podcast

  1. A couple of comments: first, head injuries. Clearly, Mitakeumi was concussed last time around, and there have been other rikishi in the same situation in the past couple of years. The effects of these can’t necessarily be shaken off in six weeks, especially if you spend a large part of that time doing hard physical exercise. His movement, balance and technique have already changed a couple of times in response to injuries we weren’t told the details of, and now this on top of those limitations …… Although he still looks (and is) youthful, he’s carrying some premature aging, I’d say. His unusually broad range of tactics has kept him at a high level and I can only salute that.

    Hokutofuji …. maybe my favorite rikishi. Fights so whole-heartedly and so well, but like certain others I enjoy watching (Meisei, Kotoeko, etc.) he doesn’t always Finish well. Which is what Hakuho does par excellence. As Bruce says, Hokutofuji puts a lot of eggs into the tachiai basket, and if it doesn’t click he’s forced into reaction, he lacks Plan B or C and doesn’t hoard that last shot of clinical Winner juice. Whether it’s the pivot at the edge or the last extra belly bump or some other crucial thing, Finishing is the mystery he needs initiation into.

    Oh damn, did I just finish another sentence with a preposition? Gomen.

  2. I feel like it takes away very little from Daieisho’s kinboshi that Hakuho can no longer muster GOAT sumo and is merely fighting at the level of a tricksy aging 14-1 dai-yokozuna.

  3. I disagree greatly on the points made regarding Hakuho. He wasn’t officially censured for his in-ring techniques this time, and to speak more personally I quite enjoy seeing Hakuho dominate matches with a single, brutal move. It truly befits his status as a legend to have such power and people should feel lucky we have the opportunity to see someone of his seemingly superhuman skill and strength in person. To be frank, it does get on my nerves a bit when people disparage Hakuho for the forearm when moves like Tamawashi’s armbar are just as dangerous. I am also not saying Tamawashi should be barred from being able to throw. It is unfortunate when someone is injured but if you take such throws out of the sport is loses a very important (and crowd-pleasingly flashy) aspect of the sport that every single athlete has been trained to encounter. I see the forearm in the same vein, and have always greatly enjoyed the styles of both Hakuho and Oosunarashi. If sumo lost the forearm I would at the very least be quite sad about it.

    Daieisho always fights extremely hard and gives trouble to anyone he fights. He is not to be slept on and I am certain he will at least make Sekiwake in the future. With the strange power vacuum in the joi, I think Hatsu could be a breakout tournament for him. (Stay healthy, please!)

    I don’t know how I feel about Asanoyama becoming Yokozuna yet, but reaching Ozeki this year seems like a foregone conclusion at this point. On a side note, I only got into sumo because I wanted to see Trump visiting on a livestream, so I’m quite thankful for his choice to visit!

    I still doubt Abi’s staying power, since the last tournament is the first time he was able to get kachi-kochi without counting any sort of “free wins”. More importantly, I think poor Goeido’s injury issues are going to likely take Abi’s potential Sekiwake slot again.

    I am surprised there was no talk about any of notable maegashira wrestlers like Enho, Tochinoshin, Azumaryu the juryo yusho winner, or even debuting Kiribayama or the generally beloved Chiyomaru. If you are going to split the genki report into a separate podcast, I myself at least would love some more detailed discussion about the rikishi lower on the banzuke!

    • Regarding Hakuho – some of us would like to see him winning by skillfully using some his enormous repertoire of sumo moves which he can seemingly access almost instantaneously, as we see when he appears to be in a losing position.
      Any crude bruiser can win with a forearm smash to the jaw. It seems like these moves should be beneath him, but I guess he didn’t become the winningest of all time without having a killer instinct.


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