Miyagino Practice Fist-Fight

Photo Credit Nicola

Ishiura was involved in a fist fight with Makushita-ranked Hokaho. No, not Hakuho, though the big man himself stepped in to separate the two. Practice then ended abruptly and the incident was reported to the Crisis Committee. So, the scandal meter is reset to 1/4/2020, one week from the start of Hatsubasho.

Herouth’s got a thorough run-down of the events but in a nutshell, Ishiura took exception to Hokaho beating him. When he would lose to Hokaho, he’d lash out, with a kick or a punch. Since the incident has been reported, there will be an investigation into exactly how “hot-headed” Ishiura was and whether there is any need for punishment. That punishment could range from apologies and reprimand to potential suspension, likely hinging on how hard the blows were. Calls for retirement would be…a bit bizarre unless more back-story unfolds.

Keep in mind, this was practice where blows are supposed to be thrown…but not between bouts and fists and kicks are obviously a no-no. The location and reason would distinguish it from punches thrown as rebuke for chores done poorly but it will be interesting to see what standard is applied. Some, like Mitakeumi, are disparaged for low-intensity practice. The opposite end of the spectrum here, we have a practice that got out-of-hand.

For some insight about the practice intensity I’m talking about, there’s an interview of Steve Kerr a former teammate of Michael Jordan, where he reflects on a fist fight he had with Mike. Jordan is famous for a lot of things but one is the intensity that he brought to practice. Similarly, keiko is supposed to ready you for the real thing. So if you slack off there, how will you be ready when the harite is for a yusho?

13 thoughts on “Miyagino Practice Fist-Fight

  1. Very odd incident as these two must have squared off hundreds of times. Checking the database I see that Hokaho is 30 years old and has been in makushita for 8 years so he’s probably as tough and experienced as a non-sekitori can get. I have a growing suspicion that Ishiura, for all his ability, is a bit of a d*ck.

    • Maybe things just got a little heated. Any trash talking may come out in the investigation but Ishiura may have been overly frustrated that a Makushita wrestler was able to push him out…but Ishiura should be frustrated with himself and not take it out on others.

      • Ishiura seems to be very irritated since Enho has taken his spot as Hakuho’s top student. Perhaps Ishiura has embraced his role to anime protagonist Enho as his arrogant pretty-boy rival.

        • I agree. Enho’s success must be putting a lot of pressure on Ishiura, especially since he was promoted by half a rank for his 9-6 while Enho got promoted a full rank for his 8-7 – enough to drive a pixie crazy.

        • I actually think Ishiura and Enho are getting along fine. Ishiura has started to do some good sumo after Enho got into Makuuchi, and it seems inspired by Enho’s techniques. They constantly practice together. I haven’t seen Ishiura getting particularly irritated other than on this particular occasion. Also, Ishiura was out of favor for quite a while with the Yokozuna, and has recently seemed to slowly gain it back. Rumors say it’s because Ishiura is the one who tattled in the Harumafuji incident. But when his sumo recently became more dignified, and he joined Enho at the Yokozuna’s side in dohyo-iri, things seemed to settle down a bit. The three had a TV show together only a couple of days ago. Personally, when I heard this story, I was thinking Ishiura must have some family issues, a baby growing a tooth and not letting dad sleep properly, etc., rather than any in-heya rivalry.

    • this read on hokaho further colors the story nicely
      may he now may be spurred on up to paid rank

      strong last words and maybe so but we all can be that way at least a little or once in a while, mostly unintentional
      gladly, people can improve and ishiura is a good example with his excellent comeback after having left sumo

  2. Well, I guess I f we need a scandal, this will have to suffice. But really? Two competitive males in a combat sport get a little out of hand during a full contact sparring match, and it’s a shock? A scandal?
    Like I said, I guess it is if you really need one. On my rugby team as a young man it was wind sprints and get the f#$@k over it.

    • It’s a bit of a situation, more than a scandal, really.

      You have the NSK which has a new no-violence policy and heya trying to deal with the new situation.

      You have a practice room full to the brim with reporters.

      Something like this happens. Now, as the oyakata, you can’t avoid reporting it. If a reporter comes to you and says “Wait, I’m in this business long enough to know that fisticuffs are not sumo. So this is violence. What about the new policy?” If you tell him that it’s just boys-will-be-boys, you’ll have a fat headline declaring that Miyagino oyakata allows violence in his stable. So you have to report.

      Now you reported, and there are several reporters who know you did and will next go and ask the NSK what’s being done about that report. Now neither of the oyakata (the ichimon’s board member and the head of the crisis committee) can’t say directly that this is nonsense, not worthy of attention. It was violence, it’s against their policy, and if they ignore the call, they are covering up.

      So they’ll have to do something. They may have to write the book as they go, but the do have to do it by the book.

      And in the meantime all the newspapers are happy, because they have something better to chew on than Hakuho’s declarations that he wants to have an injury-free year, or Asanoyama’s not-so-good practice which he has to gambarize to improve on the next day. Some will write about it with outrage, and some will write about it noting that boys will be boys and this was practice, but.

      Meantime, I’ve seen at least three people who are asking for Ishiura’s head on a plate. So maybe to some people, this really is scandalous.

  3. Geez, they had a dust up at practice – big whoop. Happens in team sports all the time. It really is a nothing issue.

    If it was Ishiura purposely mistreating his junior then absolutely report it and have it dealt with, but this is a minor blip and certainly isn’t a scandal.

  4. Seriously? It got heated between two rikishi during a fight and got reported? Reprimand at most and anything else would be a major overreaction.

  5. now mentions ranging from head on a plate to get over it
    head on a plate is far severe while we still don’t have clear boundary markers

    early 80s as a u.s. forest service wildland firefighter, a rule you learned for sure early on- strike a blow with fist and you are fired, right now, irrespective of circumstance
    when tensions ran too high, i watched hard men leaning in nose to nose, screaming rage with spit flecks flying, fists clenched and fire all around

    but in two strong fire seasons, we did not have a fist strike so all kept their jobs
    once we get to workable rules it should help a lot and i’ve witnessed that a fist strike tabu is understandable and effective, even when it overheats and including for alphas; somehow subconscious gets it and refrains

    separate topic-
    sure have been enjoying the increased writing from andy
    sameways, missing the detailed, good humored and formerly more abundant offerings from herouth


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