A Collection of Spectacularly Executed Kimarite.

gettyimages-84401909-612x612 - asashoryu Baruto

Hakuho yaguranage Okinoumi:

Hakuho possesses the total package in size, balance, agility, and speed, but add on his incredible technical prowess to his physical attributes, and he becomes a literal yokozuna cheat code. This yaguranage (inner thigh throw) he pulled off against Okinoumi at the edge here, could perhaps be his most impressive technical feat. Check out the replays to get the full effect.

Asashoryu yaguranage Harumafuji:

Asashoryu pulls off an earlier, though slightly less impressive yaguranage, against a much lighter Harumafuji.

Ura koshinage Dewahayate:

Ura, “The Pink Panther,” executes an incredible last-ditch koshinage (hip throw) against Dewahayate.

Wakanohana III uwatenage Asahifuji:

The uwatenage (overarm throw) is one of the more common throws, but this one by Wakanohana III against Asahifuji, is as dramatic looking as it gets.

Mainoumi sakatottari Wakashoyo:

Mainoumi counters Wakashoyu’s arm-throw attempt by reversing the momentum, winning with an amazing sakatottari (arm bar throw counter).

Mainoumi mitokorozemi Akebono:

Mainoumi back at it again, this time with a mitokorozeme (triple attack force out) against Akebono. This extremely rare technique involves grabbing an opponent’s inner leg, tripping their outer leg, and pushing forward with the shoulders and neck.

Takekaze ipponzeoi Kaisei:

Takekaze pulls off the rare and elegant, ipponzeoi (one-armed shoulder throw), against Kaisei.

Sagatsukaza ipponzeoi Tochinowaka:

The much shorter Sagatsukaza executes another example of an ipponzeioi against Tochinowaka.

Harumafuji okuritsuriotoshi Goeido:

Harumafuji with an angry-looking okuritsuriotoshi (backwards throw) against Goeido.

Takanonami kawazugake Takanohana:

Takanonami defeats stablemate Takanohana with a majestic looking kawazugake (hooking backward counter throw).

Tochinoshin kotenage Endo:

A beautiful looking kotenage armlock throw (aided by a leg trip), from Tochinoshin in this bout against Endo.

Harumafuji kubinage Myogiryu:

Goeido is the past and present “Kubinage King,” but keeping with the title of this post, this particular neck throw by Harumafuji against Myogiryu, is the most spectacular looking.

Baruto harimanage Aran:

Powerful Baruto digs into his pro-wrestling arsenal to pull off this impressive harimanage (backward belt throw) to former Russian sumotori Aran.

Wakanohana II harimanage Wushuyama:

Wakanohana II back with another Harimanage against Wushuyama:

Terao sotokomata Hamanoshima:

Lightweight oshi-specialist Terao, shows off some of his grappling ability with this sotokomata (one leg carry) against Hamanoshima.

Asashoryu shitatenage Baruto:

Asashoryu, “The Beast,” not only matches the formidable strength of Baruto in this bout, but shows off his own immense power with a mighty looking shitatenage (underarm throw).

Kyokutaisei susoharai Kizenryu:

Everyone’s favorite documentary star, Kyokutaisei, uses his judo background to execute a beautiful susoharai (rear foot sweep) against Kizenryu.

Takatoriki nichonage Kototsubaki and Kirishima:

Takatoriki also had a judo background though he seldom used it, instead preferring oshi thrusts and face slaps. Here’s two stunningly beautiful examples of a nichonage (body drop throw) that he pulled off against Kototsubaki and Kirishima.

Chiyonokuni nichonage Tanzo:

The nichonage is just way too aesthetically beautiful to only give two examples. So here’s a third one by Chiyonokuni against Tanzo.

Wakanosato tsuridashi Shimotori:

Sumo has had its share of great lifters, like Kirishima, Baruto, Tochinoshin, and Takanosato, but it’s the burly Wakanosato who pulls off perhaps the most impressive looking tsuridashi (lift out) of them all, in this match against Shimotori.

Baruto tsuridashi Yoshikaze:

Speaking of Baruto. Yoshikaze was feeling a bit under the weather in this match, and Baruto was nice enough to gently escort him off the premises.

Tochinoshin tsuridashi Chiyonokuni:

…Okay, one last tsuridashi for the road. Tochinoshin with a hybrid lift/throw-out against Chiyonokuni.


A Quick Look at the Maegashira One-Hit Yusho Wonders.

This is a collection of bouts that clinched a rikishi’s one and only makuuchi championship won at the rank of maegashira. I didn’t include Tochinoshin, since he’s currently active, and could continue to add to his total in the future. Keep in mind that many—if not all—of these rikishi had very successful careers overall, regardless of the fact that they only won one championship. There’s many ozeki’s and even some yokozuna who only won one or even no yusho’s for their entire career. Anyway, without further ado, here’s the list:

Wakamisugi defeats Iwakaze (1960):

Although he didn’t have to fight two yokozuna, as Tochinishiki retired that very tournament, and Wakanohana Kanji I was his stablemate, Wakamisugi did genuinely beat yokozuna Asashio to win with a great 14-1 record.

Fujinishiki defeats Kitanofuji (1964):

Fujinishiki won the tournament with an excellent 14-1 record, but didn’t fight any ozeki or yokozuna, although he did defeat sekiwake Kitanofuji, who would later become a future yokozuna. The great dai-yokozuna of the time, Taiho, who was in his prime around this time period, was notably absent from this basho.

Wakanami defeats Kainoyama (1968):

This is an interesting bout for historical reasons. As a maegashira, Wakanami didn’t face any top-rankers except for one sekiwake, and the subsequent public outcry eventually led to the common practice nowadays of matching up maegashira tournament contenders with high-ranking opponents the deeper they progress into the basho.

Tochiazuma I defeats Kiyokuni (1972):

Tochiazuma Tomoyori (the father of Tochiazuma Daisuke) wins his only championship against Kiyokuni, who was the only ozeki he faced that tournament. The sole yokozuna of the time, Kitanofuji was also out with an injury.

Takamiyama defeats Asahikuni (1972):

Takamiyama wins his only makuuchi championship against the very technical but somewhat-light Asahikuni, and becomes the first foreign-born rikishi to do so. He later became a stable-mate of Konishiki (who he recruited), and then the oyakata of Akebono, the first foreign-born yokozuna.

Kongo defeats Washuyama (1975):

Excellent match. Kongo (in the light purple mawashi) defeats the noted technician Washuyama for his only championship. Yokozuna Wajima and ozeki Takanohana I were absent this tournament, but he did defeat Kitanoumi, who was the reigning dai-yokozuna of that era.

Tagaryu defeats Wakashamizu (1984):

Coming in to the basho, Tagaryu was in danger of being demoted from the makuuchi division altogether, and responded by winning his only championship. Tagaryu (on the right), defeats ozeki Wakashamizu to eliminate him from the yusho race. The only other contender, Konishiki, lost on the final day to clinch his tournament win. Tagaryu was the first maegashira-ranked wrestler to win a tournament since Kaiketsu in 1976.

Kotofuji defeats Takatoriki (1991):

By this time, maegashira who were still in the yusho race late into the tournament, were paired with increasingly higher-ranked opponents. Kotofuji was eventually paired with ozeki’s: Kirishima and Konishiki, as well as yokozuna Asahifuji, and still managed to defeat them all. His win over Takatoriki here on the 13th day, sealed his basho win.

Mitoizumi defeats Takanonami (1992):

This is a mirror match of sorts, as two tall and strong, “edge-walking” experts battle it out, with Mitoizumi coming out ahead for his only championship. Injuries greatly set-back Mitoizumi’s career which could’ve gone even higher than it did.

Takatoriki defeats Miyabiyama (2000):

This other vid shows more of Takatoriki’s emotional reaction after the bout:

33 year old veteran Takatoriki cliched his only tournament championship here, and was clearly overcome with emotion after the win. A member of the dominant Futagoyama heya, he was overshadowed by his other teammates, Takanohana, Wakanohana, and Takanonami, but he was a scrappy and tough competitor for anyone in his time.

Kotomitsuki defeats Kaiho (2001):

Although he eventually became an ozeki, the championship Kotomitsuki won here as a maegashira against Kaiho remained the only one he would ever win.

Kyokutenho defeats Tochiozan (2012):

Probably the poster boy of a completely unexpected, low-ranked sumotori who comes out of nowhere to win the entire basho. This bizarre tournament had Hakuho turn in an uncharacteristic 10-5 record (especially for that time), and six ozeki’s couldn’t capitalize on that to take the yusho. It ended with the then 37 year old Kyokutenho beating another maegashira-ranked wrestler (Tochiouzan) in a play-off, to become the oldest first-time wrestler to win a makuuchi championship. Like Takatoriki’s win, he couldn’t contain his palpable emotion, and probably has one of the most emotional post-win reactions you’ll ever see. It was the first time in 11 years that a tournament was won by a rank other than yokozuna or ozeki.

A Collection of Matches that Secured Yokozuna Promotion.

Here’s some matches that solidified a rikishi’s promotion to yokozuna, that I think some might find interesting. Many of these bouts are great and thrilling matches, even regardless of the added significance of them.

Harumafuji defeats Hakuho (2012):

An incredible match. I personally show this particular bout when I want to introduce someone to sumo for the first time.

Akebono defeats Takanohana (1993):

An important historical match in sumo history, as Akebono clinches the yusho on the final day and becomes the first foreign-born rikishi to achieve the rank of yokozuna.

Takanohana defeats Akebono (1994):

Another great match! Takanohana secures his yokozuna promotion with two back to back zensho yusho’s.

Wakanohana defeats Musashimaru (1998):

A somewhat reckless overcharge by Musashimaru, and Wakanohana clinches the basho and subsequent yokozuna promotion.

Musashimaru defeats Akebono (1999):

Pure power battle. Musashimaru defeats his fellow Hawaiian-born sumotori on the final day and clinches his promotion. 

Kakuryu defeats Kotoshogiku (2014):

Pretty easy win for Kakuryu who secures the Yusho and back to back 14-1 records.

Chiyonofuji defeats Kitanoumi (1981:

Chiyonofuji vigorously drives out another dominant dai-yokozuna in Kitanoumi to win his second overall tournament and promotion.

Asahifuji defeats Chiyonofuji (1990):

Asahifuji was a bit of an unorthodox wrestler at times, and uses a fantastic last-effort move to defeat the great Chiyonofuji.

Asashoryu defeats Musoyama (2003):

Asashoryu actually secured the yusho two days before against Wakanosato, but I can’t find that match anywhere. He puts a punctuation mark for his promotion though, with this win.

Kisenosato defeats Ichinojo (2017:

Not as interesting as some of the others, since Kisenosato’s yusho win wasn’t really secured until Hakuho lost to Takanoiwa later on that day.

Hakuho defeats Chiyotaikai (2007):

Spirited effort, as always, from Chiyotaikai, but as usual Hakuho was too determined and too skilled to defeat that day.

Bonus: Hakuho defeats Asashoryu (2007):

Kinda funny to look back on it, but Hakuho (the arguable sumo GOAT) began his yokozuna run by henka’ing Asashoryu on the final day to win the first of  two consecutive tournaments.