Kimarite Focus #10
kozumatori, tsumatori, susotori
by Mikko Mattila
Goeido has been exhibiting signs of mastering leg techniques and showed in his Day 9 bout against the juryo leader Kobo that he is able to go for some ankle picks too. In this bout Goeido used a right hand outside grip and slow uwatenage turn to move Kobo close to the edge and then as Kobo resisted, he grabbed his left lower leg above the ankle, lifted it, and Kobo lost his balance and fell down. Both kozumatori were the finishing touches of a throwing maneuvre and hence were naturally in the ’kozumatori- from-behind’ category. Kozumatori fell under the definition of tsumatori before the kimarite expansion in 2001.
The difference with tsumatori is that in tsumatori the target body part is the distal foot or toes. This technique is a bit bizarre in the kimarite list as it basically means that the attacker has worked his way to the side of the opponent and while the opponent rushes past, the attacker takes hold of the opponent’s toes and lifts the foot upwards while the opponent falls forward. Tsumatori is virtually never seen in sumo. The
Ankle-/foot-picking techniques are very rare in sumo. Kozumatori,
tsumatori and susotori are representative and all are exceptional cases
when appearing as the official winning technique. Kozumatori was added
to the official kimarite list in 2001 and had only been seen once in
makuuchi before the Hatsu 2007 basho, in which it was brought into play
once in makuuchi and once in juryo; both were excellent examples of
this uncommon technique. By definition, kozumatori is an ankle pick
where the attacker pulls the back of the calf or the ankle of the
opponent while applying pressure to topple the opponent over. It can be
done either face to face or, as on both occasions in Hatsu 2007 basho,
from behind. In either case, the point is that the attacker grabs the
lower leg of the opponent and lifts it upwards and towards himself
while pushing the opponent down.
was the first makuuchi rikishi to perform kozumatori when he beat
Miyabiyama on Day 1 in the Haru 2001 basho. He also used it once against
Musashimaru but as Musashimaru didn’t fall down and merely stepped out,
hopping on one leg, it was not registered as kozumatori.
In the recent Hatsu 2007 basho, Toyonoshima found himself to be a surprising yusho candidate on day 14 but was manhandled by Ama’s outstanding kozumatori. After the initial tussle, Ama got a right hand outside grip and executed an uwatedashinage move. In the middle of the move he reached for Toyonoshima’s left lower leg, grabbed it and pulled it upwards while pushing Toyonoshima from behind. The outcome was a quite dominating kozumatori that sent Toyonoshima rolling down off the dohyo. In juryo, rising star