Yokozuna Comparisons
Joe Kuroda
SFM’s historian, JK, wraps his two-part article on the greatest of the tsuna wearers

Amateur Sumo's Global Aspirations
Courtesy: International Sumo Federation
What exactly is it and furthermore, what does it do? The ISF explain themselves and their purpose in existing

Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Man or myth? Sumo's first yokozuna comes under the spotlight

Heya Peek
Barbara Ann Klein
Tokitsukaze-beya and its famous find themselves the target of Barbara's peek into life inside the heya

SFM Interview
Mark Buckton
Featuring interviews with amateur sumo's European Sumo Union General Secretary and the President of the newly founded Irish Sumo Federation

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein
Would chanko exist without sumo? What is chanko anyway? Find out in Sumo 101

Photo Bonanza
See the Haru
Basho through the eyes of the fans in the seats as SFM gives the mantle of photographer(s) for this basho to Barbara & Gerald Patten. And don't miss our all-Mongolian Bonanza supplied by our Editor, Barbara Ann Klein

Haru Basho Review
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Haru Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila covers the lower division goings on like nobody else around

Natsu Basho Forecast
Mark Buckton
Mark Buckton glances back to look forward in his ones to look out for come May

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Our man Mikko takes us on a tour of his chosen kimarite

Sumo in Print
Mark Buckton
Our gaming thread takes a break for April so we can look at the Spanish language book on the sport not long since released

Kokugi Connections
Todd Lambert
Todd’s bimonthly focus on 3 of the WWW's best sumo sites today

Fan Debate
Facilitator – Lon Howard
April's man VS monkey debate covers the issue of reducing the number of honbasho

SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
Sit back and enjoy the offerings

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that
made you a sumo fan? Thierry Perran lets us in on his reasons for loving this sport

Readers’ Letters
See what some
See what our featured letter is for this issue

Sumo Quiz
The Quizmaster
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.

Oshidashi, Oshitaoshi, Tsukidashi & Tsukitaoshi

by Mikko Mattila
pure belt sumo. The main pushing and thrusting techniques in sumo are oshidashi, oshitaoshi, tsukidashi and tsukitaoshi. In all these techniques the goal is to just push and thrust the opponent out or down to the ground without necessarily touching the belt.

Since 1990, the main pushing technique, oshidashi, has been the winning technique in about 20% of the makuuchi division bouts. During the first half of the 1990s, the ratio between yorikiri and oshidashi was roughly 2 to 1, (yorikiri was twice as common as oshidashi) but in the latter half of the '90s and to date, the ratio shifted quite drastically, resulting in a peculiar phenomenon – that of oshidashi having caught up with yorikiri and actually being the most frequently used technique in the makuuchi division in 2002. In the last three years, yorikiri became the leading technique once again, but the gap is not so wide anymore compared to the 1990s and earlier. In 2005, oshidashi was seen 350 times and yorikiri 453 times.

Oshitaoshi and tsukidashi are around the 10th and 11th most

Pushing is the natural reaction if you want to move someone away from you. Every one of us knows very well what pushing something using the hands feels like, and how it feels to be pushed. In principle, oshi-zumo, or “pushing” sumo is a safe attack since whenever the attacker pushes forward, the opponent gets closer to the edge and the attacker has a clear forward view of his own location on the dohyo. Sumo is quite a unique sport in terms of the significance of the pushing power. It may be the only sport of “wider” attention in the world where the win can be achieved solely by pushing the opponent. In other grappling and contact sports, pushing can have a specific role, for example, as in American football, but not as purely decisive as in sumo. The rules of sumo enable the simplest of the simplest winning strategies; just push your opponent out of the dohyo. No need for wrestling moves, throws, blocking punches or
aiming at any specific goal area – just pushing. One could argue that the only element that slightly tarnishes the simplicity of winning by oshi-zumo is the existence of the rice bales, tawara, where the defender gets a clear advantage on the slippery dohyo and can even get back into the bout thanks to the leverage and friction the tawara offers.

Yotsu-zumo, or “belt” sumo, is considered traditional sumo and, indeed, it is more common than oshi-zumo. Most of the yokozuna have been much more inclined to do yotsu-zumo than oshi-zumo, and it is said that it is highly unlikely that anyone could rise all the way to the rank of yokozuna using just a pushing brand of sumo. Yokozuna Akebono was possibly the most feared oshi-zumo yokozuna, but he was also very capable of yotsu-zumo, beating the embodiment of that technique, yokozuna Takanohana, many times in
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