2020 Lonestar Sumo Tournament (San Antonio, Texas)

Hello again all you wonderful people and welcome to Grand Sumo Breakdown. Mak is back with another review of sumo tournaments here on the home front. This time, we are reviewing the Lonestar Sumo Tournament that happened back on September 12, in San Antonio Texas.

This event was put on by Tom Zabel and Mighty Eagle Sumo and held at Kung Jung Mu Sul of Texas. Tom is the founder of Mighty Eagle Sumo Club and has over thirty years of experience with sumo wrestling. He also wrote the book “Sumo Skills: Instructional Guide for Competitive Sumo.” If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, I highly recommend it. It will get you started on some Sumo basics as well as familiarize you with the winning moves / kimarite. The book is a GSB favorite and served as a guide for our sumo journey. It seemed only fitting that a man of Tom’s prestige and expertise should serve as the referee/gyoji for this event. While I would have loved to have seen a gunbai in Tom’s hand, maybe that can be added to the wishlist for 2021.

Anyway, the tournament was scored using the Texas State Champion Scoring system. Not knowing much about this method of point tracking, I was intrigued to learn more. Points are awarded to competitors throughout the state of Texas over the course of a year. Points are earned according to the following: Competing: 5 points, Wins: 1 point, Bronze: 1 point, Silver: 2 points, and Gold: 3 points.

The breakdown of the divisions for this tournament were:
Women’s Openweight
Men’s Lightweight (187 lbs. and under)
Men’s Light Heavyweight (220 lbs. – 253lbs.)
Men’s Heavyweight (254 lbs. and up)
and Openweight.

The announcers Cal and David served as the ring side commentators and provided excellent insights on the wrestlers histories. They took the time to highlight each participant and give a brief record history as well as some great play by play reactions.

I was happy to see some familiar names among the list of competitors and very excited to see what they could do this time around.

CLUBS AND SUMOTORI:

Dark Circle Sumo Club: (M) Justin Kizzart [Founder], (M) Sam Kempka, and (M) William Ward

Houston Sumo Club: (M) Nicholas Ton

Mighty Eagle Sumo Club: (F) Nicole Burgess, (M) Brandon Alexander, (M) Joshua Blackburn, and (M) Caleb Baccus

Oni Sumo Club: (F) Gabriela Posadas and (M) Brandon Page [Founder]

Pasadena Sumo Club: (M) Will Robinson

No Club Affiliation Mentioned: (M) Andrew Roden from Alabama

The video of the event can be found in the link below and as I said in my Consulate’s Cup review, I strongly urge you to check it out if you have the time.

************SPOILERS APPROACHING**************

************SPOILERS APPROACHING**************

************SPOILERS APPROACHING**************

************YOU’VE BEEN WARNED****************

Women’s Openweight Division:
This came down to an amazing playoff. At 2 and 2 both ladies fought to the bitter end to claim the gold. They were excellent bouts, showcasing Nicole’s powerful throws and mawashi grips against Gabriela’s balance and footwork. In the end though, footwork and ring sense hailed Gabriela as the victor.
MEDALISTS: (GOLD) Gabriela Posadas, (SILVER) Nicole Burgess

Men’s Lightweight Division:
Some of the most explosive tachiais belong to the lightweight division, and the same was true for Nicholas, Justin, and William. These guys hit fast, locked up, and took each other to the ground. Smack downs, pull downs, throws, and trips it was great to see these guys using a plethora of techniques to take each other down. While Nicholas’s tachiais were fierce, it all came down to master and student for the top spot. Will brought the intensity with every match but Justin’s prowess was on point.
MEDALISTS: (GOLD) Justin Kizzart, (SILVER) William Ward, (BRONZE) Nicholas Ton

Men’s Light Heavyweight Division:
The light heavyweights combine their speed and size for an awesome display of power. Fast off of the shikiri-sen, Sam Kempka keeps his feet square and his base low while using his long arms to force his opponents back. Brandon Page with his chest to chest belt grappling, standing his opponents up and forcing them off balance. Brandon Alexander absorbing the blows of every tachiai while keeping a smile on his face, stopping the charges cold and attempting to pull his opponents down. However, the powerful tachiais and piston arms that were Sam Kempka, prevailed.
MEDALISTS: (GOLD) Sam Kempka, (SILVER) Brandon Page, (BRONZE) Brandon Alexander

Men’s Heavyweight Division:
The heavyweight division are always ones I love to watch. While Will Robinson displayed his explosive arms and legs with powerful tsuppari, Joshua Blackburn charged his opponents in an attempt to secure a commanding grip on the mawashi. Meanwhile, Caleb Baccus plants his feet and keeps his base low, halting the charges and forcing his opponents to grapple. However, Andrew Roden was able to combine a defensive tachiai, blocking his opponents hands from reaching his mawashi and maneuvering them to the edge of the tawara for the win.
MEDALISTS: (GOLD) Andrew Roden, (SILVER) Caleb Baccus, (Bronze) Joshua Blackburn

Openweight Division:
By far, the openweight is my absolute favorite. This division is as close to the Japanese circuit of sumo competition. And by that, I mean it skill on skill, no weight divisions, no classes, just who can put who to the floor or out of the ring first. It all came down to experience in this division. Justin Kizzart using his fast and low tachiai combined with his ring sense, Sam Kempka with his square base and powerful tsuppari, and Andrew Roden with his defensive tachiai and belt deflections.
MEDALISTS: (GOLD) Andrew Roden, (SILVER) Sam Kempka, (Bronze) Justin Kizzart

****************TOURNAMENT REVIEW****************

It was a fantastic showing from all of the participants and the sense of camaraderie and fun blended well with the seriousness and competitive attitudes of each sumotori. Some of the big takeaways I got from watching this tournament were each person brings their own experience from different backgrounds and expresses it through their sumo:
Will Ward with his intense tachiais and using his BJJ grappling experience to get a hold of the mawashi and take down his opponents.
Nicholas Ton’s energetic bouts, taking the punishment and getting back up for another round as befitting of a never say die boxer.
Caleb Baccus using experience as a sumo heavyweight to maneuver his opponents for the yorikiri or the hatakikomi
Andrew Roden with his wrestling background, keeping his opponents at arms length, clinching, and forcing the takedown.
Sam Kempka and his oshi style sumo, keeping his opponents on their heals showing what the number one light heavyweight in the U.S. can do.
Justin Kizzart with his ring sense and poise, showing the years of experience as a U.S. Sumo Champion.

Cannot wait for Lonestar Sumo Tournament 2021! Hakkeyoi!

If you’d like to know more about a specific club or organization, check out the links below!

United States Sumo Federation: https://www.ussumo.org/startingsumo

Dark Circle Sumo: https://www.darkcirclesumo.com/about

Mighty Eagle Sumo: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Mighty-Eagle-Sumo-112948177091948/posts/

Pasadena Sumo Club: https://www.facebook.com/PasadenaSumo/

The Consulate’s Cup (October 10th 2020)

Hello all you wonderful people and welcome to the first page I have written in a very long time. How long has it been? Well…check the lyrics to Yusho Race. This time, I have something that has gotten me up off of the couch and made me put down my notebook of sumo matches. U.S.A SUMO! That’s right! We’ve got rikishi on the home front ready for the spotlight.

On the show we have talked with Ed Suczewski of the United States Sumo Federation (U.S.S.F) and his career with sumo wrestling in the U.S. One of the big takeaways he has stressed is that there are many clubs and organizations that make up the U.S.S.F with a lot of amazing competitors. While that had definitely gotten my attention, after some digging, I found out there are three events held each year for sumotori here in the U.S. The U.S. Sumo Open, Fitcon, and U.S. Sumo Nationals. And now, thanks to two ladies with a podcast down in Texas, we found a fourth tournament.

ENTER SUMO KABOOM and the Consulate’s Cup

For those of you who have not given them a listen yet, I recommend you check them out! They have good banter, interesting segments, and are fun to listen to. On one of their most recent episodes, which I listed below, they spoke with Justin Kizzart and Derrick Garza regarding a brand new event dubbed called the Consulate’s Cup down in Austin Texas. Justin is the founder of Dark Circle Sumo and he and his organization created the tournament. He has been competing in Sumo since 2018, having been a medalist and participant in Nationals and the U.S. Sumo Open multiple times. The event was scheduled to be at the Asian American Resource Center but complications arose due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Luckily, Derrick is the owner of Dark Clan Fight Lab and offered to host the event at his facility. I would be doing Laurie and Leslie of Sumo Kaboom a disservice in just giving a brief summary of the interview nor could I fully capture the energy of Justin and Derrick. The whole episode is below and if you have the time, listen to the whole thing, but if you want to skip to the interview segment, it begins around 18:25.

Sumo Kaboom Interview with Justin Kizzart and Derrick Garza.
https://open.spotify.com/episode/6Dk3ShfZLSDyHyTdabr8zg?fbclid=IwAR1rSF-IbnDsyiqZlPv5rFkrm1UZxZM_ywU50FtoIhxKW9zR2uhmWwngizU

After I listened to their episode, I was stoked! I couldn’t wait for October 10th. When it finally arrived, I was treated to great commentary by Justin as he and Derrick announced the rikishi and their weight divisions. I was fascinated by the sheer number of participants, their clubs, and the amount of skill each rikishi displayed. Below is a list of those sumotori who competed in the event.

Black Widow MMA: Jorge Castaneda (M)

Brasa Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Austin: Will Ward (M)

Dark Circle Sumo: Sam Kempka (M), Eros Armstrong (F), and Jevon Armagh (M)

Dark Clan Fight Lab: Wesley Laird (M) and Derrick Garza (m)

Florida Sumo Association: Cornelius Booker (M)

Georgia Sumo Club: Jacob Gill (M)

Houston Sumo Club: Nicholas Ton (M)

Jackson Wink MMA: Kayla Yontef (F)

Lone Star / Mighty Eagle Sumo: Caleb Baccus (M), David Murray (M), Joshua Blackburn (M), Brandon Alexander (M), and Nicole Burgess (F).

Ohayo Sumo Association: Nick Biggs (M) and Dillon Biggs (M)

Red Devil Sumo Club: Billy Mitchell (M)

Sumo Club LA: Jose Galindo (M)

The Community Sumo Club: Kyle Ferritar (M) and Nate Pastorello (M)

Titan Sumo Club: Americus Abesamis (M)

Check out the how each competitor did by watching the livestream of the event, here: https://youtu.be/KPAYYLw83oM

*********************SPOILERS AHEAD**********************

********************SPOILERS INCOMING********************

A summary of the match results and medalists is shown below. But again, I highly encourage you to watch the event.

*********************SPOILERS BELOW***********************

*********************YOU’VE BEEN WARNED******************

Men’s Lightweight Medalists: Gold: Derrick Garza, Silver: Dillon Biggs, Bronze: Weslie Laird

Men’s Middleweight Medalists: Gold: Cornelius Booker, Silver: David Murray, Bronze: Nate Pastorello

Women’s Openweight Medalists: Gold: Eros Armstrong, Silver: Kayla Yantef, Bronze: Nicole Burgess

Men’s Light Heavyweight Medalists: Gold: Jacob Gill, Silver: Nate Pastorello, Bronze: Sam Kempka

Men’s Heavyweight Medalists: Gold: Jose Galindo, Silver: Caleb Baccus, Bronze: Kyle Ferritar

Coed Openweight Medalists: Gold: Jose Galindo, Silver: Jacob Gill, Bronze: Cornelius Booker

These are the men and women here in the U.S. that are passionate about sumo wrestling and working to hone their craft. The Consulate’s Cup was a great way to introduce a new event onto the U.S. Circuit and I cannot wait for next year to see both new faces and old faces battling it out on the Dohyo. Hakkeyoi!!!

If you would like to know more about a particular club or starting your own, check out the links below!

United States Sumo Federation:https://www.ussumo.org/startingsumo

Black Widow MMA: https://blackwidowmma.com/

Brasa Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Austin: http://www.mebjj.com/

Dark Circle Sumo: https://www.darkcirclesumo.com/about

Dark Clan Fight Lab: https://darkclanfightlab.com/

Florida Sumo Association: https://www.facebook.com/FLSumo/

Georgia Sumo Club: https://www.facebook.com/GeorgiaSumoClub/

Jackson Wink MMA: https://www.jacksonwink.com/

Lone Star / Mighty Eagle Sumo: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Mighty-Eagle-Sumo-112948177091948/posts/

Ohayo Sumo Association: https://www.facebook.com/Ohayosumo/

Red Devil Sumo Club: https://www.facebook.com/rdsumoclub/?ref=py_c

Yusho Race (A Poker Face Parody)

As some of you may recall, I have not had the best luck when it comes to the prediction series. Though I did win Natsu, I had previously lost Aki, Kyushu, and Hatsu. My Kyushu punishment was to transform a verse or two of a popular song and make it sumo based. Additionally, I had to sing said lyrics over the podcast. For those of you who tuned in, you know I went a little overboard and decided to transform the whole song instead. Below are the verses for Yusho Race! (A Poker Face Parody)

Original Song is Poker Face by Lady Gaga.

Next time you Karaoke to Poker Face just remember… Matta Matta!

~Mak
____________________________________________________________________________________________

Matta Matta
Matta Matta
Matta Matta
Matta Matta
Matta Matta

I wanna hold’em ’till the gyoji takes is place
Star’em, snare’em, flare’em hit that tachiai with grace (I love it)
Honbasho matches, badass rikishi from the start
But fall behind your betters as your yusho falls apart

Oh noooo Oh nooo Oh noooo oh nooooooo
Don’t have the heart, bad move from the start
Oh noooo Oh nooo Oh noooo oh nooooooo
Don’t have the heart, bad move from the start

Can’t get by, can’t reach my, no I fall in the yusho race
He’s not a badass rikishi
Can’t get by, can’t reach my, no I fall in the yusho race
He’s not a badass rikishi

Yu yu yu yusho race, yu yu yusho race
Matta Matta
Yu yu yu yusho race, yu yu yusho race
Matta Matta

I hit the clay with an Okurinage
Okuridashi’s lot more fun without me (don’t love it)
Hatakikome use the shoulder, back, and arm
But Fumidashi’s got to be the worst move of the art

Oh noooo Oh nooo Oh noooo oh nooooooo
Don’t have the heart, bad move from the start
Oh noooo Oh nooo Oh noooo oh nooooooo
Don’t have the heart, bad move from the start

Can’t get by, can’t reach my, no I fall in the yusho race
He’s not a badass rikishi
Can’t get by, can’t reach my, no I fall in the yusho race
He’s not a badass rikishi

Yu yu yu yusho race, yu yu yusho race
Matta Matta
Yu yu yu yusho race, yu yu yusho race
Matta Matta

Can’t do Izori or Tottari
Sabaori or Ashitori
Got no lovin, so I’m bummin
I keep trying, won’t be lyin, showin sick skills at this rhyming
But that basho, is the hot show
Grab your chusin and don’t be pushin
Soldout shows be watching dohyos
Rankin’ Makuuchi or the Juryos

Can’t get by, can’t reach my, no I fall in the yusho race
He’s not a badass rikishi
Can’t get by, can’t reach my, no I fall in the yusho race
He’s not a badass rikishi
Can’t get by, can’t reach my, no I fall in the yusho race
He’s not a badass rikishi
Can’t get by, can’t reach my, no I fall in the yusho race
He’s not a badass rikishi
Can’t get by, can’t reach my, no I fall in the yusho race
He’s not a badass rikishi
Can’t get by, can’t reach my, no I fall in the yusho race
He’s not a badass rikishi

Yu yu yu yusho race, yu yu yusho race
Matta Matta
Yu yu yu yusho race, yu yu yusho race
Matta Matta
Yu yu yu yusho race, yu yu yusho race
Matta Matta
Yu yu yu yusho race, yu yu yusho race
Matta Matta
Yu yu yu yusho race, yu yu yusho race
Matta Matta
Yu yu yu yusho race, yu yu yusho race
Matta Matta