*sigh* too late for that one. And sadly I'm starting to think the same. It doesn't help that Shingo legit said he's TERRIFIED of SASUKE now... I worry for him...
See, I feel that there's a solid difference between Yamada and Shingo in this case. Yamada is still dead serious about kanzenseiha (no matter how unlikely it is for him at this point), while Shingo seems to go to SASUKE to have fun and enjoy himself.
Yamada, as many of us know, was never able to tolerate other people (save for Nagano, cause no one hates Nagano) and would be all "me me me". Shingo on the other hand is clearly hanging out with his friends and there to have a good time. Where Yamada cries, Shingo always has a smile on his face.
Is he scared of SASUKE? Maybe. But at this point, with obstacles like the Dragon Glider and the Planet Bridge, who isn't at least a little intimidated?
Shingo is a good sport and I feel that if he really sets his mind to it he could clear Stage One again. He did it in 29 (about... 5 years ago...) but if Akiyama could redeem himself after a string of falls, so can he.
I really doubt Yamada is still serious about Kanzenzseiha.He is basically retired, the only tournaments he competed in since 28 where anniversary tournaments like 30 and 33 plus he's also still technically banned.
Mentally he gave up. That's been a topic of discussion. Once he got to the USA and saw the rest of the world.. it sunk in. The amount of work he'd have to do to get to that level is something he doesn't want to go through. He's hit a plateau and a few years ago that was good enough. Not anymore. Then he got to the final twice and as per tradition the show exploits their weaknesses (doesn't matter who it is) and it took out Ryo and Yuuji because they won't go past their comfort zone. People like Morimoto by comparison breaks out of where he is "comfortable" because that's what you do when you train. If training is easy.. you need to step it up. Ryo won't.
Correct me if I'm wrong about this, but from the most recent videos I've seen, he's still notably ahead of pretty much every American in regards to his ability to complete stage 3, so it's pretty disappointing to hear that he's discouraged and not putting in the effort or, at least, the right kind of training to get over the warped wall. Because honestly he isn't that far off from being one of the best in the world again.
I wish he would follow Hioki's example. I really think seeing Drew's ability has played a part in Hioki's recent success - he's so much more athletic and explosive on obstacles like the salmon ladder and backstream than he was a year or two ago. If Ryo can follow that example then surely he'll pass the first stage. And Ryo is much younger than Hioki is, so he's got a lot of time on his side still.
Ryo barely trains anymore. He mostly kicks his training in a few weeks before a tournament, but besides that he doesn't do much.
Does he still do upper body and stuff like that?
I don't know. I've never talked to him personally. Only one who could answer that is probably Ryo himself. He barely trains though. Probably just enough to keep his general level of fitness (or almost enough) but he's certainly not trying to improve upon himself.
When you're checked out mentally, it's over. He's not just going to luck into an amazing run.
What I wonder is if someone like Ryo is barely training for the competition anymore, then why is he competing? I don't mean that with any malice, I'm just curious.
He's a Shin Sedai, 2-time Finalist and best friends with the 2-time Champion. That's required. The show won't take him out - he'd have to do it himself and honestly as long as Yuuji is competing I would expect Ryo to join him.
TBH reading about Ryo hardly training and then showing up to competition reminds me of NBA players like Shaq and Shawn Kemp who didn't keep up their fitness during the offseason and show up to training camp out of shape and try to get into shape just before the season (or worse, play their way into shape when the season starts)... seems like he's checked out mentally here