Thread: Uchi mata
9/03/2011 4:51pm, #1
First off apologies to everyone who voted for this in my ‘What to do next’ thread and special apologies to Python BJJ who contacted me requesting this and I promised him it would be my next one and then pumped out a load of others and left him waiting for a few months, sorry old chap.
Uchi mata, one of the most common scoring techniques in Judo. Beloved of the Japanese and one of the sexiest throws in Judo.
Also a throw I’m pretty terrible at, but I think I have a few tips that may help people with it.
So, without further ado.
Uchi mata is one of the Judo throws, where the centrality and applicability of tsurikomi, can be seen most clearly.
The hand action for Uchi mata is the classic tsurikomi action.
The hikite/ sleeve hand draws diagonally upwards, the wrist rotating so that the palm faces towards the mat.
The tsurite draws upwards and forwards, with the forearm fitting into the pocket created by uke’s elbow.
As always ensure that your kuzushi action is continuous keeping the sleeve hand raised and both arms working together throughout the throw.
Remember, that you must never separate the hand action from the foot action and that the two are simultaneous and mutually reinforcing.
As always you should observe the triangle spacing rule, stepping to the peak of the triangle.
And step into place with your feet in the correct position.
My coach advises that you want to step as if there were an imaginary line bisecting uke’s feet and place your supporting foot on that line and that you shouldn’t place your foot too far off that line.
Rather ensure that the support foot is planted on the line
I’ve not heard, read or seen anyone else make this point, but as he can chuck me all other the room with Uchi mata I’m going to trust what he says.
Placing the supporting foot on the line is done to ensure that your bodyweight continues in the direction of the throw.
Rather than drifting away from it.
This also helps to facilitate correct placing of the hips...
As in most Judo throws you should ensure that you raise uke’s centre of gravity with your kuzushi action and lower your centre of gravity as you enter.
And here arises the controversy.
Hip or leg?
Do you do Uchi mata as a ‘hip throw’ or do you do it as a ‘leg throw’?
Uchi mata is classified as an ashi waza, but many examples of Uchi mata especially Inoue’s have uke loaded onto the hip as part of the throwing action, causing many to liken it to a koshi waza.
In the ‘canonical’ hippy Uchi mata uke is fully loaded onto the hip and then the leg is deployed to reap.
However, in other Uchi mata uke is thrown by the leg action with less than full loading.
I’m not really arsed which one you do as long as get your foot work right and do the correct tsurikomi/ kuzushi action with the hands, then you’re likely to have a successful Uchi mata.
This is centrally a safety issue.
You must not allow your head to fall too far down when committing yourself to the Uchi mata as if uke rides out the Uchi mata or counters it you can end up landing on your head or neck. This risks major spinal and head injuries and can result in paralysis or even death.
Some head decline is to be expected in a fully committed Uchi mata in a competitive situation. However, always be aware of the dangers and look after yourself and your partners.
This is labelled as an O uchi – Uchi mata combo, but is essentially what you need to know for Ken Ken Uchi mata.
The key here is Yamashita’s point about ‘pulling down’ with the sleeve hand its incredibly important to ensure successfully completing a ken ken Uchi mata.
The other key element is to hop in ever decreasing circles.
Hop in an ever tightening spiral whilst driving down with the sleeve hand and driving with the lapel hand to complete the Ken Ken Uchi mata.
With each successive hop bringing your supporting leg closer to uke’s leg remaining on the ground.
Against a left hander
Explained in full here.
O uchi gari to Uchi mata:
Yamashita’s point about ‘pulling down’ with the sleeve hand is incredibly important to completing this combination.
Ko uchi gari to Uchi mata:
There are obviously many others such as O soto gari – Uchi mata, Tai otoshi – Uchi mata etc... However, I wasn’t able to find video examples of sufficient quality so have left them out. If you, however, follow my guide on how to practice combinations then you will be able to chain together pretty much whatever techniques you want with Uchi mata.
Drilling Uchi mata
Note the use of the tsugi ashi step.
I hope this has been useful to people.
And as always, comments, critiques and questions are welcome.
9/03/2011 5:57pm, #2
You going to call up Neil and inform him his jiko ashi foot placement does not conform to your article?
Nice job, and to add one point that judoratt pointed out on JF: Tori needs to make sure he has good upper body contact before moving the leg through.
That finally made me realize why I could do Uchi Mata, but was having a hard time teaching my students to get it correct. Once I realized it after the post on JF, I tried it and found that was what I was doing. My one guy who does Uchi Mata saw a major improvement right away with that teaching cue.
Support leg placement can be different depending on the exact type of entry used, but for the basic version being in the middle more or less is correct.
BenFalling for Judo since 1980
9/03/2011 6:06pm, #3
He has been quite certain about it though, he's done it at multiple seminars and sessions he's run and I've talked to him about it before and he's stressed its importance. So I can only assume there's something in it somewhere.
Anyway as the piece says, its optional, so feel free to disregard it.
Incorrect footwork, hand action and hip positioning ensures poor upper body contact, so it all is self supporting and feeds into each bit.
9/03/2011 6:42pm, #4
- Join Date
- Sep 2006
You're brave for writing this up. Uchi mata is not easy.
Regarding upper body contact, my coaches say that (close your years J_uk) the tsurite hand is essentially useless; uchi mata is almost all hikite unless you're a super athlete. Uchi mata is easier when you get the tsurite hand out of the way-throw it over uke's shoulder or back or around his shoulder and pull like hell with the hikite hand. And nearly every competition uchi mata is thrown from the high collar or over the back grip.
One of the major versions they teach has the supporting leg well outside uke's leg, much like the Adam's clip you posted although with more rotation.
9/03/2011 7:28pm, #5
The foot more less on center line is the easiest, and requires the least kinestetic awareness. I can move my foot around and adjust my body positioning somewhat to compensate, depending on circumstances.
It's true of course that if footwork and hands are in sync, the correct body contact/relations will be more likely. In the case of my student, he was trying to throw the leg too soon, before in the correct position. Hands/feet were OK. Sometimes it worked and turned into a very "leggy" Uchi Mata, other times it flopped badly. His Ouchi Gari and Kouchi Gari are so good, it begs for a good Uchi Mata to followup if necessary. Now he's got it at last.Falling for Judo since 1980
9/03/2011 7:33pm, #6
I've thrown Uchi Mata in shiai a few times, and as I recall, it has been from either a high collar or regular lapel grip.
I usually do a Kouchi Gari to Uchi Mata combination and jump under uke pretty far (in shiai at least).Falling for Judo since 1980
9/03/2011 7:57pm, #7
Hmm, I'm not sure about the 'abandoning the tsurite' bit.
For me, regardless of the throw, you need both hands to be active and working together.
Obviously a strong hikite action is good and often a strong hikitevaction can compensate for a weak tsurite action.
However, my admittedly terrible, Uchi mata relies on a strong and domineering tsurite action combined with pinning down the sleeve, as demonstrated by Yamashita.
I've only thrown, for ippon, once with Uchi mata in shiai and it was over all too quickly for me to analyse which hand had the most effect. My two 'perfect' uchi matas in randori were both done left handed from double lapel and, from memory, both hands acted together.
Personally I find beginners find it very easy to fix hikite issues, but very hard to fix tsurite issues. So I tend to concentrate on fixing tsurite issues.
9/03/2011 8:20pm, #8
I pin down the sleeve too, especially in randori or shiai, as it's nearly impossible to get the classic high pull. The whole bending the back thing comes into play as well.Falling for Judo since 1980
9/03/2011 8:26pm, #9
By 'pin down' I mean what Yamashita shows in the video:
I never, consciously, bend back for Uchi mata. I think if I saw someone doing it, I would probably correct them.
Not that, bending back is wrong. Just that its out of my experience for a correct Uchi mata.
I would concentrate on getting their feet and hands sorted and then on getting their hips in the right place and let the rest sort its self out.
9/04/2011 1:18am, #10
Do you, by chance, have advice for throwing with uchimata without the gi?The fool thinks himself immortal,
If he hold back from battle;
But old age will grant him no truce,
Even if spears spare him.