The Fundamentals of Uchimata (over 40 mins of Uchimata video)

January 25, 2016
by Matthew D’Aquino

Uchimata is one of the most popular throws in Judo. When you go to Japan and train nearly every single fighter can hit you with a nice uchimata at least once during randori. It is also the quintessential ‘Judo’ throw and it graces the cover of most Judo books.

Uchimata is a great technique for a number of reasons:

  • First off. It feels incredible. When you hit a nice seoi nage, ouchi or tai otoshi it feels good. But when you pull off an Uchimata you feel like superman.
  • Secondly with an uchimata you only have to get your leg between you opponent’s leg. So it is less risky opposed to a harai goshi
  • Thirdly, every comes off and into an uchimata. Uchimata has endless entries and combos. Go for an uchimata and finish with an ouchi, kouchi, tai otoshi, harai, twitch, sasae, sumi gaeshi and tomoe nage OR you can attack with an osoto, kouchi, ouchi, kosoto, deashi, tai otoshi, sasae and finish with an uchimata. The options are truly endless.

Last week I was cruising the net (as I do) and came across some great videos on Uchimata from 3 X Olympian Maje Omagbaluwaje.

In these two uchimata videos he covers a number of fundamental critical to having a successful uchimata. throughout this video note the positioning and direction of his hands as well as his hip, feet and arm placement.

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In this next video we see Neil Adams demonstrating the essential aspects of Uchimata. What I love about Neil’s stuff is the fact that he always talks about planes and angles, but thinking (and teaching) like this we can understand how and WHY Judo works. The only thing I hate about both of these uchimata videos (Neil’s and Maje’s) is that their uke is clearly 30-40kgs lighter than them.

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Let’s break this down into more detail:
Foot placement is vital to a good Uchimata (or any Judo throw). Too close and you block the space resulting in your opponent being not off-balance or too far away and your throw is rendered useless.
In this video below the japanese video really goes over the foot placement really well. Notice the rotation on the first foot placement as well as the depth of the support leg.

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