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Uchi Mata Lesson

Uchi Mata Lesson textbook vs Elbow up

Uchi Mata Lesson

If you’ve evet been taught uchimata in a judo dojo, it’s likely been with this classic textbook method:


The lapel hand lifts high, forearm braces into uke’s armpit, and elbow stays down.

Kosei Inoue and Hidehiko Yoshida, renowned uchimata specialists, both show it this way. But in competition footage of these same judoka, you’ll see something quite different.
The elbow swings up as the hand trails…
This is completely counter to textbook form,  yet great majority of competition uchimata have this elbow-up action.


Elbow-up variations of are so successful because they simplify uchimata to its core motion: tilting.
Stripped of unnecessary exertions and restraints, uchimata becomes more versatile and more powerful.One of the most common errors judoka makes when learning uchimata is trying to lift uke in the air.

This is understandable because:

-textbook form treats uchimata like generic forward throw

-judokas are already familiar with lifting throws like seoi nage and o goshi

-the purpose and merits of uchimata are left unexplained

Now this part here may be disputed bu some bit common ground is that simply not every sensei noways is actually proficient in uchimata so errors of sensei’s sensei are coming to spotlight here.


And often we see judokas making a tremendous effort to pull uke, bring hips across bend the support knee and attack the far leg.
And this is not a typical competition example or eave a good practice at a sparing.
Elbow up variation excels at a crucial element of uchimata “Bringing uke’s head down and forward”

With good see-saw action and posture controll, elbow-down uchimata can be very effective particularly in right to left matchups.
Part of why elbow-up variations of uchimata are so successful is that this allows an attack over opponents block.





Elbow up uchimata can be dangerous to both tori and uke if without full control experience and proper technique. Do not try this in a competition setting without actually practicing it this way. Competition techniques are always a bit of a stretch when compared to textbook/kata techniques. Kata is a form that is to be followed once one learns judo. After you master the form, a textbook technique, than and only than you can actually bend it to suit your sparing and competition needs.

Hope you enjoyed reading this and please watch the video it is really in depth Uchi Mata Lesson.

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