|The "Judo Jumper": Coming to a Fall Fashion Line near you!|
I like techniques with many entries, many set-ups, many options in which it can be used.
Owing to the fact that I've hit uchimata in MMA, Judo, and BJJ, today we will revisit one of the initially easiest Judo throws there is. That and the fact that recently I hit a sweet uchimata to head/arm choke in a tournament.
Again, like the cross-collar choke, or the armbar, do not confuse basic with inferior. What makes it basic is how applicable it is from a variety of situations.
I was never much of an uchimata guy from the beginning of Judo. In fact, I tended to use it as a counter to weak/poorly set up single leg attempts than as an outright throw on my part.
Don't let anyone tell you this "basic" technique will not work.
I've used it in gi, nogi, bjj, judo, wrestling, mma sparring with 16 oz. gloves.
Once I found that the uchimata worked as a counter, and I began competing more frequently in BJJ, I started looking for lower risk throws that did not open my back, involve complete commitment. Particularly as players compete at a higher level, they adopt defensive posture and look to hop on your back as you enter for a big throw. Again, in Judo, the defensive, avoidant, throw-averse-resistant player will be penalized into changing his posture. In BJJ, he can remain here as long as he would like. Granted, he poses little if any threat to you other than perhaps an ankle pick or a single leg, provided you are wary and control with a strong lapel/sleeve grip.....but he can be more difficult to throw, particularly early in your Judo trainingz.
See defensive posture here:
He is dead set on maintaining his Vulcan death grip and keeping his hips as far back as possible to avoid the big entry/forward throw. To quote my coach, his hips are far away from you which does make him perhaps harder to throw, but he also has virtually decided he will not be doing any big throwing as well.
The above stance is the perfect entry for uchimata. Specifically, a variation of uchimata known as "ken-ken".
The Japanese call it Ken-Ken uchimata, simply meaning "again, again" b/c of the again and again hopping action it often takes to tip the little resistant tea pot right over onto his back.
Notice the brief, but extremely bent over posture of the non-Japanese player:
His weight has broken the center of gravity line, with a tug/kuzushi, his weight will be even more unbalanced, and driving his head down and around will facilitate this throw into the mat.
As a bonus, here is probably the greatest documented Uchimata player demo'ing one of his many variations of this classic and ergonomic throw: