Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Gambledub, Aug 24, 2015.
It should be no surprised to anyone at this point that
A. The kata version isn't realistic or the best and
B. Traditionalists will continue to defend the kata method and teach it with their dying breaths.
One argument that often comes up is power generation, the main claim being that the elbow low and in allows you to generate more power. Now while I'll agree that the elbow in and tight is more efficient for generating power upward, that's not what you really need to uchi mata as the vid points out. What you need is pulling, rotational power, and the high elbow is much better for that. Hell, many of the most powerful movements humans can execute (think Olympic snatches and clean & jerks) require high elbow pull and massive trap involvement. When I teach uchi mata I no longer even show the elbow-in method. I have literally never seen it pulled off between people of anywhere near equal skill level in randori or shiai.
Great video. Elbow up is the only way I have thrown anyone even halfway worth their salt with uchimata.
Since my takedowns are terrible, I might be crazy but in terms of nogi I feel the overhook grip variation seems to mimic this too. Or I guess Georgian and belt grips in the gi too.
Yes, the whizzer uchi mata is similar. It allows you to force the head forward and down via shoulder pressure, which is what you need. You can also throw uchi mata with the underhook, but then it tend to be more hippy and less leg + rotation.
Yeah I was gonna mention that too. Do you think the underhook and overhook kinda parallel with the classical vs practical respectively? I find the underhook nicer for transitioning to ankle picks for example due to the "lift"
IMO, the true competition uchimata is essentially like a standing butterfly sweep ... it is the *rotation* of the torso that drives it, and the huge misconception is that it is about lifting and picking your opponent up. In neither case is that correct, the hooking leg is literally just sort of holding the guy so he can't move while you rotate him.
Very different than the beautiful kata version, but also far more versatile and useful.
There is one huge advantage to the traditional version, however, which is that the level of control and upright posture involved makes it a lot easier to throw and train safely in randori. The competition version, almost every time involves diving the head so that you are throwing with a ton of weight on you while your head is like a foot from the floor looking down (again, you are basically diving into a butterfly hook sweep). Unpleasant if anything goes wrong.
We are taught uchi-mata both ways, elbow in, and elbow up. Also with a waist grip like o-goshi, but this is just to teach basics.
I am not good at it yet, but my feeling is that 'elbow up' requires breaking opponent posture, or just be taller. If my opponent is of the same height or taller I simply cannot lift my elbow high enough to clear space.
I see that in competition it is done both ways. Of course it is easier to get dominant grip, break posture and shoot from that, and we see it done more often than elbow in version.
I haven't watched the video in detail, but skipping through I was pleasantly surprised. Was expecting a shallow review. Maybe this guy should do competition osoto video lol.
As for traditional vs. comp version, it still remains that a) teaching the traditional way yields valuable lessons b) recreational people cannot do the throw or take the falls c) this technique is optimized for Judo contests vs. very strong people.
Put it another way, if you were a middle aged out of shape weakling, would you want to do this technique on the street? That is, spend all your energy just so you can roll over uke who will proceed to own your now limp body afterwards?
Or, what if you face someone a head taller? You might wish you could throw with the elbow down version.
As with the previous osoto discussion, take a crash pad and see which way you can throw uke harder.
I've seen a lot more recreational people struggle to do it the traditional way than the video way. In addition, I don't think I've ever seen it performed with the elbow in in high level competition. It's odd to me that in Judo but apparently in no other sports you're specifically arguing that because high level people do it a certain way that that way won't work for normal people. It's not like this is some idiosyncratic personal technique like Zantaraia's uchi mata, this is how basically everyone who competes does it every time they compete. It seems absurdly worshipful of tradition to argue that despite all that it's still not the best way to do it.
I guess that is the catch: recreational people aren't able to do it the traditional way either. There is no doubt there is a much higher skill requirement (and skill gap between players) to execute traditional techniques. What you get in return is that it takes much less energy. So the payoff appears when you are older but skillful but vs. less skillful opponents.
I recently had to take a long break because I tore something while brute force finishing an armbar (I wanted to finish this purple belt but the clock was running out). I can only imagine what damage I could be doing if I tried to play Judo like I used to.
Could it be that this variation is the reason that the vast majority of uchi matas also result in tori rolling through to the bottom position? This is something that I'm always disappointed with in uchi mata highlights. It seems that throwing with your chest positioned above your opponents head would naturally result in a roll-through. What do you guys think?
Cool video and interesting discussion. Makes me wish I had infinite time to train judo/wrestling and a body that wasn't already wrecked at 30 to handle it. I only "know" o goshi and osoto gari, and when it actually comes to live training, all I have is guard pull, a super slow shot that always gets squashed, or staying defensive and waiting to sprawl...
The same is true for all forward throws though -- at high-level competition, before they changed the judo rules to make it less so, there is an advantage in explosively driving through the throw rather than halting your momentum on the ground. The rolling has always been very lame (a lot of judo throws were resembling a flying back-take, where you violently pull your opponent onto your back and then dive into the ground, super-retarded), and it's decreased a bit in high level competition from what I can tell, due to the rule changes.
Seoi nage guys roll just as much, if not more, than uchimata guys.
Harai goshi/osoto are the two 'big' throws where you really see guys consistently land with good control and without the roll.
With uchi mata, what you really want for BJJ competition is the sort of ken ken throwing mechanic where the guy falls on his side, getting him to the ground, not the monstrous full-tilt rolling launch version you see in judo. The ken ken style is almost more of a trip, which is a lot more practical than the immensely loaded "looking at the ground from 1 foot away" ippon hunting style.
I certainly think hitting throws with good timing and movement based kuzushi requires less energy, I'm not sure the traditional way is that much better than competition varieties but certainly for most throws the more cleanly you hit it the more it will look like the kata versions.
In general I just think the idea that Judo is a sport you can realistically do to an advanced age against younger partners going full speed is silly. You can practice, but you can't practice as you would for competition into your 50s and 60s. In addition I think your throw mix changes a lot. There's no way to get around the fact that throws like uchi mata and seio nage require a quick turn, a strong pull, and lifting an opponent all the way off the ground. Many ashi waza and sutemi waza however you can do until you're quite old with no problems.
I do however think that for uchi mata the traditional way is just really unrealistic at any age or skill level, unless you're so much better you can just do whatever you want to uke. I don't think that's true of throws like seio nage or tai otoshi where the traditional versions work pretty much as is there are just modifications like dropping made for competition.
I've hit traditional uchimata in randori, but only against people I am a lot stronger or faster than. Either I can snap uke's arms out so he can no longer stiff arm me, or I can get 'in' before he gets a chance to do so.
Usually, I end up with something like the 'elbow up' version, or the side-step version.
Here's Inoue demoing the "ken ken uchimata" Zankou was describing for those who are unfamiliar with it.
Though the elbow is down!
FWIW, I don't think elbow up is as big of a difference compared to drop seoi. It's really just a way to help lower uke's head when you can't get close contact. You are doing the same thing elbow down as well, just you are close enough to push uke's head instead of pulling it down.
Rather than calling it traditional, I should call it "textbook, version 1". Basically, uchimata users can do all sorts of variations and adjust on the fly. Not like seoi, where you either a drop, or you don't.
I do agree that uchimata is physically difficult, which is part of the reason I am getting interested in tai otoshi now.
Though, I have seen players in the 50's and even 60's who would give non-elite players a terrorizing on the mat still. Granted they were pretty elite in their time :icon_cry2
Certainly if you're good enough you can practice until an old age. I just haven't seen many average black belts still doing well in randori past their 40s. Hell, I more or less gave up Judo for BJJ in my late 20s due to injuries.
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