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Short legs and uchi mata Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Tom123 

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 04:49 PM

Hi

I'm only 5'4 and have short but strong legs. Is it possible for somebody in my position to be able to do a good uchi mata against a much taller opponent or is it a bit of a non starter for the vertically challenged? I've only been doing judo for a few months, so apologies if this should be in the beginners' section.

Thanks
Tom123
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#2 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 05:16 PM

View PostTom123, on 13 February 2012 - 01:49 AM, said:

Hi

I'm only 5'4 and have short but strong legs. Is it possible for somebody in my position to be able to do a good uchi mata against a much taller opponent or is it a bit of a non starter for the vertically challenged? I've only been doing judo for a few months, so apologies if this should be in the beginners' section.

Thanks
Tom123


About everything is possible if your jûdô is good enough, and if the technical gap between yourself and that of your opponent is large enough (to your advantage). Is it ideal ? No. If you are very short and your opponent very tall, then your margin of error will be reduced, meaning that a relatively tiny loss of control will likely lead to complete failure of the throw, whereas if the situation would have been reversed (you very tall, your opponent very short) you might get away with still relatively larger loss of control.

Biomechanically uchi-mata consists of two opposing forces around the center of gravity, and exerted in the sagital plane (one force vector towards the front, the other towards the back, both possibilty somewhat tilted depending on how much lifting action will occur). The movement thus is a rotation around a horizontal lateral axis. The resultant force is perpendicular, and needs to be added to the gravitational force causing the opponent to be thrown. In other words, uchi-mata, unlike what some people think is not major point of lifting the opponent up with your sweeping leg as much as possible. If you can, fine, as it likely reduces his recovery options, but it is not really the purpose. From a physics point of view (not from a jûdô-pedagogical or Kôdôkan-categorization point of view) uchi-mata is the same as ô-soto-gari but in the 180° opposite sense. Ô-soto-gari is easier to understand and does not require long legs either, nor does it result really relay on how high you can pull up your leg. Instead it relies on tight control and optimal debana (choice of moment and opportunity). In other words, what you will need to focus on (with help from your instructor), is preparation, proper lifting and pulling action with your arms as well as optimal kuzushi, and sensing the proper moment of applying the technique. Uchi-mata is not an easy technique, and rarely does someone succeed in properly mastering it before reaching the highest kyû ranks.
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#3 User is offline   Link 

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 05:19 PM

Uchimata isn't just about the leg, any waza can be applied no matter the size, shape or weight of a person. While certain waza might be "better" for a certain body type it is still possible to apply any waza, it depends alot of opportunity, practice and skill . There are other threads about this same issue, that you might wanna look into. Good Luck!


Edit: CK beat me too the reply! lol :lol:

This post has been edited by Link: 12 February 2012 - 05:20 PM

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#4 User is offline   bob thomas 

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:51 PM

View PostTom123, on 12 February 2012 - 04:49 PM, said:

Hi

I'm only 5'4 and have short but strong legs. Is it possible for somebody in my position to be able to do a good uchi mata against a much taller opponent or is it a bit of a non starter for the vertically challenged? I've only been doing judo for a few months, so apologies if this should be in the beginners' section.

Thanks
Tom123

Get your hips in very deeply/Make it more of a hip technique/ There are many variations.Te- Uchimata is a good one for a shorter man.If your main attack fails and it is a right side technique.Grab his standing leg with your left hand and pull it towards you/ It is a good alternative.You could change it to tsurikomigoshi also.
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#5 User is offline   Judomac 

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:29 PM

I'm 5ft 6 and uchi-mata is one of my best throws in competition! Make sure you have your opponent moving fluidly, plenty of kozushi to open up your opponent and fully commit to the throw. Plenty of arm movement to compensate the lack of height mid-throw and self belief has helped me no end. Being a small bloke in the -73kg bracket means the majority of my opponents are fairly taller than myself so they expect a drop-seio nage so nobody expects an uchi-mate or hari-goshi! Stick with it my friend and you will reap the benefits!
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#6 User is offline   Shindai Warrior 

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:21 PM

View PostTom123, on 12 February 2012 - 09:49 AM, said:

Hi

I'm only 5'4 and have short but strong legs. Is it possible for somebody in my position to be able to do a good uchi mata against a much taller opponent or is it a bit of a non starter for the vertically challenged? I've only been doing judo for a few months, so apologies if this should be in the beginners' section.

Thanks
Tom123


As has been pointed out it's not a beginner level technique. It's best to develop a good level of skill on throws in the first two sets of the Gokyu, first. It will also reduce your risk of injury.

Judo is a progression of skill development. That is part of the fun and why it provides a long term challenge.

If over the years, you are able to perform it well on people close to your size, then as has also been pointed out, doing it really, really well will surprise tall people.
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#7 User is offline   Tsurumaki 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 12:50 AM

A short (but broad) Japanese judoka called Chikashi Nakanishi, from Waseda University, used to do uchi-mata. He did a spinning (right-hand) uchi-mata, planting his support leg quite deep outside his opponent's left foot and sweeping the leg a little bit above the knee (how much above depending on the height of the opponent). He used the spin to help his pull with the left hand, and, being shorter than the other man, used his right forearm to push up the opponent's elbow, getting the uke nicely unbalanced. He taught it to me and it worked in contest fairly well, until I came to Japan. In Europe, opponents were stiffer, which helped me apply the throw. In Japan, they were looser and more flexible, so often could step off my attempt. In other words, I was good at spinning but poor at the all-important pulling, and that showed up clearly in Japan.

This post has been edited by Tsurumaki: 13 February 2012 - 12:51 AM

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#8 User is offline   slacker 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:16 AM

View PostShindai Warrior, on 12 February 2012 - 06:21 PM, said:

As has been pointed out it's not a beginner level technique. It's best to develop a good level of skill on throws in the first two sets of the Gokyu, first.


Uchimata is in the first two sets :huh:
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#9 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:19 AM

View Postslacker, on 13 February 2012 - 10:16 AM, said:

Uchimata is in the first two sets :huh:


... and what does that mean ?
"The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
"Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
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#10 User is offline   slacker 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:28 AM

View PostCichorei Kano, on 12 February 2012 - 08:19 PM, said:

... and what does that mean ?


Is that a zen question of sorts? Where does placement of it really mean when there are so many good judoka who can do uchimata well but not,say, tai otoshi. I dunno.

shindaiWarrior seemed to suggest that OP is better served by concentrating on throws from the first two sets of the gokyo instead of uchimata. However that throw is indeed in the first two sets, but of course towards the end. So a bit of confusion here I thought.
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#11 User is offline   Francois 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:34 AM

View PostShindai Warrior, on 12 February 2012 - 03:21 PM, said:

As has been pointed out it's not a beginner level technique. It's best to develop a good level of skill on throws in the first two sets of the Gokyu, first. It will also reduce your risk of injury.

Judo is a progression of skill development. That is part of the fun and why it provides a long term challenge.

If over the years, you are able to perform it well on people close to your size, then as has also been pointed out, doing it really, really well will surprise tall people.

This has been discussed at length by myself and others, but the order of the gokyo has nothing to do with the difficulty of the throws.

There are different variations of uchimata. A shorter person attempting uchimata on a taller person would be best served by attempting a deeper hip uchimata and the trajectory of the sweep should be slightly outwards away from tori's body to lessen the chance of a taller opponent stepping or hopping over the leg.

This post has been edited by ptnippon: 13 February 2012 - 02:39 AM

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#12 User is offline   judoratt 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:27 AM

uchimata is a advanced throw, doesn't mean you can't learn it. I used to be almost 5'61/2" now much closer to 5'5" :blink: :blink: Uchimata has always been one of my favorite throws, it never mattered how tall they were. Back in the day I would regularly catch Mike Barnes 6'2" 95kg with it. As long as you use the clasic uchimata with upper body contact and the deep hip as PT said height won't be a problem.


BTW Short legs and Uchimata kind of describes me.:big grin: :big grin:

This post has been edited by judoratt: 13 February 2012 - 06:42 AM

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#13 User is offline   Shindai Warrior 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:03 PM

View Postptnippon, on 12 February 2012 - 07:34 PM, said:

This has been discussed at length by myself and others, but the order of the gokyo has nothing to do with the difficulty of the throws.

There are different variations of uchimata. A shorter person attempting uchimata on a taller person would be best served by attempting a deeper hip uchimata and the trajectory of the sweep should be slightly outwards away from tori's body to lessen the chance of a taller opponent stepping or hopping over the leg.


Agreed, but the OP is a beginner.

What skills and what level of skill would you require or recommend before uchi-mata is to be taught or attempted in randori?

I think a beginner, especially at 44 years of age as is the OP, is taking on a high risk of injury by attempting to use uchi-mata if other skills are not yet established, more so in Randori. That risk would be multiplied if he was attempting to use it on other beginners.

I'd be inclined to want to see his O Soto Gari and Harai Goshi skill before recommending Uchi-Mata.

I tend to be cautionary about injury, especially for middle-aged knees on beginners.
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#14 User is offline   JoshuaResnick 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:12 PM

Ratt... there are several other possible way to describe you as well, though, admittedly, they are all nicer than the best that can be applied to me.

that being said, i always liked tall guys who used uchimata because often they made the technical mistake of thinking their legs could carry the throw when in truth they cannot. no matter what your body stature or relative strengths, weaknesses, speed, timing, flexibility, the only question to if a throw can work for you is the degree to which you can grasp the concepts to it and apply them with relative success against people of increasing difficulty and skill.
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#15 User is offline   billc 

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:01 AM

My sensei ... who was vertically challenged and ultimately quite stout ... had an excellent uchimata ... similar to Jin Iizumi's BTW.

My sensei used to say "My legs are not too short! They reach the ground, don't they?"
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