Friday, July 20, 2007

The post that had a poorly chosen name

Uchimata sukashi, translated as something like, "slipping the inner thigh throw," is another non-technique. It is really cool when it happens, but it is not really a skill or a principle, so does not really deserve a lot of practice or a place in the Shinmeisho no waza. You just try to figure out when the other guy is going to do uchimata and then step aside so uke can bust himself for you.

I remember one of the guys I used to practice with a lot had a bad hang-up about sukashi. This was part of his rank requirement for his next rank but he'd been hurt by a clumsy sukashi so he decided that all sukashi was dangerous and shouldn't be practiced. He was willing to forsake ever ranking again to avoid this one thing. I told him, "Look, knucklehead," (or something like that), "you just step aside then do sumiotoshi just like you practice all the time in aikido. There's no magic in sukashi."
"Oh..." he replied and went back to practicing the thing, conveniently renaming it sumiotoshi in his mind.
So, sukashi is another thing that I don't teach. If someone asks about it, I tell them to step aside and do sumiotoshi, which they already know.


  1. Forgive my ignorance, but what did the competitor do for which he should be ashamed? I guess I just don't understand the situation well enough.

  2. ok, my post title was harsh, but semi-joking. people pretty much universally feel stupid when they throw themselves into sukashi. it's a mistake that tends to make folks feel stupid. check out blue's reaction in this video

    of course, the triumph of competition is in the trying and the doing.

    maybe i should have named the post something like "I bet he feels bad."

  3. Ahhh... I get it now. I thought from the title that the counter was somehow dangerous or underhanded.

    Thanks for the clarification!

  4. Thanks for keeping me straight - neither competitor in that video did anything shameful or bad. I just didn't think about that title as much as I usually do before I mashed "publish."

  5. actually pat i used to think of sukashi the same way but Moose showed me the special little skill that is developed to get real sukashi action -- it involves not stepping out of the way and throwing the guy but rather a quick tight inward rotation of the hip so that you leg, knee and ankle turn -- the knee actually closes to your supporting leg

  6. That's pretty cool, Nick. I'll have to try that trick out.


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