Friday, January 28, 2011

Things to be able to do from ukigatame

Ukigatame (knee-on-belly) is probably the most important hold-down taught in judo.  It is one of the two most-common transitions from standing to groundwork (the other is makikomi).  I recommend all of my students when practicing nagekomi of a throw that does not involve makikomi, always finish in ukigatame  (kneeling on top of a downed opponent) if possible.
Here are a handful of things that you probably ought to be able to do from ukigatame -
  • get completely away from uke with minimal exposure to being grabbed or struck
  • maintain ukigatame as uke tries to bucks, shrimps, bridges, and rolls
  • transition to tateshiho, munegatame, or kesagatame
  • attack simple chokes, like katatejime, in order to expose uke to armbar attacks
  • attack jujigatame or hizagatame on the near or the far arm falling backward or forward
If anything on that list seems like a stretch to you, I would recommend doing some drilling on that skill with a non-resistant partner, then try it out in randori.
Patrick Parker
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