Monday, August 12, 2019

First strategies for uke and for tori

In judo, we assign names to the two partners in an engagement.  Sometimes picking out who plays each role can be tricky, but in very broad terms...

  • uke is the guy that hits the ground first.
  • tori is the guy left standing when uke hits the ground.

Just because someone has fallen does not mean that the encounter is ended.  Both uke and tori have things they need to be putting into action as uke is hitting the ground - strategies that will improve each guy's chances of coming out on top when the encounter really is ended.

  • tori wants to guide uke to the ground so that he lands facing away from tori, and then tori wants to move into a controlling position or hold.  In our class, ukigatame (floating hold or knee-on-belly) is the most common position that tori moves to as uke falls.
  • uke wants to fall safely, and then immediately turn to face tori and shift to place his knees or feet between him and tori.

You can easily turn this set of conflicting first strategies into a micro-randori session.  Specify a throw and do nagekomis,  if uke is able to fall then turn toward then he wins but if tori is able to throw and then set ukigatame before uke turns in then he wins - fun little addition to nagekomi practice.

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Patrick Parker
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