Uchimata is one of the most spectacular throws in Judo. Don't believe us? Ask Alisha Galles, US National Champ in 63kg division. This technique makes for some of the best highlight reel footage when browsing YouTube. In fact, the general population probably thinks of uchimata (unbeknownst to them) every time they think of judo throws. Yep. That popular.
In this video, 3x United States Olympian Travis Stevens teams up with 63kg US National Champ Alisha Galles to show you her version of Uchimata. While basic, Alisha's version is still extremely effective in competition. Evidenced by her US champion title.
Take a look and learn uchimata from this dream team duo. They break it down into bite size pieces to help us out with comprehension. Remember, no matter what age, weight division, or gender you are, you can always learn uchimata and use it in competition. Whatever your preferred version is, just make sure it works for you!
Uchimata is one of the most spectacular throws on the IJF Circuit!"
- The best grip for Alisha's version of this throw is pretty basic but super effective. She has a hand on her opponent's collar and locks down on the sleeve with her other hand, "killing" the sleeve. This ensures that her opponent's hand cannot come up.
- Her opponent's struggle to raise that hand will allow Alisha to pull and knock her opponent off-balance. Making it easier for her to step into her opponent.
- With Alisha's pulling arm, she keeps her elbow higher than her shoulder, creating a bunch of space for her to creep into her opponent and control them.
- Use your best uchimata footwork to finish the throw!
A Final Thought
Everyone has their own version of uchimata. Travis and Alisha are both seasoned veterans in this throw. Being proficient in uchimata (amongst many others) is just one of the skills you'll learn at the team USA training location, Pedro's Judo Center in Wakefield, MA.
The best part of uchimata, aside from it being an awe-inspiring spectacle, is how accessible of a spectacle it can be. While not necessarily easy to learn, there are ways to make it your own and make it work for you and your style of judo.
Learning from Travis and his team is a great opportunity to improve your judo! Have some fun and let us know how it goes!