Uchikomi: Yes or No?

Hey folks,

My friend and I are both bjj purple belts, who have always been interested in judo, and have practices what we know for a couple of years (our bjj black belt also is a shodan in judo....which he received prior to his bjj training...).

Recently we discoverd an article by an Judoko (I can't remember his name...) who advocated against the practice of Uchikomi, in favour of varying levels of resistance drills, where the throws are completed each time. He was quoting research by sports psychologists who claim that for skill acquisition in shiai and randori, Uchikomi is practically useless (not my opinion....just passing the info on).

So...what do you think? What has your experience and training taught you about uchikomi? Drills...or Uchikomi?



Throws completed each time?

Well if uke doesn't mind, go for it. I think I'd be worn out though.

My 2c:

If you are trying to learn a new throw you don't want to do uchikomi. You
need to get a "feel" for how to do the throw, and this means throwing and
being thrown - safely. It helps a lot to have someone to watch.

If you only work on throws for a small percentage of practice time then if
you do any uchikomi you should consider doing moving uchikomi where
you simulate the kinds of movements and position you get into in
sparring and fit from there and sometimes throw. That way you train
yourself to know when is a good time to throw. There are tons of things
you can do here - just walking in a line, moving in circles, hitting

Uchikomi poorly done can really screw up your technique. I would stick with the throwing drills first. Some moves don't have uchikomi example morote gari and kibsu gaeshi.
If your uke doesn't mind throw him all you want.

IMO it is vital, esp. three man, which allows you to enter will ill-intentions and not actually throw anyone. but i suck and this is just my humble opinion. And btw, both Koga and Jeon do uchikomi.

Take Care,


We do a lot of Uchikomi's, but we vary it up for different things. We do walking Uchikomi's for timing, we do speed uchikomi's for entry's, we do 3 man uchikomi's for power. Uchikomis are probably the best tachiwaza conditioning tools that I've seen. You do them right, and you're worn out. We actually practice uchikomis more than throwing for reps. We finish up with a few rounds of tachiwaza randori every class though, so I guess it balances out.

Excellent points H2ODragon...

At my club we do the exact same thing (all kinds) every practice...and believe me if you work hard you can for sure get gassed.

Take Care,


UCHIKOMI is just a drill. there are lots of ways to do it.

static uchikomi are very difficult for a beginner to do well, IMHO. I dont teach them until people are starting to grasp the concept of what they want to do with the throw and now need to add another level to it.

anything done poorly will ruin your judo-- uchikomi or nagekomi doesnt matter. if you do it poorly youll end up sucking big toe cream.

if you do it well, you will be able to perform the technique much better.

I am in no way an expert on Judo but what I noticed is that there seems to be some kind of traditional way to do Uchikomis. BY this I mean you are supposed to use specific grips when drilling specific throwis Uchikomi style.

I have never really understood this because I use different grips when doing these same throws in randori. Personally I use the same specific grips when doing Uchikomi that I use on randori and not the "traditional or whatever" ones.

Joshua Resnick,

Excellent post.


From my understanding there is NOT one specifc way to do uchikomi in terms of grips etc. In fact uchikomi is suppose to be very personalized. The so-called "traditional way" is just the basic, or better said, introductory way of doing uchikomi. Most Japanese, when they do uchikmoi vary their grips and often use their favor grips. They also vary their entry or setups. Take a look at how Isao Okano does uchikomi for his favorite throws. His way of doing uchikomi for his favorite throws is different, often in subtle ways, then how someone else would do the same throw.

With uchikomi you are suppose to focus on the first two parts of the three parts of the throw. The three parts are kuzushi, tsukuri and kake. The two parts you're suppose to focus on in uchikomi are kuzushi and tsukuri.

Kuzushi roughly translated means off-balance. And Tsukuri, again roughly translated, means entry.

Uchikomi is meant to be a means of "developing" you're kuzushi and tsukuri as they relate to the throw or sweep.

I am an uchikomi supporter. It developes correct lifting/footwork/timing and body position just prior to the execution of the throw using speed.