By Joshua Hagen
Uchi mata is my absolute favourite throw in judo. When executed perfectly, it is just beautiful, which probably plays a huge factor into why it is the most used technique at the international level in the world. With that being said, knowing how to deal with a fighter with a good uchi mata is incredibly important. Below I have put together three different counters for uchi mata.
First: Uchi Mata Sukashi, call me old school but this is my favourite. It is the definition of using your opponent's strength against them as you are slipping past them and most of the force of the technique is what your partner puts into the attack.
This video is the modern uchi mata gaeshi also known as the step over, stretchy leg or delgado (as I have variously heard it called). The first time this throw really stood out to me was in the final of the 2001 World Championship final at 66kg. It was won by Arash Miresmaeli (pictured at the top) of Iran with this modern rendition of uchi mata gaeshi. It is now by far the most utilized counter for uchi mata on the world scene.
Finally, we have the classic uchi mata gaeshi, which some people refer to as the back sweep. It is a great counter to have in your repertoire, especially if you use the modern uchi mata gaeshi. As your opponents try to adjust their posture back from your first counter, you follow through with the classic uchi mata gaeshi.
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