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Uta Abe's Sode Uchi mata
21 Aug 2020 09:35
Yesterday we wrote about the standard uchi mata forms, but Uta Abe is well-known for her uchimata and her sode-tsurikomi-goshi. And sometimes, she combines both of them to do a hybrid sode-uchimata which is rather unique. Oon Yeoh describes the details.
This technique usually happens when she is in a fierce gripping battle and her opponent is holding on tightly to her right sleeve.
If she is convinced her opponent is not going to let go, she rips into a low uchimata, pulling her right arm over. Uke, who is still holding on tightly to the sleeve, inadvertently allows herself to be pulled over because of the grip she is maintaining.
Although in the picture above, it might look dangerously like a waki-gatame, in reality, this movement doesn't ever come close to a waki-gatame as Abe doesn't trap uke's left arm. She just pulls it forward and downward to facilitate the uchimata.
It's very effective but only because uke is holding on so tightly to Abe's right sleeve. And uke is doing so because she is trying to prevent a sode-tsurikomi-goshi. So, the key to making this technique work is having a strong sode in the first place. Without it, uke might not hold on so strongly, and this technique would then no longer work.
This innovation seems to be unique to Uta Abe as I have not seen any other player do this on a regular basis. Her brother, Hifumi Abe, does sode as well but not uchimata and he does not do this hybrid variation.
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