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    How useful is uchikomi?

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    afja_lm139

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    Uchikomi back in the days :)

    Post by afja_lm139 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:11 pm

    Forgive me if this gets too long; but, it depends on how one does uchikomi as to how effective it is.  One caveat and qualifier:  way back in the 1950’s and 1960’s we just did not have very many qualified sensei in most of the USA, so when many of us black belt types retuned from the “Far East, “(Japan, Okinawa, Philippines, etc.) not many of us were past shodan, nidan and a rare sandan, so we began to either assist or out right teach Judo wherever we were stationed.  If one got out of the service it was difficult to even find a dojo.  So, consequently we, the really unqualified instructors, had to make due.  Occasionally some higher ranking instructor would drop in and try to straighten us out, but for the most part we were on our own.  You see, our students really did not get top notch Judo instruction, sadly I must admit.

    When at Naha Air Base we would do uchikomi in place where Uke would start off without much resistance and then increase it after awhile. Tori would do a bunch of right side, then left side of whatever technique sensei suggested (most sensei there hardly ever spoke, just nod and grunted) and we never spoke, but grunted or kiai.   After awhile Uke world begin to move about, mostly in a circular manner, and Tori would do a bunch of techniques in step while moving about.  After that Tori would begin to switch from left to right, depending on the technique, and it would end up being a one sided randori where Uke increased resistance; and stiff arming Tori, so after Tori and Uke were beginning to really sweat – Uke and Tori would switch places and repeat that sequence.

    After each had enough of that and were hot and sweaty, nearly exhausted – then free style randori would commence. Usually followed by sensei showing us how bad we were, correcting and so on.  In those days, practice was serious business, we would go for hours.  You see, the only real way to develop techniques from uchikomi is to be bone tired then hard randori.  At least that was the way it was then.

    Weekends we would go downtown to the Police Dojo where all the mudansha would clean up, wash windows and make sure the ‘ka mizu’ had ‘mizu’ for the ‘mizu ka.’  You use; we did not get water during practice; only sensei did.

    Uchikomi began with in a static or stationary manner and evolved into a dynamic manner where Uke would start off easy and increase stiffness, resistance and usually stiff arming Tori; so Tori had to learn the workarounds.  We always did right then left techniques and subsequently many of began favoring left side because most Judoka who never trained over there were taken aback by it.  Uchikomi done correctly is a great training tool.  But, I left the Far East as a wiry, skinny 22 year-old black belt that could shiai like hell, but teaching was never considered.  It was sad in a way that we had so few sensei to learn from and that we probably taught some not so good Judo and uchikomi practice.  

    There were some really good sensei scattered about the country; some Judo got organized, along with the usual Judo politics, that we just ignored as much as possible.  Out of it some sensei would travel around or we would seek them out, train and continue learning.  Very important part of Judo is learning.  Many of us got really stagnant and after decades of that some of us walked away from it too early in the career. I suspect, just IMHO, that if things had been different our Judo would have turned out to be more popular here.  

    Old Jeff
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:02 am

    afja_lm139 wrote:Forgive me if this gets too long; but, it depends on how one does uchikomi as to how effective it is.  One caveat and qualifier:  way back in the 1950’s and 1960’s we just did not have very many qualified sensei in most of the USA, so when many of us black belt types retuned from the “Far East, “(Japan, Okinawa, Philippines, etc.) not many of us were past shodan, nidan and a rare sandan, so we began to either assist or out right teach Judo wherever we were stationed.  If one got out of the service it was difficult to even find a dojo.  So, consequently we, the really unqualified instructors, had to make due.  Occasionally some higher ranking instructor would drop in and try to straighten us out, but for the most part we were on our own.  You see, our students really did not get top notch Judo instruction, sadly I must admit.

    When at Naha Air Base we would do uchikomi in place where Uke would start off without much resistance and then increase it after awhile. Tori would do a bunch of right side, then left side of whatever technique sensei suggested (most sensei there hardly ever spoke, just nod and grunted) and we never spoke, but grunted or kiai.   After awhile Uke world begin to move about, mostly in a circular manner, and Tori would do a bunch of techniques in step while moving about.  After that Tori would begin to switch from left to right, depending on the technique, and it would end up being a one sided randori where Uke increased resistance; and stiff arming Tori, so after Tori and Uke were beginning to really sweat – Uke and Tori would switch places and repeat that sequence.

    After each had enough of that and were hot and sweaty, nearly exhausted – then free style randori would commence. Usually followed by sensei showing us how bad we were, correcting and so on.  In those days, practice was serious business, we would go for hours.  You see, the only real way to develop techniques from uchikomi is to be bone tired then hard randori.  At least that was the way it was then.

    Weekends we would go downtown to the Police Dojo where all the mudansha would clean up, wash windows and make sure the ‘ka mizu’ had ‘mizu’ for the ‘mizu ka.’  You use; we did not get water during practice; only sensei did.

    Uchikomi began with in a static or stationary manner and evolved into a dynamic manner where Uke would start off easy and increase stiffness, resistance and usually stiff arming Tori; so Tori had to learn the workarounds.  We always did right then left techniques and subsequently many of began favoring left side because most Judoka who never trained over there were taken aback by it.  Uchikomi done correctly is a great training tool.  But, I left the Far East as a wiry, skinny 22 year-old black belt that could shiai like hell, but teaching was never considered.  It was sad in a way that we had so few sensei to learn from and that we probably taught some not so good Judo and uchikomi practice.  

    There were some really good sensei scattered about the country; some Judo got organized, along with the usual Judo politics, that we just ignored as much as possible.  Out of it some sensei would travel around or we would seek them out, train and continue learning.  Very important part of Judo is learning.  Many of us got really stagnant and after decades of that some of us walked away from it too early in the career. I suspect, just IMHO, that if things had been different our Judo would have turned out to be more popular here.  

    Old Jeff

    Thank you for the refreshingly insightful post. Judo WAS very popular in the US at one time, as you know. That may have been due to it being "the only game in town" and its popularity within the military, what do you think ?

    Modern coach/sports training was sorely missing in Judo (in the US at least) even when I started to practice in 1980. First efforts to require coach training/certification were met with huge amounts of resistance.
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    BillC

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by BillC on Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:56 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    afja_lm139 wrote:Forgive me if this gets too long; but, it depends on how one does uchikomi as to how effective it is.  One caveat and qualifier:  way back in the 1950’s and 1960’s we just did not have very many qualified sensei in most of the USA, so when many of us black belt types retuned from the “Far East, “(Japan, Okinawa, Philippines, etc.) not many of us were past shodan, nidan and a rare sandan, so we began to either assist or out right teach Judo wherever we were stationed.  If one got out of the service it was difficult to even find a dojo.  So, consequently we, the really unqualified instructors, had to make due.  Occasionally some higher ranking instructor would drop in and try to straighten us out, but for the most part we were on our own.  You see, our students really did not get top notch Judo instruction, sadly I must admit.

    When at Naha Air Base we would do uchikomi in place where Uke would start off without much resistance and then increase it after awhile. Tori would do a bunch of right side, then left side of whatever technique sensei suggested (most sensei there hardly ever spoke, just nod and grunted) and we never spoke, but grunted or kiai.   After awhile Uke world begin to move about, mostly in a circular manner, and Tori would do a bunch of techniques in step while moving about.  After that Tori would begin to switch from left to right, depending on the technique, and it would end up being a one sided randori where Uke increased resistance; and stiff arming Tori, so after Tori and Uke were beginning to really sweat – Uke and Tori would switch places and repeat that sequence.

    After each had enough of that and were hot and sweaty, nearly exhausted – then free style randori would commence. Usually followed by sensei showing us how bad we were, correcting and so on.  In those days, practice was serious business, we would go for hours.  You see, the only real way to develop techniques from uchikomi is to be bone tired then hard randori.  At least that was the way it was then.

    Weekends we would go downtown to the Police Dojo where all the mudansha would clean up, wash windows and make sure the ‘ka mizu’ had ‘mizu’ for the ‘mizu ka.’  You use; we did not get water during practice; only sensei did.

    Uchikomi began with in a static or stationary manner and evolved into a dynamic manner where Uke would start off easy and increase stiffness, resistance and usually stiff arming Tori; so Tori had to learn the workarounds.  We always did right then left techniques and subsequently many of began favoring left side because most Judoka who never trained over there were taken aback by it.  Uchikomi done correctly is a great training tool.  But, I left the Far East as a wiry, skinny 22 year-old black belt that could shiai like hell, but teaching was never considered.  It was sad in a way that we had so few sensei to learn from and that we probably taught some not so good Judo and uchikomi practice.  

    There were some really good sensei scattered about the country; some Judo got organized, along with the usual Judo politics, that we just ignored as much as possible.  Out of it some sensei would travel around or we would seek them out, train and continue learning.  Very important part of Judo is learning.  Many of us got really stagnant and after decades of that some of us walked away from it too early in the career. I suspect, just IMHO, that if things had been different our Judo would have turned out to be more popular here.  

    Old Jeff

    Thank you for the refreshingly insightful post. Judo WAS very popular in the US at one time, as you know. That may have been due to it being "the only game in town" and its popularity within the military, what do  you think ?

    Modern coach/sports training was sorely missing in Judo (in the US at least) even when I started to practice in 1980. First efforts to require coach training/certification were met with huge amounts of resistance.

    Old Jeff ... I left your post intact as a quote rather than shorten it because it's worth a read again. Yes, I think you caught an aspect of American Judo correctly, it matches what I remember from the '70s from my ex-military instructors ... except that you forgot to mention the abysmal mat conditions.

    But I suspect that the US was not unique. The "no water" and "to be bone tired then hard randori" approaches still exist and even today such practices catch the attention of news media in Japan and subsequently a lot of parent's groups who no-way-in-heck want their kids to ever practice judo. Nor is it unique to judo in the US ... just look at a typical small-town football program and the "just run it off" mentality persists as well ... my Dad was a 4-year varsity quarterback in high school but in retrospect I see that when it came to his only son the no-way-in-heck rule about football was applied.

    In other words, I don't think that things would have been much different in the long run because there was precious little modern sports science anywhere. There were, and are, a far larger number of people in responsible positions with fat bellies and a colorful belt with nary a clue than there are run-of-the-mill dan grades who know how to teach.

    Ben, I think what you may be touching on is the fact that in the US and in Japan have not reckoned with the fact that the old way of doing things ... which was simply to use attrition and a tough-but-not-so-smart informal practice structure to feed competitive judo ... that there are no longer large numbers of kids to use as cannon fodder for the naturally strong and aggressive. And you are right about attempts at formal training ... blocked by famous judoka who refuse to participate at all and subverted by high ranks who breeze their favorites through well-thought-out programs without actually ever doing the work. In other words ... the same politics that young Jeff refers to.

    I remember a time, and a Japanese friend and I were laughing about this, when the answer to every question was "go do 500 uchikomi" ... probably because by and large that is all his sensei knew.


    _________________
    Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

    - Kipling
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    afja_lm139

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by afja_lm139 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:13 am

    Ben,

    My entry into Judo or jujitsu, never remembered what, was a result of former military guys returning home from Japan with Judo knowledge. Much of Judo in my life at least was via military contacts. We used to have great repoire with civilian Judo dojos as well. It all seemed to be gong okay until Judo politics raised it ugly head and destroyed all the work we did.

    Back sometime either in the 1960’s or 1970’s I suggested to some high Judo muckety-mucks that if they were so intent on making Judo more popular they should take lessons from General Pak’s Taekwondo organization. My suggestion was met with scorn and disbelief. I shut up and never offered suggests again. Imagine a Judo dojo on every corner next to every gas station in the USA how popular Judo would be. Just proves that raising up to Judo muckety-muck is not a sign of intelligence.

    Not saying I knew more than others, just after observing how Judo growth progress slow down what we old guys said had had a ring of truth in it. Not a mad old guy; just a sad old guy.
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    afja_lm139

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by afja_lm139 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:25 am

    BillC,

    Speaking of “abysmal mat conditions,” I remember using old GI mattresses covered with anything we could find and our dojo was someone’s garage, and/or a back yard on grass. Those plus the baggy wrestling mats were much better than those thin, sticky rubber mats at some places we used. My ankles still hurt!

    Bone tired practice was a method for us to learn to use technique instead of strength. After all, once your strength is used up only pure Judo techniques is all that you have left. I was more fun to be able to match up with someone a few grades higher if everyone was tried.

    True that we must evolve or progress along, but one must never lose sight of the ways of old. At any rate, most of us did not believe in the “ends justify the means,” approach; Judo was a multi faceted activity; sport Martial Art, and recreation.

    "go do 500 uchikomi" is similar to us Budo-heads saying, “have a cup of tea.”


    idealab

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by idealab on Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:25 am

    Old Jeff, I enjoyed reading your summary of your time doing judo in the U. S. Thank you for sharing it.

    I also enjoyed the conversation between CK and Ben.


    Last edited by idealab on Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:47 am; edited 1 time in total

    idealab

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by idealab on Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:27 am

    As for uchikomi, it is just one part of a judo training program. In my school, there is standing uchikomi, ground uchikomi, moving uchikomi (very important). For most beginners who can barely balance on two legs when doing a technique, uchikomi seems to be only method to get them to understand the mechnical movement for "fitting in" to the throw. Once they can demonstrate (usually six months for those who are observant and coordinated) decent static uchikomi, they move toward moving uchikomi for major techniques back and forth, and eventually sideways.

    Then, there is the lifting exercises for major throws and the throwing repetitions to learn how to complete the actions. I have been to several places world wide where the students did not learn how to properly do uchikomi and they all have gaping technical holes in their execution of techniques, even if they are talented.

    On the other hand, too many schools insist on doing excessive amount of static uchikomi which after certain point is unproductive in translating into application of the techniques.

    Static uchikomi is useful for learning the correct entry of each technique, warming up, speed drilling, but it should be no more than 25% of a class (including newaza uchikomi). Then comes moving uchikomi, lifting, throw, gripping drills, grip to throw drills, situational drills, randori, etc. depending on the goal of the period and program. Judo is a dynamic sport,once the most basic fundation is laid, most of the emphasis on a daily basis should focus on the dynamic part.
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    BillC

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by BillC on Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:33 am

    afja_lm139 wrote:BillC,

    Speaking of “abysmal mat conditions,” I remember using old GI mattresses covered with anything we could find and our dojo was someone’s garage, and/or a back yard on grass.  Those plus the baggy wrestling mats were much better than those thin, sticky rubber mats at some places we used.  My ankles still hurt!

    Bone tired practice was a method for us to learn to use technique instead of strength. After all, once your strength is used up only pure Judo techniques is all that you have left.  I was more fun to be able to match up with someone a few grades higher if everyone was tried.  

    True that we must evolve or progress along, but one must never lose sight of the ways of old.  At any rate, most of us did not believe in the “ends justify the means,” approach; Judo was a multi faceted activity; sport Martial Art, and recreation.

    "go do 500 uchikomi" is similar to us Budo-heads saying, “have a cup of tea.”


    Guys like you make me feel young. After all, I am only 44 years into judo ... ha ha.

    Yes, I am familiar with the concept of doing randori after hard exercise as a path to "pure judo." Whether that's true or not, I think in the end it would not have made much of a difference to where judo has gone today. Nor do I really agree that a dojo on every corner would be a good thing.

    I think the senior gentlemen like yourself ... like my first sensei ... who brought back and taught what you picked up in your time away did a reasonable job. Plenty of time to fill in the blanks.


    _________________
    Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

    - Kipling
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    afja_lm139

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by afja_lm139 on Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:22 am

    I always enjoyed uchikomi because it gave us a change to talk with each other without sensei banging us with his stick Smile While at times we would only do a short warm-up the uchikomi substituted for the long drawn out stretching and ukemi period. Also, it gave sensei a way of checking up on our techniques, especially in moving uchikomi. A good write-up on uchikomi is: http://judoinfo.com/uchikomi.htm whereas we can agree or disagrees with it all, it does explain some salient points of uchikomi.

    I was not quite sure of the literal translation, but we GI types in the Far East did not follow the conventional rules of this exercise as was practiced in the USA. Uchikomi to us was a process whereby we started off static and worked into a full fledged randori where Uke was there only to resist Tori in a constructive manner. The two would swap places in time and then sensei would blab a little, mostly demonstrate, and we would fight like shiai for some time after that.

    I’m not saying we were so much better then, but before attaining shodan I was required to demonstrate the entire Go kyo, left and right, and all of the katame waza, all that plus nage no kata and other stuff I forget how to spell. We learned it all using uchikomi first, then free style randori and then fierce fighting each other; at times kohaku shiai. At least it was a lot of fun doing it all.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:03 am

    afja_lm139 wrote:A good write-up on uchikomi is: http://judoinfo.com/uchikomi.htm  whereas we can agree or disagrees with it all, it does explain some salient points of uchikomi.  

    I was not quite sure of the literal translation, but we GI types in the Far East did not follow the conventional rules of this exercise as was practiced in the USA.  

    "Uchi-komi" is a bit of an odd word, with multiple meanings as is often the case in Japanese. It is written 打ち込み in Japanese. As Gleeson correctly points out in his article, the stem of the word is 'utsu', which means "beating", but that does not necessarily mean that this is relevant. So called "binomen" or words composed of two other words in Japanese or Chinese are not always a simple sum of the meaning of the two words seperately. Since "komi" when used as a suffix usually means "inclusive" of, but the verm "komu" from which it is derived, has a whole lot of meanings: "(1) to be crowded; to be packed; (2) to be complex; (aux-v) (3) to go into; to put into; to remain (seated); to be plunged into (silence); to do thoroughly; (4) to do intently; (5) to continue in the same state" (...)

    So, while "uchi-komi" is commonly translated into English as "pounding in", I am not convinced at all that this is remotely correct. After all, what does the English term "pounding in" mean ?  Is it in the dictionary ?  My Webster's certainly does not contain a verb "to pound in" or a noun "pounding in", so what the heck is "pounding in" ?

    While the term uchi-komi appears in various martial arts including kendô and aikidô, it also exists in Japanese chess (go), and yet, there is little "pounding in" going on during chess play, I would imagine. There exists a book on Go, called "Keshi and Uchikomi - Reduction and Invasion in Go", by Iwamoto Kaoru, Slate and Shell, 2002.

    The term also means "to get smitten" or to seriously fall in love !  It also means "implantation", and it is commonly used in the music industry, in particular the making of recordings of electronic music, where it refers to music editing. If I am correct, it is the process where you play one tune and record it, then play a different or the same tune, for example in a different key or with a different instrument making use of a "drum machine" and "music sequencer", and then edit it on top of the other instrument, and so on and so one, so that it looks like there is a whole orchestra of instruments when in fact you are the only player. Please, check Wikipedia to learn what a "music sequencer" is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_sequencer

    So, the whole process refers to a process of again, and again, and again, or simply "repetition" with several things "coordinated", basically "combined" or "stacked on top of each other".

    For that reason, I seriously doubt that the translation in jûdô of uchi-komi as "pounding in" makes much sense or is even correct. Instead, it clearly refers to repetition. Maybe, this erroneous translation comes from kendô where you have "shomen uchi-komi" and indeed you are pounding someone with the sword again and again. But it's probably more the "shomen" part that indicates the pounding than that it is the "uchi-komi" part. That being said, why precisely "uchi" is written using the kanji for "utsu" or beat, I am not sure, and I don't have access right now to do a historic grammatical and etymological analysis of the term with references. But "utsu"  打つ even can have a more nuanced meaning than simply "beating": (1) to hit; to strike; to knock; to beat; to punch; to slap; to tap; to bang; to clap; to pound; (2) to strike (noon, etc.); to sound (cymbals, etc.); to beat (a drum, etc.); (3) to beat (rhythmically, e.g. pulse, waves, etc.); (4) to move; to impress; to touch; and so on ...

    Perhaps, the kanji was chosen specifically referring to the possibility that it often implies a rhytmic and repetitive kind of beating rather than a mere emphasis on the beating part ...

    Another explanation might be that uchi-komi does not refer at all to an exercise performed as "pounding" or "beating", but that instead ... is performed as if it followed the rythm of "drum beating", repetitive ...

    I also note that Morell, who authored the article to which you refer, does not provide references either, except for Gleeson, and while Gleeson technically was one of the best jûdôka the UK ever had, he was no Leggett and his vast legacy of writings contain some very serious flaws, so caution is recommended, though his ideas certainly are usually worthy of a debate.


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:14 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    afja_lm139 wrote:A good write-up on uchikomi is: http://judoinfo.com/uchikomi.htm  whereas we can agree or disagrees with it all, it does explain some salient points of uchikomi.  

    I was not quite sure of the literal translation, but we GI types in the Far East did not follow the conventional rules of this exercise as was practiced in the USA.  

    "Uchi-komi" is a bit of an odd word, with multiple meanings as is often the case in Japanese. It is written 打ち込み in Japanese. As Gleeson correctly points out in his article, the stem of the word is 'utsu', which means "beating", but that does not necessarily mean that this is relevant. So called "binomen" or words composed of two other words in Japanese or Chinese are not always a simple sum of the meaning of the two words seperately. Since "komi" when used as a suffix usually means "inclusive" of, but the verm "komu" from which it is derived, has a whole lot of meanings: "(1) to be crowded; to be packed; (2) to be complex; (aux-v) (3) to go into; to put into; to remain (seated); to be plunged into (silence); to do thoroughly; (4) to do intently; (5) to continue in the same state" (...)

    So, while "uchi-komi" is commonly translated into English as "pounding in", I am not convinced at all that this is remotely correct. After all, what does the English term "pounding in" mean ?  Is it in the dictionary ?  My Webster's certainly does not contain a verb "to pound in" or a noun "pounding in", so what the heck is "pounding in" ?

    While the term uchi-komi appears in various martial arts including kendô and aikidô, it also exists in Japanese chess (go), and yet, there is little "pounding in" going on during chess play, I would imagine. There exists a book on Go, called "Keshi and Uchikomi - Reduction and Invasion in Go", by Iwamoto Kaoru, Slate and Shell, 2002.

    The term also means "to get smitten" or to seriously fall in love !  It also means "implantation", and it is commonly used in the music industry, in particular the making of recordings of electronic music, where it refers to music editing. If I am correct, it is the process where you play one tune and record it, then play a different or the same tune, for example in a different key or with a different instrument making use of a "drum machine" and "music sequencer", and then edit it on top of the other instrument, and so on and so one, so that it looks like there is a whole orchestra of instruments when in fact you are the only player. Please, check Wikipedia to learn what a "music sequencer" is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_sequencer

    So, the whole process refers to a process of again, and again, and again, or simply "repetition" with several things "coordinated", basically "combined" or "stacked on top of each other".

    For that reason, I seriously doubt that the translation in jûdô of uchi-komi as "pounding in" makes much sense or is even correct. Instead, it clearly refers to repetition. Maybe, this erroneous translation comes from kendô where you have "shomen uchi-komi" and indeed you are pounding someone with the sword again and again. But it's probably more the "shomen" part that indicates the pounding than that it is the "uchi-komi" part. That being said, why precisely "uchi" is written using the kanji for "utsu" or beat, I am not sure, and I don't have access right now to do a historic grammatical and etymological analysis of the term with references. But "utsu"  打つ even can have a more nuanced meaning than simply "beating": (1) to hit; to strike; to knock; to beat; to punch; to slap; to tap; to bang; to clap; to pound; (2) to strike (noon, etc.); to sound (cymbals, etc.); to beat (a drum, etc.); (3) to beat (rhythmically, e.g. pulse, waves, etc.); (4) to move; to impress; to touch; and so on ...

    Perhaps, the kanji was chosen specifically referring to the possibility that it often implies a rhytmic and repetitive kind of beating rather than a mere emphasis on the beating part ...

    Another explanation might be that uchi-komi does not refer at all to an exercise performed as "pounding" or "beating", but that instead ... is performed as if it followed the rythm of "drum beating", repetitive ...

    I also note that Morell, who authored the article to which you refer, does not provide references either, except for Gleeson, and while Gleeson technically was one of the best jûdôka the UK ever had, he was no Leggett and his vast legacy of writings contain some very serious flaws, so caution is recommended, though his ideas certainly are usually worthy of a debate.

    There are certain kinds of music (beats perhaps) that get me to thinking about uchikomi. I've been to dojo where music was played during uchikomi, the music being chosen apparently to inspire good rhythm.

    Then there was the dojo where they played some sort of heavy metal music during randori. That was stimulating as well, although more in the sense of inspiring aggression...
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    BillC

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by BillC on Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:29 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:

    There are certain kinds of music (beats perhaps) that get me to  thinking about uchikomi. I've been to dojo where music was played during uchikomi, the music being chosen apparently to inspire good rhythm.

    Then there was the dojo where they played some sort of heavy metal music during randori. That was stimulating as well, although more in the sense of inspiring aggression...

    Uh oh ... you may have stepped into a big meadow muffin and dirtied your socks there my friend.  I recall a lengthy thread about music in the dojo on the previous forum ... became a bit emotional if I recall.

    My problem is ... in my opinion the rhythm most often used to count out "the beat" is inappropriate.   It tends to be counted out at 1,2,1,2,1,2 ... which leads to "bumping."  Worse ... simple counting 1,2,3,4 ... invariably the class gets off pace ... they either perceive they cannot keep up and start to "bump" or there is a long pause were they have gone faster than the pace being counted and spend a few milliseconds picking their nose and rocking on their heels.

    I suggest gently that it is better to count it out as 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3 ... emphasis on the first beat ... so that tori explodes in and backs away gently.

    I have experimented with an electronic metronome/drum machine phone app in the dojo and it has worked very, very well.  Much less tendency for tori to "do the bump" and instead make full entries and exits, enough time for uke to recover as well.  A metronome can be started at an easy pace, ramped up as people get warm.


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:48 am

    BillC wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:

    There are certain kinds of music (beats perhaps) that get me to  thinking about uchikomi. I've been to dojo where music was played during uchikomi, the music being chosen apparently to inspire good rhythm.

    Then there was the dojo where they played some sort of heavy metal music during randori. That was stimulating as well, although more in the sense of inspiring aggression...

    Uh oh ... you may have stepped into a big meadow muffin and dirtied your socks there my friend.  I recall a lengthy thread about music in the dojo on the previous forum ... became a bit emotional if I recall.

    My problem is ... in my opinion the rhythm most often used to count out "the beat" is inappropriate.   It tends to be counted out at 1,2,1,2,1,2 ... which leads to "bumping."  Worse ... simple counting 1,2,3,4 ... invariably the class gets off pace ... they either perceive they cannot keep up and start to "bump" or there is a long pause were they have gone faster than the pace being counted and spend a few milliseconds picking their nose and rocking on their heels.

    I suggest gently that it is better to count it out as 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3 ... emphasis on the first beat ... so that tori explodes in and backs away gently.

    I have experimented with an electronic metronome/drum machine phone app in the dojo and it has worked very, very well.  Much less tendency for tori to "do the bump" and instead make full entries and exits, enough time for uke to recover as well.  A metronome can be started at an easy pace, ramped up as people get warm.

    Don't worry, it's been snowing and raining here, I have my boots on most of the winter.


    What you write makes sense to me. In a way, the music has an emotional/psychological (same thing, LOL) component as well, depending on the music.

    I agree, doing "the bump" is not useful. uchikomi as aerobic dance doesn't help judo skill much.

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    afja_lm139

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by afja_lm139 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:49 am

    Wow, it was cold this morning here; 40 degrees from 87 yesterday Sad Pity on us Floridians, huh? Smile

    I think uchikomi helps with timing. Being a 130-pound skinny kid, back in the day, I had to rely on exact timing to make a technique to work on a heavy dude. After developing a very light grip and trying to not transmit my movements, a technique with high speed and timing was essential for us skinny guys. One way to develop this was to do loads of uchikomi with that in mind. Also I watched Mifune sensei do it; he believed in uchikomi too.
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    BillC

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by BillC on Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:38 am

    [quote="Ben Reinhardt"]
    BillC wrote:
    What you write makes sense to me. In a way, the music has an emotional/psychological (same thing, LOL) component as well, depending on the music.

    Some of the younger yudansha have taken to playing music during randori ... to get them in the mood I suppose ... and Ernie tolerates it ... I guess like a lot of things because he wasn't allowed even the thought during his younger days. I have a couple reactions to that.

    One is that there must be a lot more incest between maternal parents and their offspring these days, and the other is that it doesn't make me want to go hippity hop.



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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:36 am

    afja_lm139 wrote:Wow, it was cold this morning here; 40 degrees from 87 yesterday Sad Pity on us Floridians, huh?  Smile

    I think uchikomi helps with timing.  Being a 130-pound skinny kid, back in the day, I had to rely on exact timing to make a technique to work on a heavy dude.  After developing a very light grip and trying to not transmit my movements, a technique with high speed and timing was essential for us skinny guys.  One way to develop this was to do loads of uchikomi with that in mind.  Also I watched Mifune sensei do it; he believed in uchikomi too.

    You mean moving uchikomi, I assume, not static.

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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:42 am

    BillC wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    What you write makes sense to me. In a way, the music has an emotional/psychological (same thing, LOL) component as well, depending on the music.

    Some of the younger yudansha have taken to playing music during randori ... to get them in the mood I suppose ... and Ernie tolerates it ... I guess like a lot of things because he wasn't allowed even the thought during his younger days.  I have a couple reactions to that.

    One is that there must be a lot more incest between maternal parents and their offspring these days, and the other is that it doesn't make me want to go hippity hop.



    Or between half siblings and or/ first cousins?

    I can see the usefulness of music as a "mood enhancer", perhaps especially to get started with training after a distracting or difficult day at work or school, or home.

    For myself, it's usually not necessary, but if I want to I will just listen to a good tune(s) on the truck radio or CD on my way to train/teach. In the dojo, it can be distracting, especially to the young teens I deal with. Besides, they will argue about what to play, etc., ad nauseum.

    This kind of leads into using games at judo practice. Pluses and minuses. Kids like games, and they will enthusiastically do them to warm up. At some point, though, they have to get out of the game mindset and into the judo mindset. I usually will do some sort of transition game that has a judo component, then go to something even more related to Judo.
    All this depends on age of group as well, of course, and all that.

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    BillC

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by BillC on Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:10 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    What you write makes sense to me. In a way, the music has an emotional/psychological (same thing, LOL) component as well, depending on the music.

    Some of the younger yudansha have taken to playing music during randori ... to get them in the mood I suppose ... and Ernie tolerates it ... I guess like a lot of things because he wasn't allowed even the thought during his younger days.  I have a couple reactions to that.

    One is that there must be a lot more incest between maternal parents and their offspring these days, and the other is that it doesn't make me want to go hippity hop.



    Or between half siblings and or/ first cousins?

    I can see the usefulness of music as a "mood enhancer", perhaps especially to get started with training after a distracting or difficult day at work or school, or home.

    For myself, it's usually not necessary, but if I want to I will just listen to a good tune(s) on the truck radio or CD on my way to train/teach. In the dojo, it can be distracting, especially to the young teens I deal with. Besides, they will argue about what to play, etc., ad nauseum.

    This kind of leads into using games at judo practice. Pluses and minuses. Kids like games, and they will enthusiastically do them to warm up. At some point, though, they have to get out of the game mindset and into the judo mindset. I usually will do some sort of transition game that has a judo component, then go to something even more related to Judo.
    All this depends on age of group as well, of course, and all that.


    I was referring to a specific compound word prominent in a specific music genre ... designed like most youth music to inflict the maximum amount of irritation on older people ... a specific word that rhymes with hovertrucker that now cracks my other elderly partner and I up. Because ... as you imply it all sounds like the product of too much inbreeding to us.


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    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:47 am

    BillC wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    What you write makes sense to me. In a way, the music has an emotional/psychological (same thing, LOL) component as well, depending on the music.

    Some of the younger yudansha have taken to playing music during randori ... to get them in the mood I suppose ... and Ernie tolerates it ... I guess like a lot of things because he wasn't allowed even the thought during his younger days.  I have a couple reactions to that.

    One is that there must be a lot more incest between maternal parents and their offspring these days, and the other is that it doesn't make me want to go hippity hop.



    Or between half siblings and or/ first cousins?

    I can see the usefulness of music as a "mood enhancer", perhaps especially to get started with training after a distracting or difficult day at work or school, or home.

    For myself, it's usually not necessary, but if I want to I will just listen to a good tune(s) on the truck radio or CD on my way to train/teach. In the dojo, it can be distracting, especially to the young teens I deal with. Besides, they will argue about what to play, etc., ad nauseum.

    This kind of leads into using games at judo practice. Pluses and minuses. Kids like games, and they will enthusiastically do them to warm up. At some point, though, they have to get out of the game mindset and into the judo mindset. I usually will do some sort of transition game that has a judo component, then go to something even more related to Judo.
    All this depends on age of group as well, of course, and all that.


    I was referring to a specific compound word prominent in a specific music genre ... designed like most youth music to inflict the maximum amount of irritation on older people ... a specific word that rhymes with hovertrucker that now cracks my other elderly partner and I up.  Because ... as you imply it all sounds like the product of too much inbreeding to us.

    OK, now I get it...

    Little kids like to use bad words to feel grown up.

    Gus

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Gus on Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:20 pm

    I see Uchikomi as a bit like doing a grammar exercise - you may not use the words/motions in the same way in conversation/randori but they are essential building blocks none the less.

    Ranma

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ranma on Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:51 am

    If you have mastery over a throw, you need less nagekomi and would be far more efficient doing uchikomi for tune ups. If you do not master the throw, you need more nagekomi to get constant feedback. Simple as that.

    When I do my osoto gari, I know whether I have you before kake (and you can't do a thing about it). In fact, if my entry was done well you should be near collapsing before I sweep. With uchikomi you can develop this feel without wasting energy throwing, or wasting time waiting for uke to get up.

    Someone doing seoinage should only need the confirmation of uke loading tightly on his back. Someone doing harai goshi or uchimata needs to check his chest and elbow positions, making sure uke is pulled in front of him properly.

    With good kuzushi and tsukure you barely need kake.
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:37 am

    Ranma wrote:If you have mastery over a throw, you need less nagekomi and would be far more efficient doing uchikomi for tune ups.  If you do not master the throw, you need more nagekomi to get constant feedback.  Simple as that.

    When I do my osoto gari, I know whether I have you before kake (and you can't do a thing about it).  In fact, if my entry was done well you should be near collapsing before I sweep.  With uchikomi you can develop this feel without wasting energy throwing, or wasting time waiting for uke to get up.

    Someone doing seoinage should only need the confirmation of uke loading tightly on his back.  Someone doing harai goshi or uchimata needs to check his chest and elbow positions, making sure uke is pulled in front of him properly.

    With good kuzushi and tsukure you barely need kake.

    Sure, and what you write is one reason I think uchikomi is practically a separate skill from throwing, especially for less experienced judoka. We "experienced" judoka have the kinesthetic awareness and knowledge of the technique to know whether or not we have correct position.

    But as far as "tuning up goes" I still like to do nage komi, as it is a complete skill, not an aborted version. Of course, I do uchikomi, and I use them as a teaching tool to some degree. I probably do more tandoku renshu (solo training) than i do partner uchikomi, though.

    With good tsukuri and kuzushi, it's hard not to throw uke, and is quite a feat (stopping in the middle). Takes more skill than going with the natural flow of things.



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    GregW

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by GregW on Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:42 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:

    With good tsukuri and kuzushi, it's hard not to throw uke, and is quite a feat (stopping in the middle). Takes more skill than going with the natural flow of things.


    I usually combine uchikomi with nagekomi by having the students fit in four times and throw on the fifth if they feel like they've got it. As they get in position, like Ben said, I can see uke getting closer to going all the way over. I tell them, if they've got in on the fourth repetition and it's easier to throw, go ahead and throw rather than stop.

    It's probably safer overall for uke to just take a good ukemi rather than trying to stay on his feet. It also keeps uke from just jumping or resisting. At times, particularly with novices, they'll tense up before kake when they know it's coming on five. If he's not sure when it's coming, uke tends to do better ukemi.
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    Q mystic

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Q mystic on Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:39 pm

    it'll bring you instantaneous 'fleet of feet' and a 'reflex' as well. Assuming you have limited options.


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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by DrewFleming on Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:32 pm

    jkw wrote:
    samsmith2424 wrote:I wonder if anyone has any doubts about the usefulness of uchikomi. If so why?

    I think if done properly it is useful, done badly - not so useful.

    I agree.. uchikomi is usefull but only if its done properly.. you must break balance.

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