Uchi Mata for BJJ – Key Details

BJJ is a sport mostly focused on ground fighting. So most often you need to borrows takedowns and throwing techniques from other martial arts. Almost always we are focusing on takedowns with wrestling origins. However, now its time to look at something from Judo. The technique for today – uchi mata. 

What exactly is Uchi mata?

Uchi mata is one of the original 40 Judo throws developed by Kanō Jigorō. Also, it is part of the modern 67 Throws of Kodokan Judo. It is classified as a foot technique. Uchi mata it’s one of the most common and spectacular thrown techniques at judo competitions. This throw is mostly used as a counter and it is very hard to defend against it.

To start performing it we need to begin with standard grips. With one hand grab the opponent’s collar and with other controls his sleeve. Now you can start unbalancing your opponent by pulling forward. When he is imbalanced you can execute the throw. The moment when your opponent is on his toes is perfect for the entry to the uchi mata. Like with other Judo throws your feet need to end up between your opponent’s legs. Try to get your thighs as close to his thighs as possible. Then you need to lift one of your opponent’s legs with one of yours. The leg you want to sweep is one on the side of the arm you’re controlling. To perform uchi mata you need to use the leg of the opposite side than the one you’re targeting.

It is a fast and very powerful throw that can cause your opponent some real harm. Furthermore, it almost always gives you a dominant position afterward.

Uchi mata for BJJ

Despite the fact, uchi mata is a classic Judo technique you can also use it in BJJ. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, especially at competitions, you can fight against a standing opponent with stiff arms and butt withdrawn back. They use this position to avoid getting thrown easily. And uchi mata works really well against all these bent-over postures. Just remember in Judo one good throw can end the match, so it’s practitioners don’t have to worry about groundwork after it so much. In BJJ you need to remember you want to get the opponent to the ground while still keeping top position. 

To see how it looks in practice check the video below. Gold Judo medalist and BJJ black belt Satoshi Ishii show in it how to do  throw correctly. 

No-Gi Version

Although uchi mata is standard practiced in the gi, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use it in no-gi. In this case, you just change grips for underhooks. The rest of the technique stays the same. In the video below you can see how to do this throw without a gi. It is explained by Mark Lajhner Judo black belt, BJJ practitioner and MMA fighter.