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Cuban Combination Tactics With Israel Hernandez

Cuban Combination Tactics With Israel Hernandez


As you get more and more comfortable with Judo the more offensive options start to open up. When people first start they use one technique at a time, but as you progress you will start to combine multiple techniques into unique attacking chains that help you secure victory. Every athlete has their favorite combinations that they use at the highest levels, but with so many options you can get lost in the weeds so to speak. 

Let’s add a sure-fire combo to your toolkit with Israel Hernandez! Israel is a 2x Olympic bronze medalist representing the nation of Cuba. It’s safe to say that Israel has some tricky tactics up his sleeve that involve layering up techniques that force your opponent to react. Check out his Ko Uchi Gari to Uchi Mata below!


This technique demo is directly from his newest instructional Uchi Mata Basic To Advanced. So if you want a more comprehensive look at the Uchi Mata this instructional is for you. Click Learn More!



In under 2 minutes Israel is able to lend us his expertise to provide a hearty two-piece combo that will leave our opponent flat on the mat! One key factor emphasized here, as well as in Uchi Mata Basic To Advanced, is forcing your opponent to react. Once you are able to tune into how they will react you can capitalize. One trick to that is selling your first attack, in this case that is the kouchi Gari.

Hernandez is using a high collar grip that destroys his opponent’s posture and a sleeve grip that provides control over his partner’s arm, which will help him execute the eventual Uchi Mata.  By selling out on the first attack he leaves his partner with the choice of either being tripped with the kouchi gari, or defending by stepping away from it. You may in fact land the first attack, but if they defend you can launch into your Uchi Mata. 

The key to the Uchi Mata is to get your opponent into a squared up stance. If you are facing someone with the same lead leg as you, you're going to have to get them squared up. The Kouchi Gari lends itself perfectly to this because you can attack their lead leg, which forces them to step. Now it’s time to switch tactics. 

One great thing about this combo attack is that you don’t need to switch your grips. Israel makes no changes as he gets back to chest with his partner. Another key detail is to notice how he gets his hips lower than his partners belt. This allows him to get in underneath of their base, and provide for a smoother finish on the Uchi Mata. In order to get as fluid as Israel you're going to need to get A LOT of reps. 

Uchikomi is the repetitive practice that doesn’t require the finishing aspects of a technique. A great way to get good at this particular set up would be to practice each section individually. Once they are smooth as glass, combining them together will be a more manageable task. Israel provides great details like this throughout Uchi Mata Basic To Advanced. Watch how Hernandez rolls through after each throw. This is another example of how you can get the most out of practice, because without the roll through you will likely crash down onto your training partner. 

Uchi Mata Basic To Advanced is a 4-part instructional loaded with key details to unlock the Uchi Mata! Israel Hernadez provides his years of expertise to make you a more efficient Judoka. Check out Uchi Mata Basic To Advanced today!