Ilias Iliadis Illustrates The Importance of Uchikomi
Read the first part of the title as fast as you can….go!
Do you remember learning to throw as a child? There is probably a good chance that you don’t remember someone breaking down the mechanics of throwing, instead you remember playing catch with a sibling or a parent. This repetitive practice became so second nature that before you knew it you understood how to throw.
This is how uchikomi works in Judo.
Uchikomi which in english means repetitive practice of a technique that stops before the finish. Judo is a rough game. It’s not like playing catch for 15 minutes. If you practice all-out ippon seoi nages that are fully executed for 15 minutes straight it will feel different than throwing a 5 ounce baseball! Not to mention how your partner must feel!
By spending time on the setup/entry of a technique you save a lot of time. Think about all the time taken up to reset and to recover, it adds up overtime. Sharpening your setups is never a bad idea. By practicing your entries repeatedly you can become razor sharp at them.
Of course, practicing the finish is also important. For instance, you and a partner are doing 5 reps in a row before switching roles. On the 5th rep execute the technique you are working on. This will not only keep your finishes sharp, but add a little variance to your practice. Just make sure the partner knows that they will be going for a ride on the 5th rep!
Ilias Iliadis has a brutal routine that he uses to keep his entries sharp. In his instructional The World Championship Judo Blueprint he lays out his best techniques that helped him become a World Champ! A major factor that sets Ilias apart from others is how he practices the technique. The World Championship Judo Blueprint not only shows you a technique but how to drill it to perfection.
Let’s check out he practices uchikomi with the Seoi Nage.
Ilias demonstrates two different methods of uchikomi for the seoi nage. Have you heard the saying “practice how you play”? Ilias applies this to how he practices his seoi nage. Instead of the more traditional approach that would be more steered towards beginners, Ilias shows his method. He tries to make it as close to his A-game approach to the seoi nage.
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Ilias opts to mirror his competition edition of the seoi nage. To start the partner does not have an even grip with you. Ilias explains that in competition it would be very difficult to perform the seoi nage if they had the grip. So to practice the grip is already in a more neutral spot. From here he takes a short cross step with his lead leg. This creates the necessary space to step across into a lower stance.
One key thing you can notice is how in the first variation of the drill their belts are basically even with each other. During the second exchange Ilias’s step through method gets him deeper into the technique. This obviously is a much higher level and WAY more efficient strategy to execute the seoi nage.
Keeping this mindset is important throughout practice. By keeping your practice as close to how you would perform it in competition is a must. This will elevate your game, flat out.
The World Championship Judo Blueprint By Ilias Iliadis is a top-notch instructional for ANYONE looking to increase their game. Learn the techniques and training routine of one of Judo’s best, Ilias Iliadis!