More About Uke's Job

Sensei Pat Parker just posted a great entry in his blog about the role of uke.  Well, technically, it is about "uchidachi" which evidently has something to do with poking people in the head with sticks (another hobby of Pat's) - but for our purposes, just read the article, and when you see "uchidachi", think "uke", and when you read "shidachi", think "tori."

A paraphrased sample:  Uke's role is like that of a parent helping their child to learn...  Good stuff.

See Pat's blog post here.



kodokanjudo said...

Parker-sensei's view on uke/tori (translated into judo) is consistent with the true teachings of Kano-sensei. Besides the existing literature, the evidence is apparent in Yokoyama's book "Judo Kyohon" (1915), where Yamashita as uke, is the senior partner to Nagaoka is nage-no-kata.

kodokanjudo said...

Somehow, the roles were reversed by the 1950's. In the first English edition of "Kodokan Judo" (1952), the tori looks much older (and therefore more experienced) than his uke.
In T. P. Leggett's kata book (1960), he is the Tori, with a much younger uke.
Even "Judo Formal Techniques" Inokuna, the most senior partner is the Tori.

kodokanjudo said...

Chad, doing some memory searching, in all of the kata competitions (don't get me started... please do a post on this, I'll be ranting for weeks...) that I have witnessed, tori was always the most experienced partner. Uke's role today is generally given a second billing. In my personal oppinion, based on experience, uke has the hardest and most important role.