What is a uke? A uke is the person you are performing the technique on. Your uke can make or break you, in the sense that, he/she can make you look good or look sloppy. It is like a dance between two people. The tori (the person performing the technique) will lead and the uke will follow. Usually a good uke will know the technique, or will know how to adapt to sudden changes in direction. You may now be thinking that the uke is just going to fall because they know the technique, and they want to make their partner look good…Absolutely Not!

If your uke just falls down, then the tori looks like he/she is doing the technique half-ass. The reasoning behind “following the lead” is so that you don’t get hurt. Yes, Hurt. If the tori has to take you down because you are resisting, believe me he/she will do just that. The downfall to that is that you, the uke, put yourself at risk to injuries; especially if there are multiple maneuvers to the technique. Remember that there are several joint locks/controls used in techniques, as well as, take downs–your body is hesitant to changes of direction when resistant.  A good uke will allow you to demonstrate the technique properly, without having to use full power. They will follow, wherever you decide to take them, showing your ability and flowing-ness to execute the technique, without injury to them.