TORIS OF THE WORLD!! Taking care of your uke right after hitting, twisting, slamming, punching, kicking, slapping, throwing, and otherwise giving them the slightly more evil version of chiropractic care is essential for their long-term viability. No worries average citizen, we weirdos do this for fuuuuuuuuuun to each other. Nothing shows a great time in the dojo like some sore knuckles, wrists, and a handful of new bruises.
Your uke is your most valuable player in the martial arts universe. Without them, you’d be trying to choke an actual log, or your neighbor Ed (who OWES you for not calling the cops on his ‘stache. That’s right, his mustache should be against the law), and let’s face it, neither of those things are capable of actual feedback, or tapping out when they feel the “pinch.” We must take care of them and I’ve written the definitive 3-step guide to help you keep your uke functioning.
The Modern Kunoichi’s Guide to Uke Care.
Care Tip #1: An Ounce of Prevention is Better Than a Pound of Cure.
Wrap that uke up like you’re trying to surprise your husband on Christmas morning with the news that you’re pregnant with a fifth set of twins. Keep them safe and sound from your awesome throws and blows by literally covering them head-to-toe in plastic-coated foam formed for each specific body part. After all, we want them to come back. That’s it, we just want them to come back. Alive. With all their body parts. *cough*
Care Tip #2: Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace.
Secondly, once they’re literally ensconced in safety, teach that uke to “tap out.” Tap out is code for “letting me know that you’re about to break my arm/dislocate something/squeeze me unconscious/do something painful if you go any further with that move.” In other words, that huuuuurts and should be duly noted by the tori to stop. If your uke doesn’t let you know by tapping out, when come to the next class they might be missing an arm or leg. What will you do then? One can hardly sweep an invisible leg or lock a missing arm. Remember tori, ukes are friends, not food.
Care Tip #3: Wash That Sweat Right Out of Your Uke
Finally, Keiko Kunio, the master of ancient martial memes, straight outta, um, somewhere, gives us some duly anointed wisdom on how to treat your uke well after a session of kata and sparring. You see, all that padding, grinding and grimacing makes your uke sweat a lot, and they probably smell after a training sesh. We want them to be clean, dry, and sanitary for the next round, so cleansing, and drying your uke is essential to their proper care.
I hope you find this helpful and will follow these three steps to getting you’re uke home alive and clean.
Best wishes Toris of the world!