Counters to Juji Gatame
We had an additional classes during the holidays, taking advantage of the fact that the club was closed. Among the techniques we covered was Ude Hishigi Juji Gatame , the counters to juji, and counters to the counters. Of course, there are many variations of the joint lock and of the counters. This article covers only a few and only for the prone position.
Ude Hishigi Juji Gatame, commonly called Juji Gatame, or even juji, to the irritation of traditional Japanese judoka and the Kodokan, is Cross Arm Lock, a very strong arm lock which can be applied from the ground lying prone (facing up or down), kneeling, or even standing.
A previous article coveredBreaking the Hold in Juji Gatame. To break the hold, tori must move uke’s arms in order to change the hand grip. There are multiple ways to break the grip so that you can extend uke’s arm and get the joint lock and the tap out.
A counter to the joint lock: Assume you know your opponent is about to try the juji on you. You are prone, on your back. He is in the process of putting his legs on you, but has not yet grabbed your arm securely or placed his leg over your head.
With the arm that he would lock out, grab your other arm above the elbow (on your bicep), and bend that arm, lifting it up above and close to the side of your head. As your partner moves his leg to place it over your face, your arm causes his leg to slide off. Immediately grab that leg and pull it under your head and put your weight on it. His leg is now trapped. Even if he manages to get your arm to attempt the joint lock, he no longer controls your head and the joint lock becomes ineffective as you can now move your head and torso, turning towards him and onto your stomach, escaping the lock.
Another counter is so simple it’s unbelievable. Mike showed this one to me as we practiced the various techniques. You are lying prone again. Your partner is about to try the juji on you. Take the hand which he would grab to do the joint lock and place it flat on your chest UNDER the leg which is on your torso. As he grabs your arm to lock out the joint, your hand is stuck like glue to his leg so that he is lifting not just your hand and arm, but his own leg as well. He might not even realize what is happening as this is such a subtle technique. It may not last for long, just long enough for you to manoeuver into another position and out of danger.
Click here to go to the video of Breaking the Grip in Juji Gatame
January 4, 2009