Posts Tagged ‘technique’

How to do Kesa Gatame (Scarf Hold)

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Of all the ground holds, this is my favourite. Kesa gatame (scarf hold) looks as though you are doing virtually nothing, but, if applied correctly, is very strong and difficult to escape from. It can be applied with or without a gi as well, so lends itself to MMA, jiu jitsu and grappling matches. This article will cover the basics of this ground hold. The next article will cover a few escapes from kesa gatame.

If you and your partner are wearing gis and you are tori (applier of the technique):

1. You are on the ground at tori’s right side. Place your right arm across uke’s (the receiver of the technique) body and under his neck such that your forearm is flat against the floor. 

2. Grab the inside of his collar with your right thumb.

3. With your left hand, palm up, wrap your arm around his right arm, gripping the material of his gi in his armpit.  Your left arm must be above his elbow and tight against your body. If you are holding his arm correctly, he can bend his arm and cannot get out; incorrectly, he can bend his arm and pull it free.

4. Sit out on your right hip with your legs bent and relaxed. Your bottom leg (right) should be as high up toward his head as possible. Your left leg is about ninety degrees from the right.

5. Put your own head as close to the floor beside uke’s right ear as possible. This way he can’t place a hand or arm under your chin and peel you backward.

6. Put all your weight on the little toe of your right foot, the big toe of your left, and his chest.

That is the basic ground hold.  If uke moves, you move with him, keeping attached at the hip. Retain the leg positions, moving a little at a time. If you have to cross your legs to go onto your stomach, do so for as short a period of time as possible and then go back to being on your hip.

Variation 1 – An even stronger hold than this is to bring your right leg toward the hand which is holding his collar. Let go of his collar (Point 2 above) and grab your own knee. This is a very tight grip and works extremely well in no gi situations.

Also no gi: Instead of grabbing the material in his armpit – Point 3 above, you merely grab his muscles there. The important part here is to ensure that he cannot free his arm, so your arm holds his tightly above the elbow. Other than gripping uke’s body instead of the material, there is no difference. Click here to go to a video of Kesa Gatame with no gi.

Another variation for kesa gatame when wearing a judogi is the following: When you have moved your hand to grip the material in uke’s armpit (Point 3 above), continue moving your hand (still maintaining his arm tightly against your body) and grasp his far lapel instead of the armpit. When you sit out to complete the ground hold, the hold on the lapel compresses uke’s ribcage making breathing difficult. If you then grip your knee instead of putting your thumb in his collar, he’s toast. 

Kesa Gatame, or scarf hold, is named for the scarf-like look when tori’s arm wraps around uke’s neck. Since most of tori’s body isn’t touching uke’s it may look feeble. It is, however, extremely powerful and effective. You are immobilizing the head and shoulders of your opponent. Without his shoulders, he cannot lift himself off the floor. I’ve managed to hold down guys who outweigh me by about ninety pounds, so I know this hold works well.

Click here to go to a video of kesa gatame.

Click here to go to How to Escape from Kesa Gatame (Scarf Hold)  Escape #1


December 11, 2009

Escape/Defense Against Rear Naked Choke While in Grapevine

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

Being grapevined may seem that you’re doomed to being choked, but we were shown a great little escape and defense against this technique. This defense/escape against the rear naked choke while being grapevined works.

First, grab your opponent’s arm with both hands. Since he’s in a superior position right now, you probably won’t be able to move him, but you can move yourself: Using your legs to post a bit, pulling on his arm, move yourself higher up on him. You’ll only move a little, but that’s all you need to get your chin under his arm and protect yourself from the choke.

Now that he doesn’t have the choke, you can attempt the escape. The arm which he has around your throat is the crucial arm. Whichever side that is on, that’s the side you need to fall to. (If, by chance, you happen to fall to the wrong side, straighten up in the grapevine and fall to the other side. You can take a little time because the choke is no longer on.) Once his arm is on the floor, put as much of your weight on it as you can. Now he can’t choke you at all. The rear naked choke requires a certain amount of torque to apply. Since you are holding his arm down, he can’t torque the arm.

Next, manoeuvre your body to escape the grapevine: grab his upper foot by the toes, pulling up toward you and out of the way, to remove it. If he has his feet crossed, of course, you can loop your leg over them and do some torquing of your own. When his leg is gone, you can complete your turnover and get a ground hold of your own.

We practised this escape last night and found it relatively easy once we thought about the physics of the rear naked choke and grapevine.  

Click here to go to the video for the escape from rear naked choke while in grapevine


May 2, 2009