Posts Tagged ‘ude hishigi juji gatame’

GSP vs Hardy UFC111 – Analysis of Juji Gatame Submission Attempt

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
Georges St-Pierre won his championship match against Dan Hardy at UFC111, going the full five rounds and the decision awarded unanimously to GSP. Georges was disappointed in the win, though, because he had wanted to win by submission. He had tried a juji gatame (cross arm lock) at the end of round one and a Kimura (ude garami – entangled arm lock) in round three, neither of which were successful. In this article, I will dissect the juji gatame attempt to determine why it didn’t work and how to make it successful.

The juji gatame, ude hishigi juji gatame formally, is an armbar in which you as tori use your legs to control uke while you hyper-extend his elbow into an armbar. The juji can be accomplished from a variety of positions, from the ground, from standing, etc. In the case of this fight, the positions were classic with Hardy on his back on the floor and GSP at about 90 degrees from Hardy and on his back as well. The object is to apply pressure to the elbow, extending it to the point that you achieve a tap out. In order to get the arm bar, the pressure must be applied to the elbow and the arm must be straightened out completely. When we teach this technique, we talk about pointing the thumb to the sky. That position works for the most part, but there are some versions of juji in which that statement doesn’t apply. Tori must be aware of where uke’s elbow is and turn the arm such that the elbow is the joint that is having the torque placed to it. The elbow has to be against your body, the thumb away from your body. In GSP’s attempt at the juji gatame, Hardy managed to move his arm so that he could bend it.  GSP did not control Hardy’s upper body or his arm, so that eventually Hardy turned over and got free. 

Initially GSP had his left leg over Hardy’s face and the right leg over Hardy’s upper torso. GSP had Hardy’s right arm extended to the right maintaining grips on Hardy’s wrist and hand. This is the first screen shot of the position: 

juji1 - GSP attempts Juji Gatame on Dan Harding - UFC 111

juji1 - GSP attempts Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC 111

In the photo above, GSP has Hardy’s arm in the correct position, but the leg on Hardy’s face should be extended and be pushing down, squashing his face. But even more importantly, GSP should be squeezing his legs together around Hardy’s arm while pushing down with both legs.  Closing the gap between the knees immobilizes the arm so that uke cannot move his arm from the juji position. Pushing down on the face and torso enables tori’s control over uke’s shoulder and upper body. Squeezing the legs together is the most crucial element, though.

If you look closely at the video (you can see it better than with just the few photos we’ve included), you can see Hardy’s arm twist and turn between GSP’s legs, allowing him the range of motion to resist the arm bar attempt and ultimately escape.

juji2 - GSP attempts Juji Gatame on Dan Harding - UFC 111

juji2 - GSP attempts Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC 111

By the 18 second mark above, Hardy has begun to turn onto his side and his arm has moved, his elbow slightly bent such that GSP cannot apply the arm bar – the elbow is pointing sideways here, so Hardy can actually bend his arm to relieve the pressure.
At the 17 second mark below, Hardy is fully on his side and GSP is straining to achieve the submission, to no avail. 

juji3 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

juji3 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

At the 16 second mark below, the grimace on GSP’s face shows his effort, applying all his strength. It was in vain, though, because Hardy managed to move onto his side, having lifted GSP’s hips right off the floor. If GSP were in control of the arm bar, Hardy would still be on his back, and GSP would lift his OWN hips to further hyper-extend the elbow. Hardy’s elbow is away from GSP and his thumb is now pointed toward the floor instead of the ceiling, enabling him to use the larger bicep to bend his arm. 

juji4 GSP attmepting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

juji4 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

juji5 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

juji5 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

One second later, at the 15 second mark above, GSP’s left foot is completely under Hardy; Hardy is turned onto his side and is moving his arm away from GSP. Georges spent all his effort on Hardy’s arm, but had not managed to stabilize the arm. 

juji6 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

juji6 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

By the 14 second mark above, Hardy was on his knees and about to escape from GSP’s grasp completely.  Had he squeezed his knees together at the beginning of the arm bar attempt, we believe Hardy’s arm would have been immobilized and the submission would have been successful.

Click here to link to our videos on juji gatame - traditional version, and our modified judo4MMA version of juji gatame.


April 4, 2010

Counters to Juji Gatame

Friday, May 18th, 2012

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

Breaking the Hold in Juji Gatame

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Our classes normally begin with lots of grappling to warm up (not your standard warm-up, for sure). I was watching two guys, one a lightweight, the other significantly bigger, maybe middleweight, as they went from one move to the next.  Lightweights move so quickly, but patience can pay off.  The lightweight had the beginnings of a juji gatame on the other fellow, but couldn’t break the hand hold and gave up immediately, moving on to something else.

When Dave asked if there were anything we wanted to cover after all the grappling, I suggested breaking the grip of your opponent in order to effect the juji. (Chris had had kakure garami applied to him during his match with Dave, so he wanted to cover that: click to see Kakure Garami, our version of kesa garami).

Dave showed two methods to break the opponent’s hand grip: one I can describe; the other, although perfectly effective and easy to execute, is too complicated to explain. It is, however, on the video clip link at the bottom of this article.

The simplest method of breaking your opponent’s hand grip to get a juji gatame:

You are on your back (perpendicular to your opponent) with one or both legs on your opponent, applying as much weight and pressure as you can. Your hips are as close to his shoulder as is possible. You have both arms grasping his near arm and are trying to pull his arm straight. You can’t have a better position for this arm bar; however, your opponent is no fool and has clasped his hands together and is holding on for dear life. What happens is that as you pull his arms, his clasped hands and arms are effectively in a straight line, ninety degrees from yours, and his hands remain together. Try it.

What you need to do is break the straight line. This can be accomplished in a few ways, the easiest being to let go of his arm with one of yours (making sure your other arm keeps his solidly hooked); then use your free arm to reach for his far arm and pull his arm strongly towards you.  Next, place both of your legs, slightly crossed, at about the far tricep to ensure he doesn’t move his far arm back into the old position. Now his arms are no longer in a straight line, his hands are not grasped anywhere near as securely as before and his arm cannot move back to the previous position.

In addition to pulling your own arms toward your chest to attempt to break his grip, you can fall to your side (generally towards his head). This also breaks the straight line aspect of the hand hold. Once his hands are loose, you can pull his arm away and straighten it for the juji, moving from your side to the standard juji position. When pulling the arm straight, ensure that you have his thumb pointed to the sky.  If he has his thumb pointed to the side, you are fighting his bicep, one of the strongest muscles in his arm. Turning the thumb to the sky, causes the forearm muscles to work, smaller and weaker muscles. Click to see the basic Ude Hishigi Juji Gatame technique.

In order to break the hold in juji gatame, you need not be stronger than your opponent, but to apply simple strategies to enable his hands to separate.

Click here to go to the Breaking the Grip in Juji Gatame video


February 16, 2009

Fight for The Troops 2008/12/10

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Since we live on a sailboat (see, we have limited space in which to sit and watch television, basically an area about 13.5′x8′.  We make a lot of noise, sometimes with as many as eight people crammed in here, commenting on the fights and laughing and groaning.  Charlie the bird (see website above) wants to be involved and screams louder and louder in order to get out of his cage or to get attention.  It’s an experience.  So you can imagine what the evening was like: not only were we making a lot of noise, but Charlie was screaming, and the television was blaring with announcers, music, and troops howling. It was something special.  We may tape it some day.

I won’t comment on all the fights: some were so short (a good shot here and he’s down); most were standing virtually the whole time and I generally won’t comment there.

Cantwell did a beautiful ude hishigi juji gatame on Al-Hassan to end their match.  It looked bad when he did it and much worse in slow motion, showing the elbow poking forward – that’s when we had groans here. Gak. Al-Hassan should have tapped out earlier!

About this fight: As soon as Dave heard that Al-Hassan was a TKD guy, he said there’d be problems. The guy stood too straight with neck extended and his arms were in front of his chest (they don’t punch to the head in TKD). Literally seconds after Dave commented, Joe Rogan said the same thing and so Dave said that he’d just said that. It went on.

Regarding the Wolff and Saunders fight: We’re sure that Wolff would have had to go to the hospital.  There were so many knees to the head, his forehead was hugely swollen.  The fight should have been stopped earlier. Wolff looked far, far, worse than Ken Shamrock on his night of a thousand bee stings (the fight against Ortiz a few years ago when he looked as though he’d been stung a thousand times).

The main event was between Koscheck and Yoshida.  We were keen to see Yoshida as he’s a top judoka in Japan. He had mentioned worrying about Koscheck’s big looping right. Why was his left hand down? It should have been up by his temple the whole time. He was out on his feet after the first solid punch with that right hand. Sad.

A final note: I don’t know about the Wolff and Saunders fight since I don’t think they gave the tale of the tape for them, but other than Cantwell versus Al-Hassan, I think everyone who had a reach advantage won.  Does anyone keep tabs?


December 11, 2008