Posts Tagged ‘variation’

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

Side Mount Escapes – Escapes from Yoko Shiho Gatame and Kuzure Yoko Shiho Gatame

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Last Friday, Dave had the class practice escapes from Yoko Shiho and Kuzure Yoko Shiho Gatame (kuzure means variation), the side four quarter ground lock or hold.

One major beef of mine is with fighters who get pinned on their backs – deliberately or in error – and can’t get out. They will get pounded, elbowed, and basically, clobbered. In the years since the first UFC with the introduction of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we have had so many fighters lay on their backs and try to win from there. It was far worse the first few years when everyone followed the Gracies’ techniques to the letter, especially pulling guard. Since MMA fights tend not to have gis, pulling guard with the objective of sleeve chokes isn’t too practical. Pulling guard, being on the bottom, is not something to aim for: In BJJ rules, there are limited ways to gain points from that position, so you really want to get out of there. If you are there, through happenstance or deliberately, you want to get out from under your opponent. If nothing else, he can use gravity against you – he can lift his head and torso and just drop arms, hands, shoulders, and elbows on your head. If he is a strong ground and pound guy, and you are on the bottom, you may well be toast.

I know some of you love the guard, love crossing your ankles and holding the guy. You think you’re in control. In fact, the guy on top has the superior position and that’s where you want to be. If you’re on the bottom, in a BJJ match, get some points by sweeping your opponent and get out of there. Switch positions.

Dave Here - Note that you get points for getting OUT of guard, not for getting into guard.  Just that alone should tell you that it is not the desired position.  If one of the major objectives of your guard work is to achieve a sweep and get on top, then, logically, it is much better to just start on top in the first place!

Scenario: Your opponent has passed your guard and is in side mount: Practice the escapes from yoko shiho gatame and kuzure yoko shiho gatame. Chances are that the side control will be a kuzure (or variation), but the escape is similar for each variation. In judo, of course, we see the traditional and kuzure yoko shiho gatame as well.Click here to go to two escapes from yoko shiho gatame. Click here to go to escape from kuzure yoko shiho gatame.

Depending on how you learn, you may pick these up quickly and be proficient immediately. Others, such as I, may take a while to learn the new techniques, to incorporate them into muscle memory.

Crucial points for these escapes: For Yoko Shiho Gatame escapes, trap your opponent’s arm between your legs; move your body, not his, to lengthen and break his grip; facilitate the roll by pushing his head under your back (prevents him from posting with his forehead and also protects his head and neck). For Kuzure Yoko Shiho Gatame escapes, move onto your side and go under your opponent (this enables more of his mass to be on your center of gravity, making it easier to turn him); again, facilitate the roll and protect his head and neck by pushing his head under your back; if he has an arm behind your neck, trap his arm by pushing onto it with your own neck.

Practice these escapes with a partner, back and forth. You will get into slightly different positions each time, going from the escape to your own ground hold.


November 13, 2009