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Judo joint locking techniques

judo joint lock 

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Armlock techniques are usually applied in conjunction with other moves, but they may be applied directly. In judo, you are allowed to apply pressure only to the elbow joint. Pressure on any other joint is considered dangerous, as it can easily result in permanent injury.


You can put the opponent in a considerable amount of pain via the elbow joint before the breaking point is reached, and most opponents surrender before that happens. Pressure is applied directly against the elbow when the arm is straight or indirectly when it is bent.

Here are some of the basic armlock techniques that beginners usually learn:

Arm Lock With Arm (Ude Gatame )

When you have your opponent down in a holding position and he reaches across your face to block you, grab onto his left wrist and put it against your shoulder, ensuring that his thumb is facing towards you. Place your hands or your right forearm above the elbow of his outstretched arm and press it down towards your body, putting pressure on his left elbow.

Cross Arm Lock / Arm Bar  ( Ude-Hishigi-Juji-Gatame )

Drop your right knee onto your opponent’s side, below his right armpit, while controlling his right outstretched hand via a forearm placed on the inside of his elbow. Lower yourself into a squat slowly, while pulling the elbow tightly to your chest and placing your left leg over your opponent’s head and tightly around the neck. Then,  sit as close to your opponent’s shoulder as possible and pull the elbow strongly with your right forearm. Slowly lean back to keep constant pressure, ensuring that you squeeze your knees together to control the shoulder. Make sure that the thumb of your opponent is pointing up, so that pressure will be applied towards the appropriate side of the arm.

If the arm has been fully extended but the opponent hasn’t tapped out, you can lift hips by bridging. However, this should be done slowly and carefully as you might dislocate your opponent’s elbow.

Armpit Armlock ( Waki Gatame )

As your opponent reaches out to block you from a holding position, grab his wrist with both hands. In a swift motion, shift away from your opponent while keeping hold of his arm, thereby rotating him onto his front and clamp down on his arm near his shoulder with your armpit. Stretch his elbow and lock the straightened arm.


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