Pinning techniques in Judo
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Once you have control of the opponent’s body, you can apply a variety of pinning techniques. Here are some of the more common ones:
Upper four-quarters hold (Kami Shiho Gatame)
Approach the opponent from behind in a kneeling position. Spread your knees as wide as possible with your toes pointed outward so that the inner edges of your feet touch the mat. This will give you great stability, preventing the opponent from turning you over.
Slide both of your hands under the opponent’s arms along his sides and grip his belt tightly. Pull both your arms backwards, bringing your elbows in towards your side. At the same time, press your stomach and chest firmly against his head and chest. This will immobilise the upper part of his body. Keep his head between your knees and press your stomach against his head.
Scarf hold (Kesa Gatame)
Your opponent would be flat on his back at your right side. Positioning your upper body near his head, stretch your right forearm over his neck and under his head. Your right hand should be holding the collar near his right shoulder. Pull his right arm and grasp it with your left hand near his elbow, such that his right hand goes under your left armpit. Prop up his right arm with your right thigh to prevent him from reaching upwards.
Make sure to keep your head down to apply pressure and your legs are apart on the ground in order to form a stable base.
Shoulder hold (Kata Gatame)
If you leave your opponent’s right arm free during a scarf hold, he will usually try to push it in your face or neck.
When that happens, use your left arm and push his free arm across his neck, before directing your shoulder down on to it, using your body weight. After which, your left hand should grip your right in its position below the head from the scarf hold, completing the loop around his neck. Prop yourself up on your right knee, making sure your left foot is firmly on the mat for support, before pushing your upper body into the opponent’s head.
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