Ashi Gatame - Judo Term Explained

Ashi Gatame Judo Term


Ashi Gatame is a Judo technique referring to a kansetsu-waza (joint lock) where one uses their legs to immobilise opponents, enhancing affirmative capabilities. Executed by wrapping one's legs around the opponent's leg, variations include prone and supine position applications.

Properly applied, Ashi Gatame strategically immobilizes and controls leg joints, leading toupdate submissions or scoring techniques. It is a versatile and effective technique that can flow smoothly from various holds.

Master Ashi Gatame to elevate your combat skills.

Key Takeaways

Ashi Gatame is an immobilisation technique categorised as kansetsu-waza (joint lock) in Judo, enhancing groundwork and scoring capabilities by wrapping one's legs around the opponent's leg.

This fully legal technique in Judo and BJJ allows transitions into various holds, including kesa gatame. Proper execution of Ashi Gatame ensures precise positioning and leverage to restrict opponent movement effectively, often adapted from supine or prone positions, and can evolve into submissions or scoring techniques.

Ashi Gatame Meaning and Classification

Ashi gatame, also known as ude-hishigi-ashi-gatame, is a Kodokan Judo grappling technique categorized as kansetsu-waza (joint lock).

This ground technique immobilizes opponents using leverage, falling under katame-waza and joint lock categories.

Ashi-Gatame Execution and Variations

Ashi Gatame, a precise and controlled judo technique, involves wrapping one's legs around the opponent's leg to apply systematic pressure. This strategic maneuver successfully immobilizes and controls the opponent on the ground, enhancing one's groundwork and scoring prowess.

Ashi Gatame includes several variations, incorporating different positions and transitions:

  • Prone Position Application: Ashi Gatame can be executed from a prone position where the attacking player (Tori) wraps one of the opponent's arms between their legs and applies downward pressure on the elbow joint.
  • Supine Position Execution: Ashi Gatame can also be executed from a supine position, where Tori wraps an arm around the opponent's neck while applying pressure to the elbow with the thigh.
  • Adaptions from Different Holds: Ashi Gatame variations involve transitioning to this technique from other holds or progressions, strategically leveraging leg and body positioning to achieve maximum impact.
  • Additional Techniques: Incorporating the Ude Hishigi Ashi Gatame, known as a Leg Arm Bar or Side Lying Arm Bar, and Ude Gatame techniques enhance the overall groundwork and groundwork scoring capabilities.

This judo technique offers immense versatility by allowing judokas to shift seamlessly into immobilisations, setups for submissions, and pinning opportunities. Ashi Gatame's adaptability is further exemplified by its ability to transition from different holds or preset movements, allowing judokas to stay adaptable in combat scenarios.

Legality and Application of Ashi Gatame

Properly applied leg locks in Judo, such as Ashi Gatame, strategically immobilise and control an opponent's leg joint.

Ashi Gatame, a legal grappling technique, ensures precise positioning and leverage to restrict movement effectively, evolving into submissions or scoring techniques while maintaining control and immobilisation.

Check the full list of Judo terms here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Ashi Mean in Judo?

In Judo, 'ashi' means 'leg' or 'foot,' referring to techniques that use the legs and feet to unbalance or throw an opponent.

What Is Gatame in Judo?

Gatame in Judo refers to pinning or holding techniques that immobilize opponents on the ground, leveraging body control to secure wins. Techniques include Kami Shiho Gatame, Kata Gatame, Kesa Gatame, Kuzure Kesa Gatame, Kuzure Kami Shiho Gatame, Tate Shiho Gatame, and Yoko Shiho Gatame.

What Is the Meaning of Kesa Gatame in Judo?

Kesa gatame in judo refers to a side control hold where Tori wraps one arm over Uke's head and the other under their arm, resembling a draped scarf. This position is categorized as one of the seven mat holds, known as Osaekomi-waza, and is commonly referred to as a "scarf hold" due to its resemblance to a Buddhist monk's sash.

What Does Gatame Mean in Japanese?

Gatame in Japanese means 'pin' or 'hold.' It refers to various pinning techniques that aim to control and immobilize opponents in Judo, with the goal of securing points and gaining dominance. These techniques are categorized under "osaekomi-waza" or "katame-waza," which encompasses different types of grappling techniques. Notable examples include Kesa-gatame (Scarf hold), Kata-gatame (Shoulder hold), Kuzure-kesa-gatame (Broken scarf hold), Kami-shiho-gatame (Upper four quarter hold), and Yoko-shiho-gatame (Side four quarter hold). Each of these techniques involves strategically placing body parts to restrict the opponent's mobility and secure a hold, often leading to points in a match.


Ashi gatame is a potent grappling technique masterfully leveraging joint manipulation to immobilize and disadvantage opponents. Its versatility shines in various positions, making it a crucial tool for controlling and potentially submitting adversaries.

As one of Kodokan Judo's 29 official grappling techniques, Ashi gatame exemplifies Judo's expertise in joint manipulation, showcasing the martial art's efficiency in ground grappling.

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