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Kesa Gatame - Scarf Hold

What is Kesa Gatame

Kesa Gatame (袈裟固) means Scarf Hold in English. This is a great pin for Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Wrestling. It's common and easy to do because it's a natural transition from most hip throws like Koshi Guruma.

We'll walk you through the steps here. If you ever have questions, subscribe to our email by scrolling to the bottom of the page and opting in. We'd love to hear from you! 👋

How to do Kesa Gatame

  1. We'll start with your uke laying on his or her back with their arms in scarecrow position.
  2. First you're going to be on your knees and walk in your uke's armpit.
  3. Next grab the closest arm, put it in your armpit, and clamp down.
  4. Then, with your free hand, hook around their neck, and do a "baseball slide" through so you make an S with your legs.
  5. At this point you want to head near your partner's head. The cue we tell our students is "head down whispering secrets in your partner's ear."

Here's the Kodokan's version:

When should I use Kesa Gatame?

This move is best used when you're transitioning from a hip throw to newaza (ground techniques).

Also, if you're passing your partner's guard in Judo or BJJ you'll sometimes be able to grab their sleeve and slide through.

You'll see in the videos above how to do Kesa Gatame and how easy it is to learn. Just follow the steps

My best advice is if you are doing Judo, Wrestling, or even Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to learn Kesa Gatame and make it second nature.

How to escape Kesa Gatame?

  1. Make a "C" with your outside hand and put in partner's armpit
  2. Turn inside to face your partner.
  3. Shrimp your butt away while pushing with your hand in armpit to make space.
  4. Get to your knees.
  5. Push with your hand in the armpit to pop your head out.


What if I have questions?

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