I was recently inspired by this question: Do pins in judo have to be standard pins?

The answers given are obviously correct as the Judo definition of a pin is a lot more loose than what the question suggests. However it made me wonder:

I cannot remember ever having seen a pin in Judo that was so unconventional that I was unable to classify it as one of the standard pins. Does anyone of you know of such a technique (preferably one that could reasonably used in randori or shiai)?

  • There are four, arguably five groups of similar pins or gatame (tate-shiho, yoko-shiho, kami-shiho, kesa, (kata)). Probably every pin can be classified as belonging to one of the groups, but surely there are loads of different, non-standard pins. Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 21:32
  • 1
    My definition of standart here would be anything that belongs into any of the groups that Philip Klöcking listed.
    – NewEyes
    Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 6:16

2 Answers 2


Most legally scoring pins come under one of the 10 osaekomi-waza classifications. However, I have seen a couple of unconventional pins which do not obviously appear to fall under any of these:

Unconventional osaekomi-waza

What differentiates these from traditional pins is that tori is controlling uke from behind, holding from behind their head and using tension in the gi (or an inverted headlock) to pin them, as opposed to using their bodyweight on top of uke.

SRT / Funakubo-gatame

A technique favoured by Matsumoto Kaori and Funakubo Haruka, a variation of the "Super Rolling Thunder" (SRT) / stomach wrap turnover. Here tori usually prevents rotation in the other direction by also holding the belt/pants of the opposite side of uke:

Example Image Examples
enter image description here - WC Seniors 2015
- WC Juniors 2015: 1, 2, 3
enter image description here A similar technique from An Baul

Matsumoto headlock / Wrestling's "Assassin"

When going for an anaconda choke, instead of rolling to finish the submission tori can push uke back or step over them to end in a pin:

Example Image Examples
enter image description here - Dusseldorf GP 2016

Sankaku holds

Some variants of pinning sankaku positions are (to my knowledge) not covered under the standard pin classifications, but still qualify as osaekomi.

Wrestling's "Bow & Arrow" ("Ashi-sankaku")

This is a pin which seems to be inspired by wrestling's "Bow and Arrow" but with control of both legs with a triangle instead of just one (necessarily because of judo rules regarding limb control by uke in osaekomi).

It is taught by Koji Komuro and has been used to success multiple times by Miku Tashiro involving trapping uke's legs with a leg-triangle, and then controlling their upper body from the outside by holding either an arm or their neck/collar.

Non-scoring pins

There are a number of unconventional pins which are unclassified but are non-scoring or illegal. These also are differentiated from usual pins in that control comes from behind uke's body:

Seated on side-ribs

This pin is no longer considered valid for scoring since uke's arm is not between the legs, and thus no control over it (IJF Referee & Coach Seminar 2016 - Part 1 (7:20:10)).:

Example Image Description
enter image description here "This kind of osaekomi-waza is not valid and the referee must call mate if there is no progression in the action."
- IJF Sport and Organisation Rules (SOR, version 5 June 2019) (Sport Commission) (p.117)


Example Image Description
enter image description here There is also the crucifix hold, which as far as I'm aware does not come under any of the official Kodokan pin groupings.
Note: the Kodokan used to designate the collar choke executed from this position as jigoku-jime, but I believe it is now officially considered a variant of okuri-eri-jime.
... Mifune's ura-gatame ("Crucifix")
This pin is considered non-scoring since tori's body is underneath uke's.

Headlock (without arm)

Additionally there are headlock pins which are illegal due to potential danger to the neck:

Example Image Description
enter image description here "This kind of osaekomi-waza is not valid and the referee must call mate immediately."
"It is never allowed to hold an osaekomi just around the head/neck without control of at least one arm."
- Ibid.
  • 2
    AFAIK there are are kami sankaku osae gatame and Tate sankaku osae gatame Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 5:13
  • Funakubo-gatame, Shiba-Yama Tate Gaeshi Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 17:05

Uki gatame is a Kodokan-classified pin that is neither a shiho nor a kesa type hold. This pin is most common from the position where tori is attempting ude-hishigi-juji-gatame with both legs over uke and decides to change from the arm lock to a pin.

uki gatame

Personally, I would also argue that pins from a sankaku position are also not shiho holds, but the Kodokan says otherwise.


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