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. 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
    Jul 9, 2019 at 6:16

2 Answers 2


Unconventional osaekomi-waza

Most legally scoring pins come under one of the 10 osaekomi-waza classifications. However, I have seen a couple of unconventional pins which as far as I am aware do not come under any of these labels:

  1. "Inverted kesa-gatame"

    enter image description here

    This is a technique favoured by Matsumoto Kaori and Funakubo Haruka, used to success a number of times:

    And a similar technique from An Baul grabbing the far lapel (as opposed to the near one, avoiding the headlock):

    enter image description here

  1. Wrestling's "Bow & Arrow" / "Ashi-sankaku"

    enter image description here

    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.

  2. Sankaku

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


Non-scoring pins

There are a number of unconventional pins which are unclassified but are non-scoring or illegal:

  1. 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)).

    This kind of osaekomi-waza is not valid and the referee must call mate if there is no progression in the action.

    enter image description here

  2. Kesa-like headlocks

    This kind of osaekomi-waza is not valid and the referee must call mate immediately.

    enter image description here

    It is never allowed to hold an osaekomi just around the head/neck without control of at least one arm.

    • Ibid.
  3. Crucifix: Jigoku-jime

    There is also the crucifix hold, which as far as I'm aware does not come under any of the official Kodokan pin groupings:

    enter image description here

    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.

  4. Crucifix: Mifune's Ura-nage

    This pin is considered non-scoring since tori's body is underneath uke's.



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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