When holding an opponent in kata-gatame:

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by applying pressure to one side of their neck with their trapped shoulder, and the other side with your enclosed arms, you can apply an arm triangle choke, mechanically similar to sankaku-jime, but utilising your arms instead of your legs.

Is this submission legal in judo randori/competition?


2 Answers 2


Yes, arm triangles are legal provided you trap one of uke's arms with their head. According to the IJF Refereeing Seminar 2018:

An action like kata-sankaku (sankaku done with the arms) is allowed in a newaza situation.

Here are some examples of its use in international competition:

And here it is being demonstrated in various seminars:

  • 3
    @ukemi I don't understand why there is more concern with the jaw from this versus the leg sankaku or other chokes. The obvious advantage of this choke is that the osaekomi pin clock is running even if the choke is not successful.
    – mattm
    Aug 9, 2019 at 17:14

Just to add to mattm's answer - the IJF has now codified its position in the current ruleset:

"The kata-sankaku grip in ne-waza action is allowed (picture 1). It is prohibited to block the opponents body with the legs and must be mate (picture 2). If the katasankaku grip is used in tachi-waza mate will be called (picture 3)."

So in short, the following submissions are/aren't legal:

Technique Legal
Peruvian necktie
Arm triangle from closed guard
Standing arm triangles

  1. AKA Ungvari / Brabo choke / Japanese necktie

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