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?

  • The 2019 IJF SOR now says: "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)." – ukemi Sep 9 '19 at 20:58

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:

  • I had assumed so, and have won several (low level) competitions with this submission, but I've been training at a new club recently and the (quite high level) coach advised me against using it for fear of applying pressure to the uke's jaw/face (with their trapped arm). As such I was wondering whether the choke itself is outright disallowed (I couldn't find any explicit info online about this), or whether I just need to work on more accurately targeting the neck when performing it. – ukemi Aug 9 '19 at 10:47
  • 2
    @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 '19 at 17:14
  • @mattm nor I, hence asking this question in case there was some issue I wasn't seeing. – ukemi Aug 9 '19 at 17:37

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