The IJF in 2013 (and the Kodokan in 2017) recognised two new pins as valid osaekomi-waza in competition: uki-gatame, and ura-gatame.

I have seen the term ura-gatame refer to two distinct positions:

1. ushiro-kesa-gatame style pins controlling the near leg 2. a crucifix-like pin
IJF SOR Explanatory notes: Osaekomi-waza Kyuzo Mifune "The Essence of Judo"

In its explanatory notes, the IJF only includes example images of the former style hold, and hence it seems that the crucifix-like position from jigoku-jime may now be considered a pin for uke:


Is a crucifix also a valid osaekomi-waza in judo?

Either in the standard jigoku-jime position or the rotated version demonstrated by Mifune.


1 Answer 1


I do not know exactly what "crucifix" means to you, but will try to explain how I have seen this term used and how your examples relate.

Judo rule change

My understanding of the rule change you have illustrated is:

  1. The left position was a pin before, and is a pin now (ushiro kesa gatame).
  2. The right position was not a pin before, but is a pin now (ura gatame). The objection seems to have been that the right position is not a kesa or shiho like position because tori's back was to uke. I always thought this point was silly and I am glad this was changed; tori has no substantial improvement in position simply by turning their hips to the side.


This is not a position I have studied formally, but when I have previously heard about this, it refers to an attacking position similar to blue's position in your right image. From this position, white's arms are tied up, and blue can strike with the free hand. This is not a judo pinning position for blue, but for white.

In the jigoku jime position, the choker definitely does not have a pin (osaekomi) because they are underneath. The person being choked may have osaekomi depending on the situation. In your third picture, the person being choked is not in control and would not have a pin. It's possible, however, to have a ura gatame pin and be choked by the opponent in the pin, as in the right-hand example in your first image. The situation of one player having a pin and the other choking is also possible in kesa gatame, for example.

Ura gatame demonstrated by Mifune

your example

Upon reconsideration, I think this is not a pin. From Article 17 - Osaekomi-waza of the IJF SOR:

The contestant applying osaekomi must have his body on and over opponent’s body in covering it to holds opponent down underneath his body, with applying pressure onto opponent’s front upper body with his front upper body in either the kesa, the shiho or ura position.

Uke is not underneath tori.


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