There are a number of compression locks in grappling, which function with tori placing a limb (acting as a fulcrum) in the crook of one of uke's joints, and applying pressure to flex the joint over the limb, simultaneously crushing the muscles/ligaments either side of it and hyper-flexing the joint around it. While

are historic judo techniques (if banned in randori/competition for over a century), I have never seen the Biceps Slicer described as an explicit technique in any Kodokan material.1 2

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Is a biceps slicer a legal technique (since it is a joint lock targeting the elbow), and if not, was it ever taught in judo?

  1. Here it is being demonstrated in a Kosen Judo club however, using pressure from a leg triangle to apply the lock.
  2. Here being demonstrated by John Anderson (Kodokan 8th Dan), using pressure from the other arm.
  • 1
    The person who taught this armlock to me studied with John Anderson (RIP); this is what I learned. I'm amazed by what you can find on YouTube these days.
    – mattm
    Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 14:38

2 Answers 2


I was taught a compression armlock by a US national referee. I am not formally familiar with the term bicep slicer, but your description of the armlock matches exactly what I learned.

It's a joint lock on the elbow that can be performed in a controlled manner, so there is nothing to make it illegal. It's legal.

I don't recall whether I have seen this armlock in judo publications.

The compression armlock is not one of my competition techniques, so I have never tested whether it is allowed in competition. I personally find it only works roughly half the time, mostly based on the partner.


As always, it depends on the rule set your training is targeting; but with that being said...the bicep slicer is legal accoring to the current IJF, and Free-Style Judo competition rule-sets.

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