In a judo context, "elbow-lock" has a broader definition than in other martial arts, referring to both armbars and bent-arm rotational locks (since both manipulate the elbow joint for effect, regardless of the point of pain).1 2

Given this, what does a shoulder lock refer to in judo?

1 Answer 1


In Judo texts which use "elbow lock" to refer to bent-arm locks, the term "shoulder lock" appears in two contexts:

  • kata-gatame ("shoulder hold", osaekomi-waza)1 2 3
  • kata-ha-jime ("single wing choke", shime-waza)4

Here, "lock" appears to be a translation of "katame" - i.e. while these "lock" the shoulder in place, they are not kansetsu-waza since they do not cause pain to the arm by stretching, bending, or twisting it (i.e. they are katame but not ude-hishigi). As such they are legal, as incorporated in the above techniques.


1. My Method of Judo, Mikinosuke Kawaishi (1955)
2. Jūdō, Sakujirō Yokoyama, ‎Eisuké Ōshima (1915)
3. Judo for Young Men, Tadao Ōtaki, Donn F. Draeger (1965)
4. Higher Judo - Groundwork (p.173) (1952)

Figs. 193 and 194 show a strangle-hold combined with a shoulder-lock.
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