In 2017 the Kodokan recognised 3 new osaekomi-waza classifications:

Osaekomi-waza Notes
ura-gatame Historically has referred to multiple pins, but in modern use refers to a hold with tori's back to uke and control of the near arm and leg.
ushiro-kesa-gatame Long established variant of kesa-gatame, demonstrated in numerous Kodokan materials.

However I have not encountered any official materials actually defining uki-gatame. Mikinosuke Kawaishi historically used the term to refer to the "knee on belly" position,1 but numerous modern judo videos 2 3 demonstrate the "S-mount" instead.

How do the Kodokan (and/or IJF) define uki-gatame?

1. My Method of Judo (p.154) (1955)
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWI6s_2Bnmw
3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQMvn-WbWg0


2 Answers 2



Kano's Judo Zakki (c.1888) makes reference to two variants of uki-gatame (浮固). These are described in the Kodokan New Japanese-English Dictionary of Judo:

uki gatame (floating hold) A hold down. When your supine opponent attempts to prevent your juji-gatame (cross armlock) by locking his arms together, remove your leg nearest his head and bend it behind you, then use both legs as if applying kesa gatame and raise your upper body to face your opponent. Or, place your left leg across your opponent's neck and under his arm while your hold his right arm.

The first version appears to be the S-mount, and is demonstrated in the following Kodokan/IJF Academy technique video:

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It appears that uki-gatame has historically also been used to refer to the "knee on belly" position:

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Techniques of Judo, Shinzo Takagaki, Harold E. Sharp My Method of Judo (p.154) (1955)

Uki-gatame is an osaekomi-wasa technique, you shift into it from juji-gatame when your opponent is too strong to be arm-locked.

Beginners sometimes regard uki-gatame as a submission because of its variation where tori presses their knee into the chest of uke.

I think this variation is drawn and clearly explained in your picture by sensei Shozo Awazu:

« le genou droit plié de tori appui fortment sur la poitrine de uke »

Shozo Awazu was the disciple of Kawaishi specialized in ne-waza who spent 80% of his life building the French judo school.

  • 1
    Is this the Kodokan or IJF definition? Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 21:13
  • Kodokan is rather a school, whereas IJF is more a law & standardisation organisation. IJF define criterias to judge a position as an osaekomi. Kodokan gives a name to classify technics and a DO to teach them. Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 9:03
  • 1
    Ah. I was just asking because the querent had asked for a definition from one of them. I'm not the querent, so I can't say if that matters. :) Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 14:11

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