Glossary of Judo waza (techniques) terms

Kesa-gatame (Scarf hold)

Kesa-gatame

Summary

This basic Osae komi waza (Hold-down techniques) favors heavyweight division combatants.

Features of this Waza

In the Kesa-gatame (Scarf hold) Waza, Tori (Player executing technique) wraps an arm around Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) neck and pins Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) with his upper body.

Waza details

Tori (Player executing technique) wraps an arm around the back of Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) neck, and pins his upper body as if hugging him.
At this time, one of Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) arms (on Tori (Player executing technique) chest side) is scissored and locked against Tori (Player executing technique) side, disabling it.
Tori (Player executing technique) then brings his face close to Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) face to firmly pin Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) with his upper body.
In order to maintain balance as Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) attempts to move, Tori (Player executing technique) extends one leg forward, and rests his other leg on his flexed knee.
The pinned Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) may try to pull on Tori (Player executing technique) back from below in order to turn him over, but Tori (Player executing technique) can repel this by releasing his hold on Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) neck and placing that hand against the floor for balance and support.
In actual competition, combatants may escape this hold-down by twisting at the waist and raising their hips, though this escape maneuver favors women combatants with flexible bodies.
The "Kesa-gatame" (Scarf hold) name comes from the fact that it resembles the over-one-shoulder robe worn by priests.
This is a fundamental Waza in Judo, and one of the first that beginners learn.