Offside Kesa Gatame has an Judo Name

OK, it’s official. The collective intelligence of the Grapplearts readership is awesome.

Thousands of people people receive  my newsletters, and many more read my articles on the website, via RSS feeds, etc. If we all got together and combined our knowledge we’d make Rickson Gracie look like a three-stripe white belt.

A few days ago I talked about one of my favorite unorthodox positions: Offside Kesa Gatame. I also said that, to the best of my knowledge, there aren’t any formal names for this position

Well Chris Beaver from Canada and Pierre Henry from Belgium both wrote in to tell me that Judo DOES have a name for this position, namely: “Makura Kesa Gatame.”

The funny thing is that, before I wrote the article in question, I’d asked about 5 Judo black belts if they’d ever seen that position and they all said no.

After I got those two emails I did some additional research and found out that there are a couple of variations of Makura Kesa Gatame. One of those variations is very similar to what I call Offside Kesa Gatame.

It’s a bit of a digression, but one thing to keep in mind is that while some Judo players may use this as a PINNING position, knowledge of the submission potential of this position will be more rare. In Judo the pin itself can win the match, so why risk going for a position and losing the position.

(Back when I did Judo going for a submission from a good pinning position in competition would have been considered insane).

I’ve often said that we should look beyond the borders of our own specific martial arts for additional information. Chris and Pierre helped me do just that!

Thanks!

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