How to Do the Head and Arm Choke (aka ‘Kata Gatame’)


The Head and Arm choke is a super-powerful submission that works with and without the gi, with and without strikes, in BJJ, Judo, Submission Grappling and Judo.

It’s ended a lot of matches and even put a few people to sleep.

The Head and Arm choke comes from Judo (where it’s known as Kata Gatame) and if you grapple then it’s a technique that you need to know!

This choke cuts off the blood to your opponent’s brain by applying pressure to both sides of his neck. Your biceps area applies pressure on one side of his neck, and on the other side you use his own shoulder to press into his neck.

True story: I was once training with this gigantic weightlifter guy who was so muscular he had appeared in several movies as an enforcer. Anyway, we’re rolling, I survive the initial onslaught, sweep him, come to the top, and then catch him in the Head and Arm choke.

I squeeze and hold the choke. It takes a while but he eventually taps out. I let go, and he asks me what technique I had used to catch him. I explain that it was the Head and Arm choke and explained the mechanics of it to him.

I can’t believe it,” he said, “I got choked out by my own cannonball delts!

(It was hard not to smile. By the time you start referring to your own shoulders as cannonball delts you know you’ve probably read a few too many bodybuilding magazines.)

Anyway, here’s a breakdown of the choke I used that day to catch the man-monster!

P.S. This choke is from the Grapplearts Step by Step Submissions App which has now been rebuilt and expanded to include 42 easy-to-learn submissions from all the major positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, submission grappling and MMA.

This app includes step-by-step instruction for 42 different techniques, high quality video, and additional details on the hidden points of the techniques making it easy to tighten up your submission attacks!

Step by Step Submissions App

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