Bent Arm Lock
|Ude garami, or bent arm lock, can be done many ways and from different positions in Kodokan Judo. The opponent’s arm can be bent upwards towards the head or down towards the legs. It often uses considerable twisting action that can injure the shoulder as well as the primary target of the elbow joint. This version is being demonstrated by Kenji Tomiki, 8th dan.
|To achieve the strongest position to apply the armbar you must bend the opponent’s elbow and seize his/her wrist with your hand so that the thumb side or your hand is closest to your opponent’s elbow. You then reach under the opponent’s elbow with your other arm and grab onto your own hand or wrist. This is the armbar used by Masahiko Kimura to defeat Helio Gracie, who founded Gracie Jiujitsu. Brazilian Jiujitsu students now call this armbar the Kimura.
| Udegarami can be done to apply pressure to the shoulder or the elbow. In Judo we try to achieve the armbar pressure on the elbow since it is the more efficient and effective version. The two key points that make ude garami work effectively against the elbow when you are in the basic udegarami position shown below are: 1) the arm should not be bent very far (90 degrees is too much), and 2) the elbow should be pulled towards the belt.
Armlocks by Neil Adams is the best book on this and other armbars (kansetsuwaza). This former world champion produced the most comprehensive survey of Judo armlock techniques ever undertaken, including many used successfully in international competition by the author himself. An excellent volume of the Ippon Books Masterclass Series.
| Key point: “Maintain complete control of his shoulder”
—Judo in Action by Kazuzo Kudo