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Defend The Juji-Gatame With Travis Stevens

Defend The Juji-Gatame With Travis Stevens


One of the most iconic techniques in combat sports is the Juji-Gatame. It’s one of those techniques that perfectly exemplifies the concept of using your entire body effectively and efficiently to achieve the submission. The Juji-Gatame can come in multiple varieties as well, and as we all know, variety is the spice of life.  They can come from a standing position, while on your back, from the mount, and sometimes FLYING. 

So HOW do we defend this technique? Thankfully for us Travis Stevens, decorated Olympian, has a great breakdown on how to avoid this technique. Check out the video below and check out more of what Travis Stevens has to offer!


In this armlock scenario Travis is in the turtle position. His opponent attacks his Juji-Gatame with a rolling variation. This is mostly seen in Judo due the nature of the turtle and the rule set. Often times to defend a throw, the defender will have to turtle up like Travis is here. This provides an opportunity for the top player to attack. 

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The first detail Travis gives us is where he places his hand. On the arm that is being hooked for the Juji, Travis immediately finds his inner thigh with his hand. This will aid in keeping separation from occurring. The next step in defending is by preventing the attacker from hooking your leg. Travis stops this by straightening his leg and pushing their leg down with his free hand. This will come in handy later. 

After these initial safety protocols are established Travis forces a roll. At this time you should notice how Travis has his legs configured. This will aid in the armlock defense immensely. Another goal the Olympian has in mind is how he will establish his base after the roll. To switch his base Travis leans his weight into his opponent which makes his legs lighter for the transition. 

At this point Stevens isn’t super concerned with the Juji-Gatame threat due to the lack of leverage. He will be hard to tip back over. This makes dropping their legs down and turning your arm much more manageable. Once they are in this spot you are basically free from the Juji, and can begin to pass. 

These defensive concepts can be applied to many variations of Juji-Gatame. Often times someone attacking an armbar will end up in a belly down variation. This looks very similar to the rolling Juji we saw Travis defend. By gripping the inner thigh, stuffing the leg, and forcing a roll you can find yourself in a lot less danger. 

Arm Lock Series (Juji-Gatame) by Jimmy Pedro and Travis Stevens
How do you think Travis became such a master at Defending The Armlock? BY DOING THE ARMLOCK. Arm Lock Series (Juji-Gatame) by Jimmy Pedro and Travis Stevens is complete breakdown of EVERYTHING Armlock. Learn how to defend and execute one of the most iconic techniques in all of combat!