Judo Legend Neil Adams Reveals Secrets of Famous Arm Lock

Judo Legend Neil Adams Reveals Secrets of Famous Arm Lock

Neil Adams MBE is an English judoka who won numerous Olympic and World Championship medals in judo representing Great Britain. Adams was the first British male to win a World title, and the first British male to simultaneously hold a world title and a European title. Other achievements include a gold medal at the 1981 World Judo Championships in Maastricht, the Netherlands, plus silver medals in the 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games and the 1983 Judo World Championships. Adams was also five-time European Champion. On 20 September 2008 he was promoted to 8th Dan at the age of 49. He is known for his ground game (ne waza) and his armbar.

Adams has released a new series of Judo instructional entitled ‘Essential Judo‘ and in an exclusive article for BJJEE.com, broke down his famous Juji Gatame armlock that won him the World Championship.


6 Effective Ways To Increase Your Arm Lock Submission Rate
By Neil Adams MBE

My favourite arm lock or Juji Gatame as it is known in Judo is one of the techniques that helped me to win the World Judo Championship. You can watch me in action in the final on this clip.

Over the years I have used the armlock many times to ensure I was victorious in high level competitions.

The result is that I get asked all the time by students “How can I make my armlock more effective?” and in this article I will give you 6 ways to make sure you get those tap outs whenever you go for this armlock.

1.The Catch

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Perhaps the catch is the most important aspect of the armlock because if you don’t manage to get the arm then you won’t be able to get the technique at all.

In essence the catch is about hunting the body part you are attacking and in this case it is the arm. Catch the arm at the elbow to get the best results.

2. Sustaining Pressure

This is where most players go wrong. It is critical that you apply pressure to the arm to ensure the success of the technique. When applying an armlock a lot of people sit up to get the arm out and it is at this time that most Juji Gatames are lost.

It is important to sit back, and to get the arm out you need to put pressure on the arm and elbow as you do this.

3. The Arm Not The Roll

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If we are applying the arm lock from all fours as in my Juji roll you need to understand this key concept:

“The roll is a result of pressure on the arm and head”

In other words it is not about rolling the person and then applying the armlock which is where so many people go wrong.

In all the books you have read you cannot see the pressure on the arm that is going on. To make your Juji better you need to maintain pressure on the head with the back of the leg and attacking that arm all the time..

It goes like this:

1.Pressure on the arm with your arm
2.Pressure on the head with your leg
3.The roll is the third part

The goal of the roll is to encourage the person to roll by applying enough pressure to the elbow and head and therefore encouraging the person to roll over to eleviate the pain and pressure being applied.

Once the roll is done you are in a far better position to get the arm out

4. Locking The Elbow

When you hunt for the arm, an issue is that people hook too deeply or not deep enough. What then happens is that the opponent then closes up the armpit and shuts your Juji down.

You then need to hook the elbow and apply pressure into the crook of the arm and at the same time figure four the arm pressing down on the wrist . You then take the arm towards their head maintaining pressure into the elbow joint and once they lose their defensive grip on their own arm you straighten the arm and apply the lock..

5.Hip Positioning is Very Important

If you are doing a roll or a double lapel turn you need to become better at turning your hips. Body positioning and re-adjustment of the hips are essential for correct positioning of the body and applying pressure throughout the movement.

In the case of the double lapel turn you must turn your hips so you can get the leg over the head: show video

It is very difficult to do any kind of roll at all unless you turn your hips and body.

6 Re Adjusting Your Balance

In any technique be it standing or on the ground you need to re adjust your balance.

With the Juji roll if you do not adjust your balance you will simply not be able to finish the technique off.

I have noticed that BJJ players tend to be much better at adjusting their balance with ground fighting because they have more time in practice and competition which gives them the time to gather their thoughts and game plan and assess where their balance needs to be.

Judoka do not have as long on the ground to catch and develop the technique and so need to learn to adjust their balance far quicker so that they have more chance of catching the arm lock.This also means that the transition from a throwing situation into a groundwork position needs to be quicker and be well drilled.

If you start to apply all of these 6 factors to your armlock training you will soon start to achieve greater success.

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