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A helpful handful – 5 hints for a stronger kesagatame

A few days ago I posted a helpful handful of hints on escaping from kesagatame.  Let's turn the tables a little and give the holder an advantage this time.  Here are five hints for making your kesagatame stronger.
  • Set the hold with your solid ribs against uke's floating ribs and turn your far shoulder slightly into uke, as if trying to face him chest-to-chest. If he tries to push you away, rolling your shoulder away from him will painfully rack his ribs around yours, discouraging him.
  • Set the hold relatively lightly and wait for him to exhale. Every time he exhales, pull in a little tighter, preventing him from inhaling freely. Like a python, this will eventually crush the air and the resistance right out of him.
  • Pull uke’s head and arm to you tightly with the feeling of pulling yourself closer to uke. Don’t try to push uke down toward the mat because you will just push yourself off of him and make yourself lighter.
  • Make sure that both your knees are on the ground. if your back knee is up (such a common fault that I call this, “faulty gatame”) then it is easier for uke to entangle your back leg. Spread your legs out as far apart as you can get them and dig the bottoms of your toes and both knees into the ground to get base and traction.
  • If you are doing kesakatame holding his far arm instead of his head, every time he struggles and shifts, work your fist farther under his far shoulder, creeping it toward his spine. This creates a chock to prevent bridge and roll, it is painful and discouraging, and it makes his breathing even more difficult.

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