British Judo home

British Judo Association: Kata-San-Gaku Safe Usage

Following recent concerns raised regarding the application of Kata-San-Gaku and its variants, especially, but not exclusively, in young children, the British Judo Commission have deemed it necessary to control its usage in competition.

Although this technique may be suitable for highly trained and highly conditioned judoka, without good control on the use of this technique at the development and intermediate levels, British Judo members are at risk of serious injury.

The safety of all our members is paramount for British Judo, especially for young children, therefore the Judo Commission have acted to control its usage which will see the new rule enforced from 1st October 2022.

The Judo Commission, after considering the safety implications of Kata-San-Gaku, have decided to prohibit the use of this technique in the following situations:

  • All competitions for pre-Cadet and younger children.
  • All competitions where there is the possibility of Judoka older than pre-Cadet being entered in the same category as pre-Cadet and under younger children (e.g. Under 16 events).
  • All competitors graded lower than green belt (Junior and Senior).
  • Event Levels 1-3 inclusive, exemption for “Cadet ranking events with categories containing all entrants of at least green belt.
  • Practice sessions in clubs until at the earliest point in time the Judoka involved are within a predicted 6 months of the required age and grade stated above. Coaches are asked to control this by separating practicing groups from others.

The British Judo rule change is for matte / shido (as applicable) to be applied immediately the second hand moves into the pre application position, e.g., if one hand of Tori is over back of uke arm and under uke arm pit first, when the second-hand passes over opposite shoulder this will be the point of matte / Shido. In cases where it is too fast for the referee to interrupt and the technique is applied with either actual movement of uke or just significant pressure, this will be Hansokumake against the spirit of judo.

Kata-San-Gaku Rule Change


Watch out for further news from British Judo by checking out our latest news section. You can also catch up via our official social media platforms, FacebookTwitter and Instagram.