Hidari Ashi Jime or Rubber Guard?

Facebook Post by Heme Baban, https://www.facebook.com/groups/209635812396449/permalink/3606718996021430/


I'd like to make a brief point about the history of martial arts technique. The image above appeared in a Facebook post to the Kosen Judo Academy group, which is private. The comment said

"Before Eddie or the gracies were born, we had these techniques in JUDO! HIDARI ASHI JIME known as The Rubber Guard within the Jiu Jitsu and MMA community."

Is this a fair comment?

Mikinosuke Kawaishi

I recognized the image on the left as being from the French edition of Ma Methode du Judo by Prof Mikinosuke Kawaishi:

Hidari Ashi Jime, Ma Methode du Judo, Mikinosuke Kawaishi, 1960

The image depicts Hidari Ashi Jime, or "left leg strangle," a submission that involves a combination of using the left hand grasping the opponent's gi collar while the right hand holds one's left leg. Yes, this is the same professor as mentioned in a recent post on colored belts.

I have the same book in English:

Hidari Ashi Jime, My Method of Judo, Mikinosuke Kawaishi, 1955

Syd Hoare

The same technique appears in one of my favorite judo technique books, Syd Hoare's The A-Z of Judo:

Hidari Ashi Jime, The A-Z of Judo, Syd Hoare, 1993

You see in the reference that Prof Hoare cites Kawaishi's book as his source for this technique. Incidentally, Prof Hoare notes this technique can also be mirrored, resulting in migi ashi jime, or right leg strangle.

Loic Blanchetete
Finally, I found this technique in the 2003 French book Judo Les Techniques Oubliees (Judo, the Forgotten Techniques) by Loic Blanchetete.

Judo Les Techniques Oubliees (Judo, the Forgotten Techniques), Loic Blanchetete, 2003

This post, and anything I find in a foreign language, reminds me how awesome it is that judo uses Japanese for the authoritative names of its techniques.

Hidari Ashi Jime or Rubber Guard?

The question: is hidari ashi jime equivalent to "rubber guard," and is the original comment fair?

I have not trained in Prof Eddie Bravo's system, but my use of the word system should give an idea of my answer to the question.

"Rubber guard" is the name of an entire approach to jiu-jitsu. Take a look at these two pages from Bravo's 2006 book Mastering the Rubber Guard:

Mastering the Rubber Guard, Eddie Bravo, 2006

Rubber guard is far more than the "mission control" position shown in the original photo. Prof Bravo's system is also optimized for no-gi grappling, whereas the hidari ashi jime submission requires grasping the gi collar.

Of course, Prof Kawaishi could probably have gone deeper on this particular aspect of judo, but he chose to cover other material. Alternatively, maybe he didn't consider this position that important to his method of judo.


I personally believe every Brazilian jiu-jitsu academy should have a picture of Prof Jigoro Kano on their wall. I am in the camp that says BJJ could be considered "Brazilian judo." However, I'm less comfortable with the idea that BJJ is "basically just judo."

In the beginning, jiu-jitsu was a subset of judo, but thanks to the innovation of several generations of jiu-jitsu practitioners and teachers, even judo newaza players recognize that they have a lot to learn from jiu-jitsu techniques.

Consider this implications of this amazing video of Prof Rickson Gracie teaching in Japan:

Rickson Gracie Workshop in Tokyo, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh3K4ttwuyg

Here we have a Brazilian instructor, whose family learned judo from a Japanese instructor, returning to Japan to teach Japanese students, because his knowledge and technique is so incredible.

Therefore, I believe it is important for all jiu-jitsu practitioners and teachers to recognize that our art originated with judo and offer respect for the parent art. However, I think it is also important for judo practitioners and teachers to show respect to jiu-jitsu for developing newaza and the no-gi game.

If you liked this post, you might also want to read my article on convergent evolution in martial arts.

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