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Kani Basami - In Depth Breakdown


What Does Kani Basami Mean? 


Kani Basami is a Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique that translates to "scissors throw" or "crab scissors" in English.


The technique involves diving in between an opponent's legs and then scissoring them with both legs to take them down.


It is classified as a dangerous technique in Judo and has been banned from many competitions due to the high risk of injury.


The origins of Kani Basami can be traced back to traditional Japanese Jujutsu, where it was known as "Sashi Geri."


It was then incorporated into Kodokan Judo in the early 20th century by Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo.


Kani Basami was initially considered a legitimate technique in Judo and was used by many Judo practitioners in competition.



Kani Basami In Judo



However, due to the high risk of injury, Kani Basami was eventually banned by the International Judo Federation (IJF) in 2010.


In some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kani Basami is not always banned and is sometimes used as a takedown technique, if not it is used to set up submissions, but we will get to that.


Some variations of Kani Basami, such as the "flying scissors" technique, have been popularized in freestyle wrestling and mixed martial arts (MMA).


Kani Basami is a Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique that involves scissoring an opponent with both legs to take them down.


It was originally a legitimate technique in Judo but has since been banned due to the high risk of injury.



Is The Kani Basami Illegal In BJJ?


In ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) tournaments, Kani Basami is legal and can be a useful technique for setting up leg entanglements and finishing with leg locks.


However, there are still restrictions and safety measures in place to ensure that the technique is performed safely.


For example, it is not allowed to perform the Kani Basami when your opponent is standing with one foot off the ground, as this increases the risk of injury. 


On the other hand, in IBJJF competitions where the gi is worn, the Kani Basami is generally prohibited due to the risk of injury to the opponent's knee.


IBJJF rules state that "all techniques that put in danger the physical integrity of the opponent are not allowed."


This includes Kani Basami, as the technique involves sweeping the legs out from under the opponent and potentially causing their knee to twist or hyperextend. 


This rule pretty much goes across the board with every jiu jitsu competition where competitors compete in the gi.



Scissor Leg Throw In MMA


In the fight between Anderson Silva's and Ryo Chonan at Pride Shockwave 2004, which took place on December 31, 2004.


In this fight, Silva, who was already a respected striker in MMA, was taken down early in the fight by Chonan.


From there, Chonan used a scissor takedown to get into a leg entanglement position, and he was able to secure a heel hook submission on Silva, causing him to tap out.


The heel hook submission is a highly effective and dangerous submission that can cause serious damage to the opponent's knee if not properly defended.


In this case, Chonan was able to use the scissor takedown to set up the heel hook and secure the victory over Silva, who was considered one of the top fighters in the world at the time.



Anderson Silva's Heel Hook Lose



While this fight may have been a surprise to some at the time, it ultimately demonstrated the importance of having a well-rounded skillset in MMA, including a strong ground game and submission skills.


The scissor takedown can be an effective way to get into leg entanglement positions, and the heel hook is a powerful submission that can catch even the most experienced fighters off guard.


In the years since this fight, the use of leg locks and heel hooks has become more prevalent in MMA, with many fighters incorporating them into their training and game plans.


The scissor takedown, however, remains a less commonly used technique in MMA due to the risk of injury to both the attacker and the opponent.



Why Is The Scissor Leg Takedown Dangerous? 


The scissor takedown, also known as Kani Basami, is considered a dangerous technique in martial arts such as Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu due to the high risk of injury.


The technique involves diving in between an opponent's legs and scissoring them with both legs to take them down.


There are several reasons why this technique is considered dangerous, including the potential to damage various parts of the knee.


One of the main risks associated with the scissor takedown is the potential to hyperextend or damage the knee joint.


This can occur if the opponent's leg is locked in the scissor position while it is being bent or twisted in a way that is not natural.


This can result in damage to the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the knee, which can lead to serious injury and long-term damage.


In particular, the scissor takedown can cause damage to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee.


The MCL is a band of tissue that runs along the inside of the knee and helps to stabilize the joint.


While the ACL connects the thigh bone to the shin bone and helps to control rotational movement of the knee.


When these ligaments are damaged, it can result in significant pain, swelling, and instability of the knee joint.


In addition to ligament damage, the scissor takedown can also cause damage to the meniscus, which is the cartilage that cushions the knee joint.



When It Goes Wrong - ⚠️ Warning



When the knee is twisted or bent unnaturally, it can put pressure on the meniscus and cause it to tear.


This can result in pain, swelling, and limited mobility of the knee joint.


Overall, the scissor takedown is considered a dangerous technique due to the high risk of injury, particularly to the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the knee.


Grapplers should approach this technique with caution and prioritize safety at all times, both for themselves and for their training partners.



Notable Athletes Who Have Used The Kani Basami 


There have been several notable athletes who have effectively used Kani Basami in no-gi grappling competitions.


One such athlete is Gordon Ryan, a highly decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and ADCC champion.


Ryan is known for his innovative and aggressive grappling style, which includes the use of Kani Basami to set up submissions such as heel hooks and leg locks.


In addition to Ryan, there are several other grapplers who have successfully used Kani Basami in no-gi grappling competitions.


One such athlete is Garry Tonon, a multiple-time ADCC medalist and Submission Grappling World Champion.



Kani Basami Into A Heel Hook 



Tonon is known for his explosive and dynamic style of grappling, which includes the use of Kani Basami to take down opponents and set up submissions.


Another notable athlete who has effectively used Kani Basami in no-gi grappling competitions is Rafael Lovato Jr. 


A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and Bellator MMA fighter. L


ovato Jr. is known for his aggressive and technical grappling style, which includes the use of Kani Basami to take down opponents and gain control of the fight.


Overall, the use of Kani Basami in no-gi grappling competitions is often associated with the leg lock game, as the technique can be used to enter into leg entanglements and set up submissions such as heel hooks and knee bars.



How Do You Do The Kani Basami?


Here is an in-depth explanation of how to perform Kani Basami for no-gi submission grappling:


If you do find this difficult to understand just by reading it out and would like to watch the full video breakdown, head to Jiu Jitsu Grappling members area.


1. Start in a neutral stance: Begin by standing in front of your opponent with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms out in front of you. Your opponent should be standing with their feet shoulder-width apart as well.


2. Step forward with one leg: Take a large step forward with one leg, positioning it between your opponent's legs. This leg will become your lead leg as you execute the takedown.


3. Bring your other leg behind your opponent's leg: Lift your other leg and bring it behind your opponent's leg, positioning it so that your shin is pressing against the back of their calf.


4. Use your leg to trip your opponent: In one swift motion, use your back leg to trip your opponent's lead leg while driving your lead leg forward. This motion will cause your opponent to lose their balance and fall to the ground.


5. Control your opponent's upper body: As your opponent falls, use your arms to guide them to the ground and maintain control of their upper body. You can then transition into a dominant position, such as mount or side control, to establish control of the fight.


6. Set up leg entanglements: Once you have control of your opponent's upper body, you can use the position to set up leg entanglements.


For example, you can use the Kani Basami to enter into a 50/50 guard or a honey hole position, both of which are popular leg entanglements used to set up leg locks.


If you would like to learn how to do the Kani Basami/ Scissor Leg Throw in a safe way.


I made a breakdown of Kani Basami set ups, counters, entries into different leg locks in my recent course Wrestling For Jiu Jitsu 



What Moves Are Not Allowed In BJJ - Blog



I hope you all enjoyed this blog and if you would like to learn more about different  jiu jitsu techniques. Go to Jiu Jitsu Grapplings members area. Which has a free trial, with hundreds of different videos and courses. 


Also head to my Youtube Page for more videos or even follow me on social media


About the author: Gavin Hain has been training, competing, and teaching martial arts for over 26 years.


He is a coach on the Gold Coast Australia, who holds a 2nd Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, along with many other martial art ranks.


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