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Advanced Concepts for the Kimura

Advanced Concepts for the Kimura

Mind The Power Line....

The kimura is a basic submission technique utilized in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Sambo, etc. The success of this shoulder lock can be attributed to its versatility. This submission can be attacked from numerous positions including many guards, side control, north-south, the back, and so on. As with all techniques in Jiu Jitsu, with improvement in skill level we will often begin to deal with more complicated problems that require more intricate solutions.

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Finishing the kimura against skilled opponents is an entirely different animal than attacking it against white belts. Against newer grapplers we can simply get the grip and begin rotating the shoulder and get a quick tap. When dealing with better grapplers, they will present us with significant issues unless we add the necessary details.


If you are a fan of learning by concept with exceptional input on detail, you will find the following video by John Danaher very beneficial. In this video, John goes over a small yet essential detail when attacking the kimura.

The reason John attacks the kimura in this video against an arm that is relatively straight is because finishing the kimura against an arm with such an open angle is very difficult and easy to defend. He shows that by adding just a few details, you will increase the breaking power of the kimura regardless of the angle at the elbow.


What Professor Danaher does in this video that he doesn’t discuss is controlling the entire torso of the defender. If you notice, his right hip is sprawled out on the close side shoulder. When you do this, you are pinning the defender to the ground and this will allow you to focus exclusively on the arm you are attacking.


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Sliding the elbow above the defender’s shoulder line causes a similar effect as when you slide the elbow below the shoulder line when attacking an Americana shoulder lock. This movement eliminates a lot of the shoulder’s rotational ability before the submissions begin to hurt so that when you add just a little amount of pressure, the pain will be great enough to cause a defender to tap. Another thing I like to do when attacking the kimura is use my hand to rotate the defender’s arm forward away from them. This will also eliminate the shoulder’s ability to rotate comfortably.

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