Kimura from Half Guard By Garry Tonon
Add some Death Squad to Your Half Guard Game
The half guard has become one of the most dominant positions in Jiu Jitsu. It is a position that is easy to defend one’s self in, sweep, and submit. The submission game from half guard is diverse because it includes both upper body attacks and leg locks. Many grapplers have used this position and succeeded in defeating some of the best in the world. Although many believe that bottom half guard is best suited for larger individuals, it can be extremely effective for smaller guys as well.
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The kimura from half guard is a great submission to constantly look for and even use just to threaten the top player to stay back. It is necessary to keep the top player back because if they can smash the guard player flatly on their back or get an underhook, the bottom half guard could become obsolete.
Out of fear of getting guillotine or darce choked, a lot of people sit back and even lie flat as a defensive position. Rather than doing this, it is possible to attack a kimura as a response to the top player attacking such chokes.
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As you can see, it is possible to use the guillotine threat to bait the top player into exposing their arm for the kimura. After the kimura grip is grabbed, there are two options: submitting or sweeping. From my experience, it can be difficult to finish the kimura submission from bottom half guard because the top player’s shoulder has a greater range of motion compared to other kimura attacks. I find that the sweep is much more efficient using the position.
The kimura sweep from bottom half guard can be done in various ways. Garry Tonon shows a great version in which he utilizes a butterfly hook to lift the person and finish the sweep. The same sweep can also be done without the butterfly hook but to a lesser degree of effectiveness.
One trick I do sometimes to get the sweep when I can’t get the person’s arm behind their back is I press it hard against their belly then allow them to pass the half guard to side control. As they begin their pass and get their far leg free, I will immediately push the kimura grip hard into the top player and bridge and roll. This will often get the sweep.
For more creative use of the butterfly hook in your half guard, check out Garry's instructor Tom DeBlass and his latest release, Butterfly Half Guard. You will never get flattened in half guard again with this simple addition. Get it here from BJJ Fanatics!