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Kimura from Side Control Details
The kimura is a powerful shoulder submission that has roots in catch wrestling and judo, but became known as the kimura after a famous jiu jitsu match between Helio Gracie and Japanese fighter Masahiko Kimura who defeated Gracie in a legendary match where Gracie had his arm broken by the submission. The position has become one of the most favored by contemporary athletes because of it's versatility and availability. A number of athletes have popularized a "Kimura Trap" system which utilizes the kimura as a controlling position that can set up other techniques and submissions.
In the basic kimura taught to most beginning students from closed guard, the opponent in the closed guard makes the mistake of putting one or both of their hands on the mat. The person performing the kimura uses the near side hand to control the wrist of the hand that is planted on the mat by their opponent. Then by driving up and securing an over hook on that arm with the far side hand, the person doing the submission seeks to grab their own wrist.
This hand placement creates a powerful grip that creates a strong "chicken wing" of the opponent's arm and keeps the arm at a 90 degree angle. Once this grip is secured, with some minor hip adjustment and re-locking of the guard, the persons hand is pushed upwards and behind their back putting great pressure on the front of their shoulders making the submission possible.
Some of the problems that an opponent will present is attempting to straighten their arm and preventing it from being locked in the 90 degree position. Another common obstacle to the finish is when an opponent grips their own belt or gi when the position is attempted.
In the video below, Fabio Holanda shows a variation of the kimura from side control where he addresses both of these problems and more with Bernardo Faria. Check it out below.
For more details and set ups to perfect your kimura's, check out Fabio Holanda's kimura instructional, The Kimura Machine from BJJ Fanatics! You can get it here.