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Kimura Side Switching by John Danaher
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The kimura is one of the most basic yet most effective submissions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The kimura can also be used as a position to advance to other techniques like the armbar, back-taking, and reverse triangle. Because of this, it is very important that every grappler gets very good at attacking this technique.
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The kimura can be attacked from a wide variety of positions including the guard, the back, and side control. One of the most common and easiest places to attack the kimura is from side control or north south. One mistake many practitioners do is drill this technique only from one side. This is severely limiting because the submission is too easy not to drill on both sides. The defense of the kimura also usually exposes the kimura on the other side arm.
In the following video, Professor John Danaher goes over a basic concept of kimura side switching that any grappler can understand. Rather than attacking from side control, Professor Danaher starts in the north south position, which is a superior position to attack kimuras from.
The reason north south is a better position to attack kimuras from compared to side control is that it can be used to attack either side depending on the defender’s movement. When attacking from side control, we are limited to attacking the kimura only on the far side arm.
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One thing we do at our academy to make this even more effective is placing wedges under both arms to be ready to attack either side. Also, after adding the wedges, we lift our opponent’s head off the ground and place it on top of our thighs making it difficult for the defender to regain their guard.
After establishing the position, there is no need to force the kimura. Rather, patiently wait here until the defender begins to move to either side and then attack the kimura. To get the grip, slide your arm down the torso from under the armpit and bring your arm back up to. When using the kimura as a position, you can also overshoot the hand that grabs your wrist to get a deeper, more controlling position. Slide that hand back to the wrist when you are ready to finish the submission.
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