The Kimura: A Positional System

The Kimura: A Positional System

I think, therefore, I submit

It can prove valuable to reconsider how we classify various positions and techniques in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. A narrow-minded view of the potential sequences of movements that can occur from a position such as the kimura or head lock will ultimately result in a limited ability to continuously and serially attack an opponent. By conducting analysis of various positions and counterattacks, a qualified observer can create a mental flow chart of the numerous, occasionally infinite, possible events that can successively occur. In repetitively training these numerous and unique circumstances, the grappler will be much more equipped to deal with and take advantage of defensive techniques.

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Traditionally, the kimura is seen as a simple rotational shoulder lock that can be attacked from closed guard, bottom and top half guard, top side mount, and north-south. Even with this basic description, the kimura is a versatile submission. Recent advances in BJJ show that the kimura is significantly more versatile and dangerous when applied appropriately. The kimura can now be used to pass the guard using either the rolling kimura technique or when passing from top half guard. The kimura can transition to an armbar when attacked from top side control. The kimura can be used to take the back as a successive sequence from the kimura roll. The kimura may also be used as a sweep from bottom guard or escape from bottom side control. There are numerous other applications for the kimura of which a book could be written.

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My point is not to list you all the remarkable ways the kimura may be used, but to advise you to be more open minded in how you use it. By creating a mental, and even physical, nodal flowchart of attacks from the kimura position, you will be expanding your opportunity to improve your position against your opponent and submit them. There is strong evidence that learning systems, and not techniques, in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be found in the Danaher Death Squad. John Danaher’s ability to create systems of positions that were historically narrowly described is one of the core foundations of their competitive success.

 

Ultimately, my advice for grapplers is to reshape the way they think about grappling. We often describe it as a physical chess match, but fail to train as such. Open your mind and see what systems you can create from other positions and you are guaranteed to improve your skill level.

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