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The Kimura: A Versatile Overview


The Kimura is one of the most powerful and versatile submissions in a grappler’s arsenal. It is known by different names depending on what style you practice. In Judo, it is known as the reverse ude-garami. In Catch Wrestling, it is known as the chicken wing/double wrist lock. But in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it is known as the Kimura, a shoulder lock named after famed Judoka, Masahiko Kimura.

What makes the Kimura so versatile is the ability to catch it effectively from so many different positions. The technique can be hit from full guard, half guard, z guard,  butterfly guard, north south and side control. Available at many different positions, this shoulder lock is strong and can do serious damage if a tap does not occur. Here is an example of the Kimura from full guard.

Due to the versatility, let’s talk about another position that the kimura is accessible at. A particularly strong way of finishing the Kimura is from z guard (also known as z half). Down below is a great example.

But a great grappler does not even have to be on the ground to get the Kimura. MMA legend, Kazushi “The Gracie Hunter” Sakuraba used it multiple times as a counter to having his back taken while standing up. He would break an opponent’s grip, lock up his Kimura grip, and use it as a rolling sweep to get on top of his opponent. Sakuraba was an absolute master of the submission. Whether he used it from standing up or on the ground, once locked up, the fight usually ended quickly after. So skilled in the technique, Sakuraba was able to finish two BJJ legends in Royler Gracie and Renzo Gracie. Down below is a short instructional on how Saku would use the lock as a counter to a standing back take.

No matter if you’re brand new to grappling or a seasoned veteran, the Kimura is a submission that is always at one’s disposal which needs to be studied and reviewed.  For an excellent, fully detailed instructional, I highly recommend the DVD done by Mau Mau Robson de Lima. The instructional shows a multitude of ways to grab and finish the Kimura from a world champion known for his high level use of it. Link below!

The Mau Mau Kimura DVD Kimuras as a way of Doing BJJ


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