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The Kimura Is Dead. Long Live The Power Kimura!
Power Kimura by Neil Melanson
The kimura is one of the most used control techniques and submissions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well as all other grappling martial arts. I am sure if you have spent any time on the mats at all you are familiar with the kimura. But did you know there are variations on the kimura that can make it even more effective and super brutal? That’s right. There is a new technique in town, known as the power kimura. The kimura is dead. Long live the power kimura.
Neil is one of the most detailed, thorough, and savage grappling coaches in the game today. Learn the unorthodox secrets of the most notorious grappling coach out there and Gain an entirely new perspective on the Kimura and catch all of your training partners
The kimura lock, sometimes also known as the double wrist lock, or gyaku ude garami in Judo is a grappling submission with origins likely having come from catch wrestling and judo. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the kimura got its name after the world renowned Masahiko Kimura defeated legendary Helio Gracie with this lock in 1951. The concept of the submission is to isolate the shoulder and elbow joints with a double wrist grip. This allows you to apply leverage against both the shoulder and the elbow causing them to submit. If this were a real life street fight scenario you would end up doing serious damage to your attacker’s shoulder.
Today Neil Melanson is here at BJJ Fanatics Head Quarters in Massachusetts to demonstrate a variation on the kimura that he calls the power kimura. The power kimura is a much more dominating take on the traditional kimura. Neil Melanson knows a thing or two when it comes to the kimura. Neil Melanson is an American combat sports coach, currently he is the Head Grappling coach at Jaco Hybrid Training Center. He is the former Head Grappling coach at both Xtreme Couture Las Vegas and Alliance MMA. Melanson specializes in Catch wrestling, while drawing elements from Judo. He is especially known for his guard work, leg locks and triangle chokes. He has trained under Gene LeBell, Gokor Chivichyan, and Karo Parisyan (who awarded him his black belt).
Throughout his career, the professional fighters Melanson has trained include: Randy Couture, Karo Parisyan, Gray Maynard, Todd Duffee, Goran Reljic, Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Anthony Johnson, Patrick Cummins and others.
Watch the video below of Neil Melanson demonstrating his power kimura and then we will break down his technique below. Check it out now!
The power kimura is a nice tight grip that causes a lot of pressure and works really well on strong guys. There are advantages to the power kimura grip that you just do not get from the regular kimura grip. Melanson demonstrates how to lock up this grip. You want to feed your left arm all the way through underneath your opponent’s arm so that his forearm is contained on the inside of your elbow. Melanson then uses the inside of his other elbow to trap the arm. Notice that the angle of the trapped arm is the same as it would be in the traditional kimura. There is one big difference here though. Do you spot it? You already have your training partner’s arm elevated off the mat, putting more pressure on the shoulder than the traditional kimura grip.
Melanson locks up the grip by hugging his opponent’s arm. Take note of how the outside of his wrist is being using like a “blade” to dig into his training partner’s arm. That makes this technique even more uncomfortable for your opponent. His hands are gripping his own tricep and elbow. Often times it is common for people to leave a pocket of space between their chest and the trapped arm. This is bad. You want the arm to be tight to your chest, leaving no space between your body and the arm. In doing this, you remove any space to your opponent to counter. Now the guy on bottom can’t pushing away from you – his upper body is entirely trapped under the weight of your body and the pressure on his shoulder. And don’t forget that wrist blade that is digging into the forearm. Talk about uncomfortable!
Once you hug the arm, there is no way in hell your training partner is going to free his arm. Melanson keeps his technique simple when getting into the position to submit his training partner with the power kimura. He likes to use brutality to get into position. Neil does this by pushing his head in the direction of the trapped arm, which is bad news for your opponent. Melanson passes over his opponent’s head by smashing it with his thigh. This causes your opponent to turn his head and eventually tap to the extreme amount of discomfort and pressure.
Talk about an extremely brutal kimura! You have to admit, this is way cooler than your traditional kimura. It is a lot more controlling, with an intense amount of pressure and discomfort. Neil Melanson is a big guy, with a ton of high level experience, but that does not mean you need to be a big guy with years of practice to do this one! The power kimura is for every body type and every experience level. It is a unique take on a well known submission. By having this one in your arsenal you will become a well rounded Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player. So give this power kimura a try the next time you are on the mats, whether in a live roll or competition. Thank you to Neil Melanson for demonstrating this power kimura technique for us here today!