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The New Kimura
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The New Kimura

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The kimura, one of the oldest and best submissions used in grappling. When compared to other shoulder locks such as the omoplata and Americana, the kimura is obviously superior. The power of the kimura combined with its versatility lends to its great efficacy in the sport of Jiu Jitsu and also MMA. Just as with all moves, though, techniques need to evolve because their defenses improve every single day.

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Although the kimura is a great submission, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems associated with it. The most difficult thing about the kimura, especially when attacking it from top side control, is getting the best angle to apply the maximum amount of power. This power of rotating the arm is limited by the figure-four grip because our arms are extended away from our own body.

This extension of the attacker’s arms with the figure-four grip also helps with the defense. It makes it easy for the defender to continuously move their body in the directions that sooth the pain from the kimura. Because of this, we need to find better ways to fix that grip so that our kimura finishes become very powerful. In the following video, Satoshi Ishii illustrates a very unique way of gripping the kimura. See below: 

Essentially what this grip change does is allow us to use our entire body to finish the submission rather than just our arms. From the inherent nature of the position you get into with this grip, a lot of pressure is also place on the defender’s torso making it difficult for them to move compared to the traditional kimura grip. 

This grip would also work from positions that are more difficult to finish the kimura from, including guard and half guard. It’s actually a much better finish than the traditional version in half guard because the grip prevents the defender from moving or rolling forward, which is needed to defender the kimura from top half guard.

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