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Using the Kimura Grip to Control your Opponent

Using the Kimura Grip to Control your Opponent


The kimura is often perceived as a submission.  As you progress on your Jiu Jitsu journey, you should learn the benefits and versatility of the kimura not as a submission, but as a position.  Yes, the kimura is a submission but is also a control grip, and position.  We recently wrote an article breaking down the Kimura as a position and submission, if you’d like to learn more on that subject, click here.

Today, we discuss the benefit of using the kimura grip to control your opponent.  A kimura grip can give you unbelievable control over your opponent that can ultimately lead to back takes, sweeps, and act as a submission defense or counter.

The Kimura Grip and Back Takes

The Kimura grip is an unbelievably powerful grip because you are using two arms against one of your opponents. This will allow you to use the kimura grip against larger opponent’s.  There are many variations of the kimura grip, and many entries to get it.  The kimura grip is also incredibly versatile because you can use it in gi, nogi, and MMA.

One of the best ways to utilize a kimura grip is by using it to set up back takes. You can set back takes up with a kimura grip from several positions and you can even use the grip to control your opponent once you take their back.  You can use the kimura grip to take the back from quarter guard, half guard, top side control, bottom side control, passing, and playing many guards.  The possibilities are limitless when you establish a dangerous kimura grip.  Check out the video below to learn three different back takes using a kimura grip.

The Kimura Grip for Sweeps

The kimura grips is also an excellent grip for guard players.  You can use the kimura grip to set up several sweeps, avoid cross face and underhooks, and control your opponent.  The kimura is a dangerous weapon from closed guard and half guard.

When playing half guard, the kimura is an excellent option to set up sweeps.  From half guard, you can use the grip to take your opponent’s base away and initiate sweeps that could lead directly to a submission or to the back. One good sweep from half guard with a kimura grip is the butterfly sweep, from closed guard you can set up hip bumps, or arm drags.  The versatility of the kimura is astonishing, for instance, check out this video below using the kimura to defend a double leg take down.

The Kimura Grip as a Counter

The kimura grip is obviously powerful but can also have strategic implementations that allow you to counter your opponent’s attacks.  The kimura is a great grip to counter back takes, sweeps, and even submissions.  Many people use the kimura grip just to threaten a submission so they can avoid sweeps and pass the guard.

In the highest levels of competition, the kimura is constantly being displayed.  It is one of the oldest positions in bjj.  Using the kimura to counter submissions is an excellent option.  For example, if someone is on your back and you get a kimura grip, you can avoid the choke with it. Check out the video below to learn how to counter a kimura with a kimura.

If you really want to sharpen your kimura and add some new techniques to your arsenal, check out Mau Mau’s DVD, “Kimuras as a Way of Doing BJJ.”  It has incredible details on the kimura and several entries that anyone could benefit from.  Also, check out our article “Developing Your Kimura Game” for some tips to help you start your journey of kimuras.  

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