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The kimura is much more than a submission, it is a position. There is a common misconception with the kimura that it is solely a submission, the kimura can be used from bottom to sweep, from top to pass, from bottom to recover, from top to advance, as a transition between submissions and more.
The Kimura name in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu actually derives from the legendary match between Helio Gracie and Masahiko Kimura. In catch wrestling it has been referred to as "the double wrist lock" for over 100 years and in Judo it is the "gyaku ude-garami."
The kimura can be dated back to Japanese Jujitsu, even to Samurai times (as a weapon defense). There's also evidence of the kimura from Germany in old shoot fighting manuals from the early 1500s. But Catch Wrestling is what really seemed to drive the usefulness of the kimura lock for grappling. In catch wrestling, the first uses of the double wristlock is often attributed to Lorigo Morelli (also known as “Tony” Morelli) during the 1920’s.
This is a position that has been around for a century at minimum and there is good reason it has maintained popularity and relevance. Catch wrestlers have been utilizing the double wrist lock for years and they have a different approach to it.
The lock was also utilized in freestyle wrestling, being Robin Reed one of the most decorated spreaders of the position, having paved the way to a gold medal at the 1924 Paris Summer Olympics with several pins performed with the use of the double wristlock.
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu our knowledge on the "kimura" is rudimentary. In catch they just know the position better. The "double wrist lock" is a pivotal part of many famous catch wrestlers like Neil Melanson, Josh Barnett, Sakuraba and Harry Grech.
The possibilities with this grip are virtually endless. Discover the kimura from places people would never think to, and find unique finishing tactics from this position that make it nearly impossible to stop once the grip is achieved.
KIMURA IN GRAPPLING STYLES
The Kimura is not unique to BJJ or Judo. It is found in many, if not all grappling styles. Because the kimura lock is such a powerful weapons for the grappling arts, you will see it in many different systems.
Each grappling style has their own unique flavor and adaptations which makes studying their "concepts" helpful when learning how to attack the kimura for BJJ or Submission Grappling.
Judo / Japanese Jujitsu (Gyaku Ude Garami)
Japanese Jujitsu is most likely the first style to ever use the kimura lock, or as known in Jujutsu - Gyaku Ude Garami (reverse arm entanglement). It was originally taught to the Samurai as a method to stop the draw of a sword, combined with a sacrifice throw that will allow you to get on top and finish with the kimura. This move is seen today in modern MMA, most notably Sakuraba Vs Renzo Gracie.
Judo is a sportive off-shoot of Japanese Jujitsu. Kosen Judo, which focuses more on the ne waza (ground fighting) component of Judo, contains the kimura lock / attacks in their system. Masahiko Kimura was a Kosen Judoka and Catch Wrestler.
Catch Wrestling (Double wristlock, Hammer Lock, Chicken Wing)
Catch Wrestling has a deep history with the double wrist lock aka kimura. Brazilian Catch Wrestler and Luta Livre founder “Euclydes Hatem” used the reverse version of the double wrist lock to submit “George Gracie”, Judo Legend “Masahiko Kimura” defeated “Helio Gracie” with a double wrist lock in one of the most anticipated submission matches in history and Catch Wrestling standout “Kazushi Sakuraba” used it as part of his game in all his 4 MMA wins over the Gracie Family, victories that earned him the famous nickname “The Gracie Hunter”.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
In reality, BJJ has stolen the Kimura. Some would argue that the BJJ world is behind the times when it comes to using the kimura lock for BJJ. Most of the successful BJJ athletes who use the kimura, have either learned it from a catch wrestler or judo fighter. Hell, it's even named after Kosen Judo Master: Kimura.
That doesn't mean that there are not experts in the kimura in the BJJ world; but most academies barely scrape the surface of what can be accomplished with the Kimura lock.
The kimura lock is a very powerful submission hold that can be used beyond just a submission. There are many ways you can submit your opponent with a kimura, including chaining to arm bars, straight arm locks, wrist locks and toe holds. But the kimura lock for BJJ creates a lot of opportunities to sweep your opponent or escape out of bad positions.
There are many submissions that can be obtained with the Kimura lock, including the shoulder submission called "the Kimura". But the Kimura is a great control grip that will learn to many other submissions on the arm (arm locks, arm bars, wrist locks, leg locks, and even chokes). The possibilities of submission attacks are endless with the kimura grip.
Catch Wrestling is our go to "art" to discover all the ways that you can submit your opponent with the kimura lock. Neil Melanson is one of our favorite Catch Wrestling authorities on the kimura lock aka double wrist lock.
Kimura Grip Sweeps
The kimura grip presents many guard sweeps that are guaranteed to off-balance and put your opponent on his ass. Yes, we all know the standard hip bump sweep, but the kimura lock, and the isolation of your opponents arm, makes him / her and easy target for sweeps to the locked side. If the sweep doesn't work, it just opens the door back up for submissions.
One of the most important details to remember with the kimura, is that once you have it, keep using it. Keep disrupting your opponent's ability to use his arm, and take him our with sweeps or submissions or chaining them together - while keeping the kimura grip
Kimura Lock Entries
One of the hardest tasks of the kimura is actually getting the kimura grip. Most of the time, this is just a lack of creativity and the willingness to just attack kimuras no matter what. Yes, there are many different ways to use the kimura grip from a variety of different positions. But if you're unable to enter into the kimura lock effectively, you may get passed, counted, or submitting yourself.
The key to entering into kimuras is knowing how to attack the shoulder line and elbow of your opponent. John Danaher is a master at breaking down the system of how to attack for kimuras.
Kimura Escapes / Defense
Getting caught in the kimura f_cking sucks! Especially if you are fighting an opponent who knows how to attack the kimura relentless. Knowing how to escape the kimura will also make your attacks that much better. You'll also find ways to use the kimura to escape bad positions.
There are some simple tools that you can use to escape the kimura, but lets be honest. If you have someone like Neil Melanson on a kimura lock, best tap bro.
The kimura shouldn't be looked as jump a submission. The kimura is a system that needs to be studied in order to find true success with it. There are many different paths to discovering the secrets of the kimura from some of the best submission grapplers in the world.
Our suggestion for learning the kimura lock and all it's applications is to find a grappling expert who's built like you, or shares a similar style to you, and study how they attack the kimura. From there, explore other athletes and learn their approach to pick up the golden nuggets of grappling tips that will make you a kimura master!
THE KIMURA SYSTEM FROM JOHN DANAHER
Learn the Kimura and the fundamental system around Kimura locks with one of the best mind of Jiu Jitsu ever: John Danaher - the Most Sought After Grappling Instructor On The Planet.
This system isn't just a collection of techniques on how to attack and defend kimuras from different positions. This is a deep study that will make you have such a deep understanding of the kimura lock and that is part of your DNA.
The kimura will become such a powerful weapon that you'll probably get bored submitting and dominating all your opponents with the kimura.
THE FILTHY KIMURA BY NEIL MELANSON
Neil Melanson is the modern king of catch wrestling and submission grappling. He's arguably one of the best submission grappling coaches for MMA in the world. He's taught some of the best fighters and submission grapplers in the world his system of blending catch wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Sambo together to create a devastating submission oriented game.
The Kimura or Double Wrist Lock in Catch Wrestling is used as a savage lock. BJJ is just scratching the surface of what you can do with the kimura, and Neil Melanson knows all the secrets.
Learn the unorthodox secrets of the most notorious grappling coach out there and gain an entirely new perspective on the Kimura to catch all of your training partners and competition.
KIMURAS AS A WAY OF DOING BJJ BY ROBSON "MAU-MAU" LIMA
Mau Mau is arguably might be the best guy in the world at using the Kimura. He is a GF Team Black Belt and the # 1 Ranked competitor in Masters in the World. Mau Mau is able to use the kimura from anywhere, top, bottom, the back, etc- and shows you on this DVD. Master the Kimura like never before and learn how to use the kimura on EVERYONE, regardless if they know if it's coming or not.
KIMURA LOGIC BY HARRY GRECH
Learn The Kimura Secrets Of A Sakuraba Obsessed Judo Black Belt, Catch Wrestler, and BJJ Practitioner Who Has Won Over 50 Grappling Matches By Kimura.
There is nothing fancy about Harry Grech's Kimura Attacks, they're all based upon simple concepts, yet these concepts will allow you to see kimuras everywhere!
For Harry, the Kimura is a logical approach to creating opportunities for submissions, sweeps and escapes out of bad positions.
THE KIMURA MACHINE BY FABIO HOLANDA
How does this 39 year old Chubby Guy dominate everyone he rolls with, and is sought after by the best grapplers in the world, including IBJJF and UFC champions like GSP, Cobrihna, and many other greats seek his advice?
The answer is simple, he's really, really good at the Kimura. Everyone wants to learn how to attack and finish the kimura from Fabio Holanda.
Fabio is probably a lot like you, he is 38, has kids, and is not a freak athlete. But his system of attacking the kimura allows him to hang with the young champions and beat them with the kimura.
This is the original guide to the Kimura lock, and if you want to learn the kimura, don't miss this DVD series.
THE KIMURA SYSTEM BY ROBSON "MAU-MAU" LIMA
Mau Mau is a GF Team (Oswaldo Fadda) Black Belt who is NOT from the Gracie Jiu Jitsu Lineage and an absolute master at the kimura lock. Mau Mau wasn't Gracie Family fan boy. He grew up worshipping the guy who was kicking the Gracies Ass(s) - with Kimuras - The Great “Gracie Hunter” Kazushi Sakuraba!!!
He is perhaps the best guy in the world at using the Kimura. He is a Masters world champion and a Black Belt under the legendary Master Julio Cesar Periera in Rio de Janiero.
His approach to the kimura lock from all positions makes him one of the best kimura finishers on the planet.
KIMURA SYSTEM BY MARCELO COHEN
Marcelo Cohen is an EBI Veteran and No Gi Pan Am IBJJF Adult Black Belt Champion. As a rooster rate with a high submission percentage, he is known for his devastating kimura. His entire DVD series is about using good kimura technique and concepts rather than brute strength, flexibility or athletic-ability.
When you realize that the kimura is much more than just a lock; that it's a control, a concept, a system... it's power. You start pondering all the ways you can use a kimura, find a kimura, and ATTACK with the kimura lock.
We find inspiration for kimura attacks from our incredible BJJ and submission grappling fighters who share their knowledge through instructional videos on their sites. Watching their movements, listening to them explain their mindset and approach to this diverse system of kimura locks... has greatly improved our grappling ability with the kimura and other positions.
These experts below have spent a lifetime breaking down and learning the kimura. Find an athlete that inspires you and dive into their world of the kimura lock for BJJ and submission grappling.
John Danaher is the most sought after Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor on the planet and there is a reason for that. John simplifies Jiu Jitsu by creating systems and organizing easy to follow curriculum's. This is your chance to develop a lethal Kimura system. The Kimura is one of the most misused techniques in grappling. Most don’t even get the basics right John Danaher doesn’t believe in fighting fair… He only wants to compete when he or his killer DDS (Danaher Death Squad) have a big advantage. The Kimura itself is a big advantage...
Harry Grech has an interesting story, from Australia, he was working his way to make the Olympics in Judo when a devastating foot injury put a sudden halt to his dreams. Instead of accept defeat, as soon as Harry could train he looked for the next step in his journey by booking a trip to Thailand to train. He packed his gi to do some Jiu Jitsu but quickly realized people trained no gi due to the heat. While training no gi he realized that he could implement his world class Judo even without a gi and loved it. On his return to Australia he sought out a small catch wrestling gym because of his fascination with the legend, Sakuraba. Within one session Harry now knew his new goal. He was hooked by the unorthodox nature of catch, the teaching methodologies, techniques, and everything about it. He knew that his fascination with Sakuraba would shape his game, he took the Kimura submission and developed an entire no gi grappling game around it.
MAU MAU ROBSON DE LIMA
Mau Mau Robson de Lima is perhaps the best guy in the world at using the Kimura. He is a Masters world champion and a Black Belt under the legendary Master Julio Cesar Periera in Rio de Janiero.
Mau Mau is a GF Team Black Belt and as such he is NOT FROM GRACIE LINEAGE! GF Team is from Oswaldo Fadda – a footlock specialist who learned Jiu Jitsu not through the Gracies but through Luiz Franca who learned directly from Count Maeda. Since the Gracies are credited with founding most of the Brazilian style of Jiu Jitsu, the GF Team was always seen as outcasts and their fighters have always had something to prove..
Mau Mau didn’t grow up idolizing the Gracies, he grew up idolizing the Great “Gracie Hunter” Kazushi Sakuraba who became famous for defeating Royler, Royce and Renzo Gracie. Sakuraba specialized in the double wrist lock or the hold better known as the Kimura.
Fabio Holanda – known as the “Mastermind” - has an entire system on kimuras that he and his students use as a “Get Out Of Jail Free Card” while rolling. They use the kimura to sweep, finish or even get out of submissions.
Fabio Holanda might be a lot like you. He is 38, has 2 kids, not a serious dieter: he used to cut 30-40 pounds when he fought MMA. He’s the funniest guy in the room and has a heart of gold. When he rolls however, he turns into a different person.
"Fabio Holanda has been a great coach and asset for me with kimura specialty. Everybody fears his deadly Kimura. Thank u coach Fabio" - Georges St. Pierre – UFC Champion and Legend
Marcelo Cohen started his martial arts training at the age of 9 with judo. At 16 years old, Marcelo started his Brazilian jiu jitsu training at the world famous Jiu Jitsu Academy Carlson Gracie in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil under Marcelo Saporito, a Carlson Gracie black belt.
In 2012, Marcelo received his black belt in jiu jitsu under Saporito at The Armory in Jupiter where he is head coach now. Marcelo Cohen is a full time jiu jitsu athlete, competitor and coach. Who is known for his kimura attacks.
Marcelo is the head jiu jitsu coach and black belt instructor at The Armory. His strong coaching skills combined with his exceptional technical ability have created an outstanding adult and youth jiu jitsu program at The Armory.
In the world of full contact combat sport, Josh Barnett's fighting skills have made him one of the toughest competitors out there. Also known as "The Warmaster," Josh Barnett is well versed in Muay Thai, catch wrestling, grappling, and has a mastery of many other forms of combat fighting. Josh's youthful looks combined with his over all combat mastery have also earned him the nickname "The Babyface Assassin."
His he known for his brutal, unrelenting submission attacks including kimuras and leg locks.
Sakuraba is one of the most legendary figures in MMA history and was one of the Pride Fighting Championship's greatest MMA fighters of all time. He was the epitome of what it meant to be Japanese Martial Artists. His warrior spirit was strong and had the heart of a Samurai warrior - with quite a sense of showmanship too!
He was at his peak around the early 2000s and had some of the most memorable fights in MMA
Kazushi Sakuraba’s fighting career has been over 2 decades of MMA fighting, and Sakuraba continues to compete in grappling super fights today. He has fought the "whos who" of mixed martial arts. He has stepped into the ring or cabe with some of the most feared and reputable fighters ... ever. This includes Carlos Newton, Vitor Belfort, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Kevin Randleman.
But - what really makes Sakuraba a true legend is how he utterly destroyed the Gracie Family in competition, thus earning him the nickname "The Gracie Hunter".
He is a true Japanese Warrior who has earned the right to be the true master of the kimura or as Sakuraba would call it (in Japanese) Gyaku-Ude-Garami.
You could spend hours trying to find the best half guard videos for sweeps and submissions. But these below are some of our favorites that we keep going back to over and over to refine the half guard. These videos feature our BJJ Fighters exclusively on BJJ Fanatics.
How To Do The Perfect Kimura From Side Control By John Danaher
John Danaher is the master at breaking down the components of the kimura lock submission from side control so that your finish percentage skyrockets!
The Counter to Counter of the Kimura Lock From Guard
Figure out how to counter one of the best kimura defenses from guard attacks.
Kimura Escape From Closed Guard By Tom DeBlass
Tom DeBlass shows a kimura escape when you're in your opponent's closed guard.
Getting Smashed In Half Guard? Tom DeBlass Shows Alternate Recovery From Being Smashed
Getting smashed in half guard is one of the biggest problems you will face as a half guard player. The master of the defensive half guards is Tom DeBlass who shows you how to defend and protect, and then attack from the half guard.
Lachlan Giles Half Guard Kimura Series - As Seen on EBI 5
A great series by on of the best no gi grappling coaches Lachlan Giles.
Top Kimura in UFC By Frank Mir vs Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
The Kimura is one of the rarest submissions in the UFC / MMA. What is even more rare is to see a Kimura applied on a black belt heavyweight with world-class jiu-jitsu skills! Even though the gruesome break will turn your stomach inside out, this will show you know what's happening if you ever find yourself in a devastating rolling Kimura tornado!