Top 5 Ways To Use The Powerful Kimura

Why Is the Kimura So Powerful

The kimura is one of the most powerful controlling locks, and submissions in all of grappling. It is a major hold in all grappling styles, whether it’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Japanese Jujitsu, Catch Wrestling, Sambo, etc. It is also one of the most powerful submission holds for self defense and mixed martial arts.

When most people look at the kimura, they see it as only a point of submission, but the kimura lock itself can be used as a takedown, a sweep / reversal from the bottom, or a way to escape out of bad positions… for example is an opponent has your back, the kimura lock is a great way to escape.

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.

Here is a TRITAC-Jitsu Training video showcasing 5 uses of the kimura, put together in a TRITAC flow.

Kimura History

The Kimura name in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu actually comes from the legendary Jiu-JItsu fight 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. In catch wrestling, the first uses of the double wristlock or Kimura lock is often attributed to Lorigo Morelli (also known as “Tony” Morelli) during the 1920’s.

In modern grappling, the kimura has become a multi-versatile “weapon” that many grapplers use as their primary attacking grips.  One could argue that a person could develop their whole grappling game around using just the kimura lock.

One of the famous uses of the kimura in modern times is when Sakuraba broke Renzo Gracie’s arm using the kimura lock from standing in Pride Fighting Championships in Japan.

5 Ways To Attack With The Powerful Kimura Lock

#1: Kimura Lock Takedown

The kimura lock takedown can be setup offensively or as a defense against your opponent’s grabs.  Here are some kimura technique videos showcasing how you can use the kimura as a takedown.  We can’t do the kimura takedown justice without first starting off with…

Sakuraba vs Renzo Gracie:

TRITAC Combatives Training Flow With Standing Kimura Lock Takedown

Rear Bear Hug Defense – Kimura Lock Takedown

2: Kimura From Guard (Closed Guard & Half Guard)

Forimga shows you the basics on how to attack the kimura submission from closed guard.

One of the best no gi grapplers and grappling coaches in the world right now is Lachan Giles.  He is know for using the kimura trap system in EBI 5, and has some very creative kimura attacks from bottom half guard that all half guard fighters should know.

3: Kimura Submission From Side Control

One of the best places to attack the kimura submission is in side control.  John Danaher is the modern mad scientist of grappling, and shares how to do the perfect kimura from side control.

John also offers some incredible insights in this video on how to attack the shoulder line when going for the kimura submission.  Once you watch this video, you’ll have a whole new understanding for the kimura.

#4: Kimura Sweep

This is one of my favorite Jiu-Jitsu sweeps.  It is one of the most effective sweeps for self defense and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  My BJJ instructor, Rafael “Formiga” Barbosa shows you how to the kimura sweep aka hip bump sweep aka white belt killer sweep 🙂

#5 Kimura Weapon Defense

Using the kimura lock when a police officer, military or armed civilian is on your back, and your attacker is going for a weapon, is one of the best options in this life or death self defense situation.  The Gracie’s have a great video showing you how to use the kimura lock when your attacker tries to grab your weapon.

How You Can Implement The Kimura For Your Self Defense / Grappling Skill-Set

It is now doubt that the kimura is one of the most powerful submissions.  Just from this small blog post, you can see how there are many different ways you can use the kimura lock in almost any situation that you are in.  If you have never learned or trained the kimura before, I recommend starting off with learning how to attack the kimura from closed guard.  From there, start exploring other options including takedowns, sweeps and weapon defense.

If you are looking to get some drills and additional ‘golden nuggets’ on how to make the kimura lock work for you, sign-up for our TRITAC Combat Academy here.

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