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By Stephan Kesting and Marcus Soares Originally published in Grappling Magazine, May 2002 The Kimura lock is one of the most important submission holds in Jiu-jitsu. It is also found in many other grappling systems, where it might be called a hammerlock, a chickenwing, or ude-garami. Whatever it is called, it is a powerful and versatile attack. Wherever you see grapplers competing, whether in Pride, the UFC, Abu Dhabi or the Jiu-jitsu Mundial, you see the Kimura lock used to submit opponents and win matches! Kimura Technique 1: Kimura from Closed Guard In Brazilian Jiu-jitsu the Kimura lock is named after Masahiko Kimura, who is widely regarded as the greatest Judo player of all time. While on tour in Brazil in 1952, Kimura fought a famous challenge match with Helio Gracie. Helio first had to defeat Kato, a judoka in Kimura's entourage, to get the opportunity to fight Kimura himself. After choking Kato unconscious, Helio was now allowed to face Kimura. Kimura Technique 2: Kimura from Mount This match lasted 13 minutes and ended when Kimura caught Helio Gracie in an armlock, causing Carlos Gracie to throw in the towel, signalling surrender. Kimura was most impressed that the much lighter Helio Gracie lasted as long as he did, and invited him to come teach in Japan. Almost 50 years later, the armlock that defeated Helio is now known as the "Kimura Lock" in Brazil, in homage to Kimura's great ability. Kimura Technique 3: Kimura from North-South Position The Kimura lock is the favourite armlock of Marcus Soares: once he locks it on, there is no escape. It is also the favourite armlock of Marcus's teacher, Carlson Gracie, who won many Vale Tudo fights with this submission. Kimura Technique 4: Kimura from Open Guard In this article we begin to explore the world of the Kimura according to Marcus Soares. We will show you that you can apply the Kimura from closed guard, open guard, north-south position and from the mount. You might be familiar with some of these moves already, but we are going to try to stress some of the most important, but often ignored, details. There are many more variations for each of these positions, some of which you will find for yourself if you do some research and experimentation. There are also Kimura attacks from the sidemount, half guard, half mount, turtle, standing and even from the back; it is a very versatile attack. We will discuss these, and many other submissions, in future articles for Grappling Magazine.
sit up and reach over his tricep with the hand that had been on his lapel. Photo 3 . keeping your calf firmly pressing down on his lower back this keeps him from rolling. especially his upper arm. Scissor his body with your legs. Unless he is made of cooked spaghetti you now have him trapped in the Kimura lock. You start with your opponent in the closed guard and a grip on his sleeve and lapel.Reach your second hand over and through his arm and grab your own wrist.Marcus Soares Kimura from Closed Guard Photo 1 . keeping his hand well away from his body (so it will be harder to defend) escape your hips out to the side of his trapped arm. Photo 2 .Now.With your sleeve grip you pull your opponent's hand to the ground. with his arm firmly trapped. At the same time you open your guard.this takes all the slack out of the system. . It is very important to have his arm. The act of escaping your hips is the most important part of this move. Photo 4 . escape your hips. To apply the lock from here you do two things: A) move his elbow towards his head . trapped tight against your chest.In Brazil this sequence is often taught as one of the most basic attacks from the guard. B) try to bring his hand to the back of his head.
Photo 5 .Marcus Soares .If your opponent is quick he may be able to counter your Kimura from the guard by posting his foot and grabbing his pants. and his arm firmly locked in a Kimura.Kimura from Mount Photo 1 . . Now bring your near knee up into your opponent's armpit and post your head on the ground to base.Post your hand on the floor behind you. Photo 4 . ending up with your back on the ground.You should now end up in the mount position. one leg over his body. The mount is not a typical position from which to apply a Kimura. another over his head.Finally roll over your shoulder. but here is a way to do it.Keep the Kimura grip firmly on your opponent's arm. Hook his head with your calf . keeping his arm wrapped. Now you can step your other leg up and over his head. Photo 3 . Photo 2 . You may be able to simply rip his grip free from his gi pants if you are stronger or he is sloppy. but the following is a more elegant solution to the problem.you may have to crank on his arm a little bit to lift his head off the ground. You are now in a position to apply the hip buck sweep by sitting up and twisting in the direction of the entangled arms.
Now you lie back and pull on his arm. Photo 3 .Marcus Soares Kimura/Neck Crank from North and South Position Photo 1 . Your opponent is unlikely to suspect how close he is to a Kimura lock! Photo 4 . bringing your thigh up under his head like a pillow. Your bodyweight should initially be on the side of the underhooking arm. trapping his head between your legs. Photo C5 .Now switch your base. putting severe strain on his shoulder. If you don't believe that this is a Kimura lock try it on your training .Start in the north-south position with one arm over your opponent's shoulder and one arm under his shoulder. Photo 2 .This close-up shows you how exactly how to hold his arm and your own lapel.To set up the submission. The next move will be to step your other leg up over his head and triangle your feet. start circling towards the overhooked side. and trap his arm by encircling it with your own and gripping your own lapel.
When he taps. . At the same time as you are locking his arm.partner. however. take a look at his arm: it should be bent into the exact same position as if you were applying a regular Kimura. you can be neckcranking and choking him by squeezing your legs together and pulling on his arm: a very bad position for your opponent.
Now figure-four your arms to totally trap his arm. Keep on pulling his wrist so that it almost comes close to the floor to prevent him from easily countering your attack. Keep your opponent bent over to limit his ability to move or mount an offence. You might feel pretty awkward at this point but don't worry. Quickly switch your grips so that you are controlling the wrist of the hand on the knee and the lapel closest to that side. Photo 2 . Photo 3 . Start with a sleeve and lapel grip. you are very close to getting him to tap. This limits the amount of movement in his arm and his ability to escape.Swing the foot that was pushing his hip over his head and shoulder and insert that instep under his leg.This time your opponent is standing in your open guard and trying to pass it.Kimura from Open Guard Photo 1 . .Marcus Soares .If your opponent grips your knee then you know that he is probably going to try to push it down to the floor and pass your guard. with one foot pushing your opponent's hip and the other hooking behind his knee. Photo 4 .
He is now in a position where it only takes a tiny movement of your arms and hips to apply the Kimura lock. completely off-balancing him.Photo 5 . Use a scissoring action to stretch his legs. .This photo clearly shows how your feet and legs are hooking both of his legs.
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