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Mastering the Kimura

In the vast realm of mixed martial arts (MMA) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), fighters constantly seek out techniques that can provide them with a strategic advantage. One such technique that has gained widespread recognition for its effectiveness is the Kimura. Named after the legendary judoka Masahiko Kimura, this submission holds a prominent place in the arsenal of grappling aficionados. In this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of the Kimura, exploring its mechanics, applications, and why it has become a staple in the grappling community.

Understanding the Kimura

The Kimura is a joint lock submission that targets the shoulder joint, applying immense pressure and torque to force an opponent's submission. It involves gripping the opponent's wrist, controlling their arm, and then rotating the shoulder joint, which can lead to pain, dislocation, or even a break if the opponent does not tap out.

Versatility and Applications

1. Offense:

The Kimura offers a wide range of offensive opportunities. It can be executed from various positions, including the guard, side control, mount, or as a counter to an opponent's takedown attempt. Its versatility allows fighters to adapt and capitalize on opportunities during a match.

2. Sweeps and Reversals:

The Kimura can be used not only as a submission but also as a setup for sweeps and reversals. By utilizing the grip on the opponent's arm, a skilled practitioner can manipulate their position, disrupt their base, and create openings for advantageous transitions.

3. Control and Domination:

Even if the submission is not achieved, the Kimura provides exceptional control over the opponent's arm. By controlling their limb, the fighter can neutralize their offense, limit their movement, and dictate the pace of the fight.

Key Factors for Success

1. Gripping Technique:

A strong and secure grip is essential for executing the Kimura effectively. Maintaining a firm grip on the opponent's wrist allows the practitioner to control their arm, preventing escapes and facilitating the application of force.

2. Proper Body Mechanics:

Proper body positioning and weight distribution are crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of the Kimura. By leveraging body weight and utilizing leverage points, a fighter can generate more torque and pressure, increasing the likelihood of a successful submission.

3. Timing and Transitioning:

Timing is crucial when attempting a Kimura. It requires the practitioner to capitalize on openings, anticipate their opponent's movements, and seamlessly transition from one position to another. Recognizing the right moment to engage and committing to the technique at the opportune time significantly enhances the chances of success.


The Kimura is a highly effective submission technique that offers a myriad of offensive and defensive possibilities. Its versatility, adaptability, and control make it a favorite among MMA and BJJ practitioners worldwide. However, like any technique, mastering the Kimura requires dedication, practice, and an understanding of its mechanics. Aspiring fighters who invest time and effort in refining this technique will undoubtedly enhance their grappling prowess, giving them an edge in the ever-evolving world of combat sports. So, whether you're a seasoned martial artist or a novice on the mats, the Kimura is a technique that deserves your attention and diligent practice.

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