Sticking To The Fundamentals-Honing Your Kimura Skills From Bottom Guard

When it comes to submissions that fall under the classic saying of “old reliable”, the kimura is right up there.  You probably learned this classic move on the first or second day of training, because it’s a staple to every grappler’s arsenal!

A move that focuses in on the shoulder joint, the kimura doesn’t call for a great degree of difficulty, but it sure can get the job done when executed properly.

It’s easy to leave behind certain moves as we progress in our grappling career, but I feel that the kimura is one that shouldn’t be left behind and should always be ready to go!


Treat this like a refresher for the kimura hold.

Going For The Kimura From Bottom Closed Guard


Thank you to Combat Skin for letting me try out their new BJJ Gear for this video series!

For this kimura setup, chances are almost 100% certain that we will be on our back with our opponent in our guard.  Sure, there are some other potential positions in which we can hit the kimura from, but it’s very, very rare that those will occur.

With our opponent in our guard, it’s a must that we get the arm we want to attack onto the mat.  By sliding it off of our body and onto the mat, this will make them vulnerable to attacks, and gives us the opening that we will be searching for in order to apply the actual submission move.

As we go to get their arm on the mat, it’s also important that we focus on breaking their posture by pulling down on their head.  As we do this, make sure that our hips swivel away from our opponent, which will give us more room to operate with.

Now that we have their arm on the mat and their posture broken, we will want to reach up and swim our arm through, making sure that our sternum is placed directly onto their bicep.

With the hand in place, we’ll lock on our grip, making sure that there are no thumbs involved at all.  Closing in on the end of the match, you’ll now want to rock backwards away from your opponent while kicking your leg up behind their back to keep them from rolling out of the hold.

The final step is to rotate their arm, adding immense torque on their shoulder joint.

Here is another great artile from on the Kimura lock.

Maintaining A Firm Kimura Grip

One big detail to keep in mind when going for the kill with the kimura is the intensity of the grip you have in place.  I have come across many grapplers that have exceptional range of motion in their shoulders and just aren’t fazed by the kimura.

To counter these types of grapplers, make sure you have a tight grip on their wrist and have their arm bent at all times.  Rotating your body towards their shoulder while moving their arm will cause torque and added pressure that will certainly not bode well for them, even for the most flexible of shoulders!

Dan Faggella

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