Today I’m going to address a fundamental way to execute the Kimura for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

What is the Kimura?

The Kimura is a shoulder lock. There are two shoulder locks: Either with the hand going up (generally called the “Americana”) or the hand going down. I’m going to talk about the hand going down. This is typically referred to at the Kimura.

Kimura from the Guard

We’re going to do the Kimura from the closed guard.

It starts with my training partner in my closed guard. The trigger position for the Kimura is when my training partner’s hands are on the mat. How we get here is irrelevant for now.

To execute the Kimura I need to kick up (I’ll use my right leg in this example). I open up my guard, and my right knee goes into his shoulder as I kick up.

Then I’m going to reach up, bringing my body up, leaning on my right elbow and bringing my left arm up and over his left shoulder. My left hand then goes underneath his left bicep, and my right hand grabs his wrist. Then I grab my right wrist with my left hand.

This part is critical. When I fall back, I want to end up on my side (my left side in this example, with my right hip pointing to the sky). A common mistake is to end up on your back.

Then I cross my ankles behind my training partner’s back to close my guard.

My training partner’s left elbow needs to be bent at 90 degrees. If it is too straight, there is no leverage for me to rotate his arm.

From here I’m going to pin his arm by bringing my elbows to my ribcage. Then I’m going to rotate my shoulders, bringing his hand towards his head for the tap out.

At this point a common mistake is to use your hands while executing the Kimura, instead of a shoulder lock. If you try to use your hands, your training partner can easily extend their arm and you’ll lose your position. Stay on your side, keep your elbows pinned to your chest so you can control their arm, then turn your shoulders, do not use your hands.

This is the Kimura from the Closed Guard.

BJJ Basics: Kimura from the Guard

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