Unleashing the Power of the Kimura Lock in Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu features numerous good and effective submissions, like the kimura lock, that may assist in dominating opponents.

The Kimura is one of the most effective techniques in BJJ, MMA, etc. Therefore, it has become a staple move in many grapplers’ arsenals.

We shall look at the Kimura lock in depth in this post, covering its history, application, and variants, among other things. Stay tuned! 

Kimura Jiu Jitsu Origin

Source: Rener Gracie 

The kimura BJJ lock has become famous in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu and grappling competition since the famous match Masahiko Kimura vs. Helio Gracie. 

Masahiko Kimura was the number one Japanese Judoka and pro-wrestler at that time. He might be one of the best and most feared Judoka ever. And he built a fantastic career by only losing 4 matches.

So, in 1951 master Helio Gracie challenged Masahiko Kimura to fight. But Masahiko did not accept this challenge for the first time, but he accepted to face Helio after a while.

The fight Masahiko Kimura vs. Helio Gracie had been organized in the Maracanã Stadium ahead of 20.000 spectators. And there was much energy and movement from both fighters. And after while fighting, Masahiko arrived to submit Helio with a reverse ude-garami lock that broke his arm. 

Masahiko Kimura was fascinated by Helio’s fighting spirit and Mindset. And after that match, Helio and Masahiko become friends.

The reverse ude-garami lock was named the kimura lock by Helio Gracie in the name of Masahiko Kimura. Nowadays, the Kimura lock is one of the most effective Brazilian Jiu-jitsu submissions.

What Is a Kimura in Jiu Jitsu?

The Kimura Lock, also called the double wristlock, is a famous grappling submission technique. It’s a shoulder lock submission move primarily used in Brazilian jiu-jitsu but can be used in grappling, MMA, Judo, and more.

Indeed, it is a high percentage and effective move across all belt levels, which many competitors tasted in top grappling tournaments.

BJJ Kimura Trap System

An attacker needs to use both arms versus one opponent’s arm to perform a kimura move. So mechanically, it looks dangerous and can be done by following the next steps.

BJJ Kimura Tutoriel
  1. First, you need to secure the appropriate grips. Therefore, one of your arms controls the opponent’s wrist, and the other arm goes across the opponent’s shoulder and deep inside their arm (both your arms are connected). 
  2. Second, you can put your shoulder on top of your opponent’s shoulder to make it a tough control. 
  3. Third, move to the next of the kimura jiu-jitsu procedure step, which is finishing the submission. Therefore, you must maintain the jiujitsu kimura grips control on the opponent’s arm. 
  4. Then, move brutally and explosively (be sure to do it slowly at BJJ class to prevent injuring your teammate) behind his or her back.

N.B: Make sure to readjust your position choosing the right angle to drive all your weight within the arms’ movement on the opponent’s shoulder. Thus, you get an easy tap without losing much energy.

Jiu-Jitsu Kimura Lock Entry Positions

Source: Knight Jiu-Jitsu

The Kimura is often reached from several BJJ positions like the mount, side control, closed guard, etc. 

Kimura from Closed Guard

The closed guard is an essential Brazilian jiu-jitsu position that offers several submissions like the kimura; here is how?

How to kimura lock from the closed guard
  1. Pull your opponent towards you using your leg movement. Thus, you’re forcing him or her to put hands on the mat or nearby.
  2. Install your first grip by grabbing your opponent’s wrist of the arm you want to attack.
  3. Open your closed guard and make a hip escape. 
  4. Use your free hand over your opponent’s triceps. And insert it deeply around your opponent’s arm, then connect both hands.
  5. Then, escape your hips towards the side of your opponent’s steady hand.
  6. While at your opponent’s side, connect your legs to scissor your opponent’s body. And make sure that your calf is pressed down on his or her lower back to prevent an escape.
  7. Finnish the kimura lock by moving the opponent’s elbow toward the head. Although, make sure to maintain solid control during the whole process.

Kimura from Half Guard

Source: Stephan Kesting

The half guard is another suitable position to get the kimura lock technique, here is how? 

Kimura Jiu Jitsu from the half guard
  1. First, you need to manage the distance and frame your opponent. Don’t let him or her smashes you.
  2. Then, use your legs and hands to put your opponent out of balance. Likewise, go for a sweep set to force him or her to put their hand on the mat.
  3. Thrive the opportunity and grab your opponent’s wrist of the hand on the mat.
  4. Use your free hand over your opponent’s triceps. And insert it deeply around your opponent’s arm, then connect both hands.
  5. Then, escape your hips towards the side to install the kimura trap grips.
  6. After that, you have several options to finish the kimura.

Need more help!

In the following video, Lachlan Giles demonstrates the kimura submissions from half-guard in no-gi jiu-jitsu.

source: Absolute MMA St Kilda – Melbourne

Kimura Lock from Side Control

The side control is another suitable position to get the kimura lock; here is how? 

kimura lock from BJJ side control
  1. Be a proactive BJJ player in the side control. Use the action-reaction principle to drive your opponent to extend his or her hand to defend some BJJ moves like the knee on belly.
  2. Then, you need to adjust your knees position and finish the kimura. There are many variations in finishing the side control kimura lock, tough.
  3. Then, grab and isolate the opponent’s hand.
  4. Then, install your kimura trap grip while maintaining a good weight pressure on your opponent.
  5. Finish the kimura submission moves.

Need more help!

The following video teaches you how to do the kimura perfectly from the side control position.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ

Kimura Lock from Mount Position

The BJJ mount is another suitable position to submit your opponent using a kimura technique; here is how?

how to do a Kimura lock from the jiu-jitsu mount position
  1. After achieving the full mount position, you must side forward on the opponent’s body. 
  2. Here you force your opponent to defend using his or her hands. So, you should seize the opportunity to grip and isolate one of the opponent’s arms.
  3. Then install the jiujitsu kimura grip.
  4. To finish the kimura submission, lean your upper body forward and pull your knees toward your shoulders. But you should keep your center of gravity low. There are many ways to finish the kimura from that position, though.

Need more help! The following video teaches how to do kimura from mount.

Source: Evolve Mixed Martial Arts


The Kimura is a powerful and adaptable submission technique in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA, etc. It is a strict and tight control that may be used from various positions, including side control, closed guard, mount, etc.

A kimura hold may give you good leverage to control your opponent and open up transitions and/or other attacks, sweeps, and awesome transitions.

Whether a novice or an experienced grappler, you should add this formidable technique to your grappling arsenal by studying its history, usage, variants, and countermeasures.

Related: The triangle choke is one of the most excellent attacks you should add to your BJJ arsenal. This firm chokehold is a must-know for any serious practitioner. Click here to learn more!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a kimura?

The Kimura Lock is a shoulder lock submission moves mostly used in Brazilian jiu-jitsu grappling martial art, UFC, MMA, Judo, and more.

When Was the BJJ Kimura Lock Invented?

Kimura jiu-jitsu has become famous in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu and grappling competition since the famous match Masahiko Kimura vs Helio Gracie in 1951.

Moreover, Masahiko had arrived to submit Helio during that match with reverse ude-garami lock that was named the kimura lock by Helio Gracie.

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