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MMA Technique of the Week – Kimura

MMA Technique of the Week

The Kimura


The Kimura is a submission technique from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that is classified as a joint lock, intended to bring about the end of a fight by causing the opposing fighter to “tap out” or suffer a broken arm or ruptured shoulder joint.

Joint locks like the Kimura can be secured from just about any position, but is most commonly seen from the guard when a fighter is between his opponent’s legs. The fighter on his back isolates one of his opponent’s arms, grasping the wrist, his other hand grabbing his own wrist.

The attacking fighter then twists his opponent’s arm back behind his opponent’s back, applying force to the shoulder, or elbow depending on the structure of the arm in question and the angle of the force applied.

A great example (and a really nasty submission!) can be seen here, in the fight between Joe Lauzon and Curt Warburton (UFC on Fox 4):

Another common place to see the Kimura in action is from the side control position, in which a fighter lies sideways across his/her opponent. He/she then secures the submission in the same way as from the guard, isolating the arm and twisting it underneath his opponent.

This approach can be seen when Tony Martin submitted Fabricio Camoes (UFC 179):


As a submission technique, the Kimura is more than capable of ending a fight by causing a tap out. However, there are several other strategies the Kimura can allow, such as:

Reverse the Position: A fighter can use the Kimura to force his/her opponent to fall onto his back, giving the attacking fighter a chance to get to a top position. A very slick example of this can be seen by Renan Barao vs Chris Cariaso in the WEC:

Set up another submission: The Kimura is a very versatile technique, allowing the attacking fighter to set up further submission techniques. Michelle Waterson set up a great sequence of techniques against Jessica Penne (Invicta FC 5):

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Writer Info about Hunter Clagett

Hunter Clagett is an amateur MMA fighter and coach at Bellingham Mixed Martial Arts in Washington State, USA. Hunter has been following MMA since 2003 and watches just about every event he possibly can, from UFC to Invicta !

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