How to Defend and Escape the Kimura from Side Control

Defending and escaping the Kimura when you’re on the bottom of side control is always difficult.  There are several different reason for this…

First of all, the figure four grip used in the Kimura is very powerful control.  It’s a natural handle that your opponent can use to manipulate your entire body, both in gi or no gi. And once your opponent has secured this grip it’s a real pain to get out of this submission.

Secondly you just don’t have as much ‘wiggle room’ with the Kimura because the delicate little muscles of the rotator cuff are easily tweaked and injured if you don’t tap out fast enough.  That’s why it leads to more injuries than most other armlock attacks. If you’re smart you’ll tap out early when faced with the Kimura, and that cuts into your ability to escape.

And finally, grapplers tend to favor attacks that mesh best with their physical attributes. People who favor the Kimura tend to be big guys who are very strong in their upper bodies, which makes it even more imperative to get the hell out of Dodge when you’re under attack with this submission!

So when you’re on your back and your opponent is going for the Kimura then it’s definitely a red-alert kind of moment.  But don’t give up hope; here’s a snippet from my Submission Defense App to get out of the Kimura even when it’s almost completely locked on.

In the video below we first cover general Kimura awareness, then Kimura defense from side control, and finally what to do if your opponent locks on the Kimura grip while you’ve got him in half guard (a very common attack).

A few more things…

  1. This video is a short excerpt from the highly reviewed Grapplearts Submission Defense app Apple, Android and Kindle devices.  This app is probably one of the best instructional deals in all of grappling!
  2. Here’s a link to a short tip about a last ditch Kimura defense that I sometimes use if I’ve completely screwed up the defenses in video above and still don’t feel like giving up quite just yet,
  3. If this article was useful to you then I share a lot more tips, techniques, tactics and training methods in my free BJJ and Submission Grappling newsletter.  Click here for more information about this 100% free newsletter and the Roadmap for BJJ.

Submission Defense app

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