Guest post by David Avellan, an ADCC bronze medalist. Avellan has defeated many of the world’s best grapplers, such as BJJ Black Belt World Champions Rafael Lovato Jr., Tarsis Humphries, Amaury Bitteti, Alexandre ‘Xande’ Ribeiro, Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu, and Rener Gracie.
When it comes to the Kimura Grip, most people get at LEAST one thing wrong. If you are a veteran grappler and have trained for a while now, you probably know the the first error…
Kimura Grip Mistake 1 – All Thumbs
It is only natural to want to grab a wrist using your thumb, but doing so weakens your grip significantly. Why? Because Newton’s Third Law of Motion:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
That means that when you are trying to thrust your opponents arm over their head by pushing their wrist, there is an equal and opposite force pushing back into you. More often than not, part of this opposing force is going towards your thumb, which is the weakest part of your grip.
What can end up happening is that this opposing force puts too much pressure on your thumb and you have to release your grip – giving your opponent an easy way out of the Kimura.
So how are you supposed to control the wrist?
Simple – use your hands like a hooks, with your thumbs pressed into the sides of your index fingers. I did say hands, so both your hand controlling your opponent and the one holding on to your own wrist do NOT use thumbs.
I know some of you might get upset by this and say that using thumbs has always worked for you. It’s true that you can finish a Kimura using your thumbs, but it isn’t perfect technique. I haven’t found someone who can explain the advantage of having your thumbs, and all honesty I don’t think I ever will because the science doesn’t back it up.
But even this picture above has a BIG mistake, which brings us to…
Kimura Grip Mistake 2 – It’s all in the flick of the wrist
I can’t tell you how many people don’t know about this little Kimura grip trick that makes a HUGE difference.
Actually, I can. Pretty much everyone I have ever taught – whether at my school, in a seminar, or online in my webinars didn’t know this detail. To be honest, I didn’t either when I learned the Kimura. It was only after teaching this technique repeatedly did I realize that I could improve the effectiveness of the Kimura by turning the wrist.
It is such a small and simple detail, but having this right makes all the difference in the world. School yourself with this video and make sure you pay close attention to the smallest of details as I explain the motorcycle grip. Whether you are holding closed guard, or in side control, the motorcycle Kimura grip should be used ANY time you are applying a Kimura.
Once you correct your grip mistakes you will start to realize how important grip strength is for the Kimura. I do have a few grip strengthening tools that I have used to great effect, but I can tell you that if you focus on your grip and apply the Kimura regularly, you will notice a marked improvement in your grip strength.
For more beautifully brutal kimura variations and set ups, you will want to take advantage of the knowledge of one of the most sought after MMA and grappling coaches on the planet, Neil Melanson. He has distilled his years of leading MMA champions into The Filthy Kimura Series and it can be yours by heading over to BJJ Fanatics!