Building Your Whole Grappling Game Around The Kimura Trap System

Building Your Whole Grappling Game Around The Kimura Trap System

There are certain names in the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that go hand-in-hand with Mixed Martial Arts.  One of those names happens to be David Avellan.  A former MMA fighter himself, Avellan has consulted with many of the top talents in the sport today, to help them with their ground game.

Many folks know David for his competitive background, however, most of us know him for his work within the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy.

One tactic that has made him a trusted consultant is his unique kimura trap/kimura lockdown system.  Depending heavily on the kimura lock setup, this technique can be used for various reasons ranging from submissions to sweeps.

As someone who favors bottom guard and has the flexibility to utilize this setup, I find it to be the perfect fit for my grappling game!

During my research on the setup, I came across one amazing submission setup that David uses.  The kimura trap can be used for all sorts of purposes, but today we’ll take a closer look as to how you can use it in order to setup the rolling armbar submission!


If you’re someone that works from bottom guard, or may be looking for ways to spice up your arsenal of moves, then you find the right place!

Technical Tidbits-Setting Up The Rolling Armbar

The beauty about having the kimura trap/kimura lockdown in your arsenal is that it is a super effective tool for setting up various kinds of attacks.  In this instance, we’re looking at the rolling armbar submission, by setting it up first with the kimura trap.

As we set up the kimura lock down position—by setting up a kimura lock, with one leg over the top on their submission-side hip—we want to make sure that we unhook our bottom leg.  Normally from this setup, your bottom leg will be hooked to the far-side leg of your opponent.

Once you unhook that leg, you’ll want to bring it out closer to their head.  At the same time, take the foot that is on their hip, and weave it tightly to their body.  A good point of reference is to keep it close to their ribs.  By now, you should notice that your legs are in position that would normally be in if you were looking for the traditional armbar submission.

The next step is hands down the most important one!  With everything in place, you’ll want to “kiss the mat” as David says.  Obviously, you aren’t literally kissing the mat—because that’s really gross—but you’re planting your forehead on it firmly.

Now that you have reached this point, it’s time to go in for the kill!

Begin turning your body in whichever direction that the arm is being isolated.  By fully rotating your body and using your legs, you should be able to end in the perfect armbar setup.  From here, simply forgo the kimura hold for your traditional armbar submission, and finish with the tap out!

Make sure you really focus while drilling this one!  There some common mistakes that happen quite often, and will compromise the effectiveness of the finish.  Often people will forget to unhook their bottom leg, so when they try to thread their other leg through, it goes nowhere.

Also, it’s common that people forget to thread their submission-side leg, and leave it on the hip, rendering the move useless.  The biggest mistake people make is placing their head properly on the mat.  Failing to do so will put tremendous pressure on your neck, which can lead to serious injury!

The Effectiveness & Usefulness Of The Kimura Trap

For reasons that I could go on and on about, the kimura trap—in my book—is something that every grappler should look into learning!

First off, just having the trap/lockdown setup in your toolbox is good because of the psychological edge you’ll have on your opponent.  Think about it, if you were in someone’s guard and they reach up and apply the kimura trap, the first thing you’re thinking of is how to defend against the impending kimura.

However, that clearly isn’t the only option!  With countless attacks—such as the one discussed above—the kimura trap is the perfect decoy to gets your opponent thinking you strictly want the kimura and nothing else.  Once this is achieved, your opponent will then begin to let their guard down, which allows you to hit a different submission.

The kimura trap can allow you to hit the kimura, rolling armbar, and other various submissions, but also gives you the opportunity to look for sweeps and transitions that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

Unlike certain setups and techniques, the kimura trap offers a wide array of possibilities that anyone can take advantage of!  There is no doubt in my mind that kimura trap is the way to go if you want to elevate your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game!

Adding A Whole New Dimension To Your Grappling Game

For me, I’m someone that loves to work from bottom guard.  Given my affection for leg locks, I find myself pulling guard quite often; however, this can also work against me given my size.  Being smaller, it’s not rare for me to get stuck here in bottom guard.

I feel that having the kimura trap in my grappling approach allows me to be more comfortable and dangerous from my back.  Especially against bigger grapplers who may try to muscle against me, this setup is perfect for us smaller guys looking to control our opponents without putting ourselves in harm’s way.

Honestly, if you’re a grappler that favors bottom guard, then there is no reason for you NOT to know how to execute the kimura trap!  I wish I had more hands so I could give this technique multiple thumbs up!

Find out why the KIMURA should be the CORNERSTONE of your entire BJJ playbook with Tom DeBlass’ help!
DeBlass leaves no POSITION unexamined. DOMINATE Kimura attacks, sweeps and even use it as a shortcut to LEG ATTACKS.