How to Do a Kimura Lock in Mixed Martial Arts

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The Kimura lock is one of the most popular techniques in mixed martial arts. It is an elegantly simple yet devastatingly effective way to submit an opponent and end a fight. The Kimura lock is actually a double joint lock that puts pressure on both the shoulder and elbow. It is a reverse key lock. Instead of the arm being cranked up and back, it is cranked down and back. The technique is named after Masahiko Kimura who used the move to defeat Helio Gracie who was one of the founders of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The Kimura lock can be done from multiple positions but is most often performed on fighters trapped in a full guard.

  • Lock your opponent in a full guard. Lay on your back with both legs wrapped tightly around your opponent and your ankles hooked together. Your opponent is facing you on his knees.

  • Grab the wrist of the arm you wish to place in the Kimura lock. Do this with your hand that is on the same side. For example, if you wish to Kimura lock your opponent's right arm, grab his right wrist with your left hand.

  • Release your full guard. Unhook your feet and twist your body toward the arm you wish to place in a Kimura lock. Do not sit up or your opponent will slam you back down. Instead turn your torso.

  • Reach your free arm over your opponent's arm you wish to place in a Kimura lock. Loop it over his elbow then grab your own wrist that is next to the hand holding your opponent's wrist.

  • Crank the Kimura lock. Use both hands to push your opponent's arm backward and up. This strains the elbow and the shoulder at the same time. Be careful to keep your opponent's arm at a 90 degree angle while you crank it.

  • Press your hips into your opponent and wrap your legs around his back. Attempt to regain your full guard. If you can't get both legs around him then use one leg. This will help you get more leverage and prevent your opponent's escape. The Kimura lock is incredibly painful and will likely force a submission within a few seconds. If you opponent refuses to submit he could suffer a broken arm, torn rotator cuff or dislocated shoulder.

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