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Kimuras From the Bottom: The Stepover Finish and Armbar (A BJJ Tutorial)

Andrew Smith is a 3rd-degree BJJ black belt based out of Richmond, VA (Revolution BJJ). He runs BJJ Path, a video tutorial website.


About Kimura From Bottom

Attacks from the bottom of half guard with the Kimura can open up a ton of options for you, and you can easily transition into other attacks off of the basic sequence covered previously. Remember—the Kimura grip isn't just a submission; it can also be viewed as a position, and once you understand this, you can predict what your opponent is likely to do and then capitalize on it.

What follows is a simple follow-up to a very basic attack, whereby your partner understands where the leverage of the basic shoulder lock is coming from and responds in turn by rolling, so that you can follow and get the submission.

Basic Finish

This sequence begins where the previous tutorial left off: with you attacking for the Kimura from the scissor half-guard bottom, and your partner defending by burying their arm in their leg (inside thigh is going to be super common).

Starting with extending your arms away and angling your hips far out, try to make sure your inside foot (my right in the videos) stays hooked in between your partner's legs, keeping you anchored to your opponent. From here, just step over to their far hip. Note that you can simply step over, or you can pull yourself over by using the Kimura grip like the amazing handle it is in order to climb up onto your partner. Once you've stepped on their hip, use this leverage to break their grip and pry their arm away, and then simply finish the shoulder lock as normal.

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Following With the Roll Through

As you begin the previous technique, your partner is going to be highly likely to roll through to avoid tapping. (After all, giving up a position is considerably better than giving up a submission!) Unfortunately for your partner, they are going to be rolling right into a tight straight armbar. As your partner starts rolling, just follow them with your hips, rotating as they rotate.

Key Detail: Your right knee (the one that's across their head) is going to keep them from being able to sit up into you, and it's going to want to stay bent to avoid the escape. You want to maintain the angle toward their hips to make the armbar tighter and much harder to escape, rather than allowing your hips to face the ceiling, as you might be accustomed to a classic armbar finish. Pinch your knees tight and straighten their arm out, being careful to keep the Kimura grip for as long as possible.

Full Speed

In this "full speed" video (I always like to joke about my "full speed" being comparable to most people's half speed), you can see really clearly how easy it is to just follow your partner as they're rolling. At its core, jiu-jitsu is about efficiency in movement, and this technique utilizes the fundamental principle of energy conservation to its fullest. The trick is to anticipate what your partner is going to do, and then just to stay a hair ahead of them as they move to escape.

Closing Thoughts

This is really more of an intermediate technique, an easy follow up to the basic Kimura finish from the bottom. That said, it's definitely one that's worth drilling a few hundred times, because you'll definitely find yourself in the situation when you're rolling. After all, nobody wants to be submitted, so they'll generally roll to avoid doing so. There will be more coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled for more advanced options!

© 2015 Andrew Smith

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