How to Pass the Guard Using the Kimura: A BJJ Tutorial

Updated on April 14, 2020
revolutionbjj profile image

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

Passing the Guard With the Kimura Grip

I've been passing the guard with the Kimura for about 10 years now, shortly before getting my BJJ black belt. Ever since then, my game has evolved largely around this technique, which I've used at every level of competition in the world, up to and including the IBJJF Pans and local US Grappling events, not to mention every day on my students and training partners. I hope to share some of these tricks with you here. This system has helped students win pro MMA fights, advanced no-gi divisions, and black belt matches ever since I started teaching seminars on the system back in 2009.

Starting From the Half Guard, Looking for the Finish

I like to think in terms of a very linear progression of techniques. I'll start by gripping the Kimura, as shown in this first video. After that, I'll try to separate the arm from the body. If I can do that, I'll simply finish the person right then and there with one of these two moves. It's important to always be threatening with the Kimura as a submission in order to be able to use it as a position.

The "Floating Pass"

This is the cornerstone technique for passing the half guard from the hip-switch position when you have the Kimura grip. Remember- this is a linear progression. If the arm separates from the body, simply revert to the straight arm finish or stepover finish (if you can't straighten the arm). However, an experienced grappler is likely to recognize the submission threat, and this is exactly what opens up the floating pass for you. The Float is comparable to a basic hip-switch half guard pass, just with much better leverage.


The "El Gato" Pass: a Second Version of the Floating Pass

Continuing our logical progression, now the opponent tries to buck you upwards in order to reverse the position. If you're not ready for this, it may well work for them. However, the "El Gato" pass, along with the unique belly down finish, are the perfect answers to this common response to the floating pass.

"Lazy El Gato" Variation

Although not technically a pass, I think most people would agree that a back take is an acceptable alternative. Here, your partner is a little too quick for you to switch your hips during the "El Gato" movement (hence the "lazy" moniker). This one also works (as shown in the video) when you're standing and your opponent takes a "sitting up guard" position, or a butterfly guard variation, as shown here.

"The Trade" Pass

This presumes your opponent is a little bit slicker and tries to take your back by grabbing your "trail leg" during the floating pass. Like the "El Gato" variation, "The Trade" relies on you realizing what your opponent is trying to do before he or she can accomplish it. I find this variation to work extremely well against brown and black belts.

Note: you absolutely must have "The Trade" down pat if you're going to work on catching the trail arm, and it's really helpful for Kimura takedowns.

Final Thoughts

Always remember, simple is better. Don't try to unnecessarily complicate your jiu-jitsu, because that is your partner's job! Having said that, there is a time and place for some wild, unorthodox attacks in BJJ. If you enjoy unorthodox attacks in general, you might really enjoy this "Fancy and Funky Legocks" page. For more orthodox leg attacks, check out how to do a kneebar from the bottom of half guard. Be safe, and enjoy!

New Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      19 months ago

      Thank y

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 

      5 years ago from United States

      I like some of these options, and it is a good condensed lesson on kimura utility.

    • goatfury profile image

      Andrew Smith 

      5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      I really like the way this looks on Hubpages.

    • revolutionbjj profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Smith 

      5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      @RinchenChodron: Thanks for taking a look!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Nicely executed step by step instructions.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)