The kimura (reverse ude-garame) is one of those techniques that everyone loves to learn. It’s just that the UFC has given the impression that you just jerk someone’s arm up-and-back until they tap…do that and you won’t be winning very many tournaments.
Here are some things to keep in mind with the kimura that have helped me out…granted, there is a lot to learn on techniques, these are just some that have helped me that I’d like to pass on. All are referenced in the manner that you have the kimura from your guard:
- HUG THEIR ARM TO YOUR CHEST – When the kimura is in you have to hug the upper-arm (from elbow to shoulder) to your chest. This keeps the arm secure and the elbow a solid pivot-point. If this area is loose you can probably still get it, but we’re looking at efficiency of the technique, not whether or not you “can still get it”.
- KEEP THE “L” SHAPE – The opponent’s arm must be kept in a near perfect “L” shape for perfect technique. Go ahead and try to perform this with their arm nearly straight, then again when they’re “chicken-winged”…can you get it? Sure you can, but now make sure that arm is a perfect “L” and do it. Works a little better, right? If not, you’re probably not staying 90 degrees. Speaking of which…
- GET 90 DEGREES – You have to turn your body 90 degrees of your opponent for maximum efficiency. In other words, look at the arm you’re attacking – their upper-arm should be right in line with your torso. A good rule that I try to keep is their elbow hugged tight to my chest just underneath my chin and their shoulder as close to my sternum as possible.
- STRETCH THEM OUT – You should know by know that your leg needs to secure the opponent’s hips…if they front-roll, they’re out. Well, when you’re hugging that arm and you’re 90 degrees, use your hips and retaining leg to stretch them away from you. This does 2 things – secures their body and makes it more difficult to get a base and roll out and stretches out their shoulder which makes the kimura take effect at an earlier rotation point.
- ROTATE YOUR BODY – If you’ve followed all the above to a tee, this will require minimal rotation. You’re hugging the arm tight, you’re 90 degrees to their body, you have them stretched out…now, rotate your body toward their head, almost like you’re rolling over and you’ll get the tap very quickly.
It’s important to note that when drililng kimuras, be extremely careful…they go from zero to injury in a matter of tiny movements. I heard a saying one time, “Be careful with your training partners, if you break them, nobody will want to play with you.”