Kimura from Half...

For those who like to hit the kimura from the bottom of half guard, how do you stop the armbar counter where they jump over you and armbar the arm you used to reach over? I can lock up the leg in half guard, but I find this position to be a stale mate as my opponent is usually grabbing onto his gi, holding steady while I trap his leg. If I open up to try to create some space or to spin to an armbar, my opponent will often jump right over me and armbar me (if I'm going for his left arm, he armbars my left arm as well). I know the counter of sliding my left knee up to his chest to armbar him before he armbars me, but I was wondering if there was a way to stop his movement all together. Thanks in advance

I never have to unlock my legs to finish the kimura. I am usually able to break his grip on his gi with timing and pulling suddenly at the proper angle (towards you rather than up).

dont forget about the other arm, the one closest to you. sometimes you can catch that one.

Andre, sweet tip. What timing do you use? Any particular reference point?

Anyone have success with the kimura when your turtled and the opponent is either behind or to the side of you? Never really tried it, but Sakuraba seems to love it.

Yeah, this only happens if you stick with the Kimura without having any leg control. Only keep it if you have a leg trapped otherwise you are asking for trouble. The guys who get caught with that armbar are the ones who are impatient or are in a hurry.

When I suspect that my opponent is going to try the spinning armbar counter to my half guard kimura I do one of three things

1 - bridge as they spin around my head, flipping them onto their back

2 - punch them in the stomach with both hands just before they are about to sit back for the armbar - this knocks them backwards, screws up their armbar, and creates an opportunity to come to the top and/or armbar them yourself

3 - jerk the elbow of the arm they are attacking down to the floor just before they sit back for the armbar.

Options 1 and 2 are a bit difficult to visualize just from words, but they work quite well.

Someone just asked me for more details on option 2.

Basically you keep your hands locked in the kimura position, but push him really hard in the stomach (helped with a body bridge). You do this AFTER he has spun 180 degrees but BEFORE he has fallen back. Obviously timing is very important here, because if you screw it up you're gonna get armbarred!

"Andre, sweet tip. What timing do you use? Any particular reference point?"

  • Well, its a stupid jedi mind trick that I do, but it works. First I struggle by pulling in the wrong direction, as if I really wanted to force the kimura despite his grip under his leg or on his gi, then I relax as if I kinda tired myself out from forcing it, then I suddenly rip it down and towards me and then right into the kimura. Works almost every time.

so.. let me get this straight...

as you are in somebody's 1/2 guard and he is applying ude garami (bjj kimura) you can sit into a juji armlock on the far arm by swinging around his head?

i can see the movement in my head, but wouldnt the arm you are trying to lock be on the outside of your arm? if so, are you doing some type of reverse hook to trap that arm?

in judo we just sink our hips down and work our leg out from his 1/2 guard to take the pin (side mount). its a risky pin becuase he keeps the armlock position on you.. this sounds much better as a counter option.

one of the best things i ever saw from this position was the armbar attempt from matt hughes in his fight with sean sherk. i gainned a stupid amount of respect for him after that


The spin-around armbar counter to ude-garami presupposes 2 things:

1 - that you work your trapped leg free from between his legs (i.e. you aren't trying to spin around while your leg is still trapped.

2 - that you have managed to keep your threatened arm in front of your own body or leg. This protects it from the lock and sets up his arm to be in the correct position.

I think that this addresses your question, but if it doesn't please ask again.

This is a fairly common, and successful, counter to this technique in high-level BJJ, but I can't think of any online clips or photos illustrating it. I might have to take some photos and put it onto in the near future.

Not sure if this video is available online, but Hermes Franca came VERY close to landing the armbar vs. the kimura counter in his UFC fight with Yves Edwards. That was a sweet fight.

Here's two links to that features the move used successfully

(Have to wait a bit for the last one, it's a video interview with Marc Laimon and I believe he hits the move on Chris Brennan)

thanks guys.. this is cool... ill give it a try and see if i have any other stupid questions to ask about it. =)