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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

10 November 2017

10/11/2017 - Teaching | Side Control | North South Kimura

Teaching #723
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 10/11/2017

Short Version:
  • Control far arm, lock to chest
  • Pull them up onto their side
  • Step over and sit on their head
  • If necessary, switch arms, then establish figure four
  • Turn whole body to apply kimura

Full Version: For the north south kimura, start in side control, controlling their far arm. This is made easier if they aren't careful and let you bump their arm up onto your shoulder. Often they'll put it there themselves, attempting to reach your head, enabling you to trap their arm by your shoulder. Another possibility is that they turn and try to get an underhook.

Whether they put it there or you do, the next step is to wrap your arm over theirs, aiming to get just under their elbow to kill mobility in the limb. Ideally, also pull them up by that arm, so they're rolled onto their side. To lock it in place, grab your own collar, or just somewhere on your gi if you can't reach far enough. You'll also want to use you head, clamping your skull against their forearm. Braulio advises following their arm with your head: e.g., if they try to fling it down to the mat or something like that. Don't let them work their arm past your head.

You're also going to move round to north-south, so again you need to block their legs from running after you by putting a hand on the mat, near their bum (although it should be a bit harder for them to turn if you've locked up that arm). As you move around, you want to jam your knee into the armpit of their free arm, swivelling your lower leg under that arm as you move around. That makes it harder for them to escape. If you can't manage that, slide your knee over their free arm once you've got to north south. It is useful to maintain some kind of control on that free arm, as otherwise they can use it to try and create some space to escape.

You essentially end up sitting on their head, so in drilling, be aware that you don't want to squish your partner. You can take a bit of the weight off by transferring it to your knees: obviously in competition, that's less of a concern. As you sit up, make sure their elbow is glued to your chest.

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The next important step is to establish a figure four on their trapped arm, which can be easier said than done. One simple method Kev showed me is to put your free hand in place, ready to grab their wrist. Next, turn your head away from their arm: this will push your shoulder forwards, which will then also knock their arm forwards, putting the wrist right into your waiting hand. It's then simple to complete the figure four grip.

To finish the kimura, simply turn back in the other direction, pushing their wrist towards the side their elbow is pointing . Alternatively, you can also bring the elbow of your non-clamping arm to their trapped arm side. Turn your body so you're facing their head, then apply the kimura from that lower position.

If you make a mistake while looking to apply the kimura from that upright position, or they simply defend well, you might find that they are able to grab their own belt or gi. This will make it tough to complete the submission. You can try pulling in the direction their knuckles are pointing, or Roy Dean's option of using rhythm to break that grip. Push their arm towards them twice, as if you are really trying to break their grip, then yank hard in the other direction (aiming for the direction in which their fingers are weakest). Lovato Jr suggests adjusting your grip so that you're holding the meat of their hand rather than their wrist. He then does two quick jerks to yank their hand free.

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Teaching Notes: Next time, I should talk more about the actual figure four grip itself, I forget not everybody is familiar with it. I.e., the mechanics, how it actually works. Keeping the elbow tight and turning the whole body for the submission. The north south transition is something I like to mention, as otherwise you're always relying on a mistake, but must emphasise that you have to duck under their hand and pull their arm up. Otherwise you just lie on their hand, which isn't going to get you anywhere. ;)

It might be worth showing a simple grip break, there is probably time? Although this time around, I taught a lesson on switching to the armbar instead later in the month, which I prefer as opposed to struggling with a grip. But meh, one or two grip breaks could still be useful (but possibly fit better in that armbar from N/S lesson?)

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