MMA chokeholds are a crucial part of grappling in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). They involve applying pressure to an opponent’s neck or airway, either causing unconsciousness or forcing them to submit. Chokes are one of the most effective ways to force an opponent to submit in MMA, and they come in many forms, such as the rear naked choke, guillotine choke, and triangle choke.
In this article, we will focus on one of the most famous and versatile chokes in MMA – the Kimura chokehold. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced MMA fighter, understanding the Kimura chokehold can give you a powerful weapon in your arsenal of techniques.
What is the Kimura Chokehold?
The Kimura chokehold is a submission technique used in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) that is named after its inventor, the legendary Japanese judoka and professional wrestler, Masahiko Kimura. The Kimura chokehold is executed by securing an opponent’s arm in a figure-four grip, with the practitioner’s arm wrapped around the opponent’s arm, wrist, and shoulder. This grip is commonly referred to as the “Kimura grip.” From this position, the practitioner can apply leverage to the opponent’s shoulder joint, causing pain and discomfort, and potentially forcing them to submit. The Kimura chokehold is a versatile technique that can be applied from various positions and can be used to attack multiple joints in the opponent’s body. It is highly effective in controlling an opponent’s movement and positioning in MMA. However, proper training and execution are required to use the Kimura chokehold safely and avoid potential injury to the opponent.
The Kimura chokehold is an important submission technique in MMA due to its versatility and effectiveness in controlling an opponent’s movement and positioning. It can be applied from a variety of positions, including side control, top mount, and back control. The Kimura chokehold is particularly useful for transitioning between positions and can be used to attack multiple joints in the opponent’s body, including the shoulder and wrist. This submission technique is also effective in creating openings for other attacks, as it can force the opponent to turn onto their side or release their grip.
History of the Kimura Chokehold
Masahiko Kimura’s victory over Helio Gracie is a legendary moment in the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and martial arts. The two fighters met on October 23, 1951, in a highly anticipated match that pitted Kimura, a highly skilled Japanese Judoka, against Gracie, the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
At the time, Gracie was considered unbeatable, having defeated many challengers in the ring with his highly effective grappling techniques. However, Kimura was determined to defeat Gracie and prove the effectiveness of Japanese Judo.
The match between Kimura and Gracie was intense, with both fighters using their grappling skills to gain the upper hand. However, it was Kimura who eventually secured the victory with his famous Kimura chokehold.
After several failed attempts, Kimura managed to get Gracie on the ground and lock in the Kimura grip, controlling Gracie’s arm and applying pressure to his shoulder. Despite Gracie’s best efforts to resist, Kimura was able to use his leverage and strength to force Gracie to submit, and the match was declared in his favour.
Kimura’s victory over Gracie was a significant moment in the history of martial arts, demonstrating the effectiveness of Japanese Judo techniques against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The Kimura chokehold, which Kimura used to defeat Gracie, has since become a staple of MMA and grappling competitions, with many practitioners using it as a highly effective submission technique.
The Mechanics of the Kimura Choke
The Kimura chokehold applies leverage to the opponent’s shoulder and wrist joints, which can cause pain and discomfort and potentially force the opponent to submit. The leverage is created by the practitioner’s grip and positioning, as well as the angles of the opponent’s arm and shoulder. The Kimura chokehold is a popular submission technique in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts, and it can be executed from various positions such as side control, mount, or guard. However, it requires proper training and caution to avoid injuring the opponent’s joints or causing permanent damage. mura chokehold applies leverage to the opponent’s shoulder and wrist joints, which can cause pain and discomfort and potentially force the opponent to submit.
In some cases, the Kimura chokehold can also apply pressure to the opponent’s wrist joint, depending on the positioning and technique used. This can cause pain and discomfort in the opponent’s wrist and can be used to further control the opponent and potentially force them to submit. Overall, the Kimura chokehold is an effective submission technique that relies on leverage and control to apply pressure to the opponent’s joints and force them to submit.
The Kimura chokehold is a versatile submission technique in MMA that can be applied from various positions and can be used to transition between positions and create openings for other attacks. Overall, the Kimura chokehold’s versatility makes it a valuable technique for MMA practitioners to learn and master.
The Application of the Kimura Chokehold in MMA
The Kimura chokehold can be applied from various positions in MMA, including side control, top mount, and back control. It can also be used as a transition between these positions. Once the Kimura grip is secured, the practitioner can use their body positioning and leverage to apply pressure to the opponent’s shoulder and wrist joints, potentially forcing them to submit.
During an MMA fight, the Kimura chokehold offers significant control chances in addition to the chance for submission. Once the opponent is in the Kimura hold, the practitioner has control over that person’s arm and can restrict that person’s ability to move and flee. The practitioner can prevent their opponent from striking or successfully defending themselves by controlling their opponent’s arm.
There are also chances to change positions when using the Kimura chokehold. For instance, the practitioner can move from side control to top mount or even capture the opponent’s back. This opens the door for more assaults, like ground and pound blows or a rear-naked stranglehold. In order to open up space for additional submissions or positional gains, the Kimura chokehold can also be used to compel the opponent to turn onto their side.
The Kimura chokehold is a strong submission move that offers a lot of control and transfer possibilities. In an MMA fight, being able to control an opponent’s arm and restrict their movement can be particularly useful. The Kimura chokehold also offers opportunities for positional advancements and other attacks, making it a useful tool to have in your toolbox as an MMA fighter.
Risks and potential injuries associated with the Kimura chokehold
Like any martial arts technique, the Kimura chokehold carries risks and potential injuries for both the practitioner and the opponent. The primary risk associated with the Kimura chokehold is damage to the opponent’s shoulder joint, which can occur due to the twisting motion and pressure applied during the technique. If the opponent does not submit in time, they may suffer a dislocated or torn shoulder, which can be a serious injury requiring medical attention.
The main danger of using the Kimura chokehold for the practitioner is the possibility of an opponent’s retaliation. The opponent might be able to escape and initiate a counterattack, which could result in injury if the practitioner fails to secure the technique properly or loses control of the opponent’s arm.
To lower the risk of harm to both the practitioner and the opponent, the Kimura chokehold must be properly learned and practised. In addition to emphasising proper technique and control, practitioners should be aware of the risks involved with the technique and take the necessary safety measures both during practice and competition.
Common mistakes made when executing the Kimura chokehold
Executing the Kimura chokehold requires proper technique and control, and there are several common mistakes that practitioners make when attempting the technique. Here are a few examples:
Not Securing the Grip Correctly: The Kimura chokehold requires a secure grip on the opponent’s arm, but practitioners often fail to grip the opponent’s wrist and lock in their own arm properly. This can lead to the opponent escaping or counterattacking.
Lack of Control: The Kimura chokehold requires the practitioner to control the opponent’s arm and limit their movement. Practitioners often fail to maintain control over the opponent’s arm, allowing them to escape or launch a counterattack.
Improper Body Positioning: Proper body positioning is critical to executing the Kimura chokehold effectively. Practitioners may fail to position themselves correctly or apply pressure in the right direction, which can decrease the effectiveness of the technique.
Overreliance on Strength: The Kimura chokehold is a leverage-based technique, and practitioners may make the mistake of relying too much on strength rather than proper technique and leverage. This can result in ineffective technique and an increased risk of injury to both the practitioner and the opponent.
Lack of Awareness: Practitioners may fail to be aware of their opponent’s movements and position, leading to a failed or poorly executed Kimura chokehold.
To avoid these common mistakes, it is important to learn and practice the Kimura chokehold correctly and with proper control. Practitioners should focus on securing the grip correctly, maintaining control over the opponent’s arm, and applying pressure in the right direction. Additionally, practitioners should be aware of their opponent’s movements and position and adjust their technique accordingly.
The Kimura chokehold became widely popular in MMA after its use by Royce Gracie in the early UFC events. Gracie used the technique to secure several victories in the ring, demonstrating the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques in the new sport of MMA.
Since then, the Kimura chokehold has become a staple of MMA and grappling competitions, with many fighters using it as a highly effective submission technique. It has been used to secure victories in many high-profile fights, including those featuring some of the sport’s greatest fighters, such as Fedor Emelianenko, Georges St-Pierre, and Demian Maia.
The Kimura chokehold is also significant because it highlights the importance of technique and leverage in MMA. The technique requires precise control of the opponent’s arm and the application of leverage to put pressure on the shoulder joint, rather than relying solely on strength and power.
In addition to its effectiveness in the ring, the Kimura chokehold has also had an impact on the training and development of MMA fighters. It is now a fundamental technique in the training regimens of many fighters, and it has inspired the development of new techniques and variations that have contributed to the evolution of the sport.