Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Famous Kimura Lock

The Kimura lock is a well known shoulder lock submission. It has its roots in judo where it is referred to as  ude-garami or “reverse arm entanglement”. It came to be known as a kimura lock during a famous match where judo practitioner  Masahiko Kimura faced off against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu great  Hélio Gracie with this technique. CLICK HERE for a quick overview of this technique from   Rener Gracie.

It is a very powerful submission technique that generally places pressure on the shoulder joint. However, depending on how it is executed the pressure from the lock can be focused on the elbow joint or even upper arm bone. This move should be practiced with caution because of the threat it poses to the arm if pushed too far accidentally.

This kimura lock gains its power from being able to rotate the arm behind the back and push on the arm gaining a mechanical advantage from leverage. The rotation of the arm behind the back and up is what puts pressure on the shoulder. The pressure on the elbow and upper arm bone come more from pushing and putting force through the arm using your own arm as a kind of fulcrum. And here is a video showing the Kimura’s potential

The Simple Set-up from Side Control

The Side control Position

This lock is performed from the side control position. In a good side control position you  are at an ninety degree angle to your opponent with your hips low  one arm secured behind the opponent’s head and the other underneath his far side arm. This gives you good control of the opponent and puts you in a relatively safe position.

To start the set up for the kimura you need to get control of the far side arm. You need to release the arm securing the head and  hook it over the shoulder and underneath the far side arm. This arm is used to take control of the opponent’s elbow and push the opponent’s arm into his body.

Your other arm takes control of your opponent’s wrist to give you control of the arm. Then the arm you have hooking underneath is used to grab your own wrist. This completes the kimura grip and gives you great control over your opponent’s arm. Your head side leg can be extended out and planted, while keeping your other leg bent and against your opponent. This can provides a more secure base while focusing on securing the opponent’s arm and in completing the submission.

To complete this kimura lock the arm needs to be separated from the body to gain leverage over it. If the grip is secure your opponent will probably know what is coming next and quickly try not to let you do this. By forcefully lifting his arm upwards then away from his body and to the mat you can break the strength of his arm holding itself down easier.

 Finishing “Gracie Style”

Once you separate your opponent’s arm from his body you switch your grip on his arm. Your hand hooking under and grabbing your wrist switches to your opponent’s wrist and your other hand us used to push on the opponents wrist and apply more pressure.

To finish this kimura lock you sit back, rolling your opponent into you and exposing his back. Then the arm is forced towards the opponent’s back while one arm pulls and one arm pushes, rotating the arm and pushing it backwards.

The video below is a video demonstration of this style of kimura from side control. It also shows a sweet setup for this submission from a standing position, i think some serious training is needed before just anyone could use that in a fight though.


A Choke from Top Sprawl

The Top Sprawl Position is great for a quick attack of the opponent. There are a lot of options that you can consider when you get into a sprawl with your opponent. In mixed martial arts there is always the option of striking with knees or fists to the face. Or there are submissions like a quick guillotine choke or anaconda choke.

Hatt Hughes submitting Almeida at UFC 117

For something a little different and more of a wrestling move, since you see a lot of jiu-jitsu based submissions, this front headlock choke should be added to your arsenal. Matt Hughes used this choke in a showdown against a jiu-jitsu user Ricardo Almeida to win UFC 117.  It can be quickly applied from the top sprawl position and the grip is very simple to learn.

Setting up from the Sprawl

The sprawl position should be well known to a mixed martial arts fighter because it is so easily fallen into after you avoid a takedown attempt. Or as explained in the video at the bottom of the page, after As your opponent atempts to grab your legs for a takedown you shoot your legs back and drop your hips to the ground to take your legs out of reach. At the same time Your arms are wrapped around the opponent’s chest, one arm over the shoulder and the other under the arm.

This arm position is exactly where you need it to be to complete this front headlock choke. The arm that is above the shoulder is slid through so that the inside of the elbow is tight to the side of the opponent’s neck. Then a palm to palm grip is used and you pull your arms in towards your chest to secure the opponent.

This grip needs to be kept tight to hold the opponent in position because at this point the opponent will know a submission is coming  In this position if you should keep your center of gravity low, base wide, and your chest over the opponent to maintain control over him.  In addition the arm needs to maintain pressure against the opponent’s neck throughout to get the most effective submission.

Knocking Him Out

First the elbow of the non choking arm is clinched into the body. This seriously tightens up the whole choke and pushes your arm into once side of his neck while simultaneously pressing his shoulder into the other side. This cuts off the circulation to the opponent’s head which results in a fast blood choke once sunk in deeply.

To Finish this front headlock choke your head is dropped towards the ground on the non choking arm side. This gives further compression to the whole setup. Then you walk your lower body to that same side that you dropped your head and squeeze the bicep around the opponent’s neck at the same time to get the tightest squeeze on the opponent. From here it wont be long before the opponent starts to see nothing but black.

Here is a video of this technique from start to finish.



Twist Your Opponent into Submission

The Twister is a Devastating

The Twister is not a basic submission that you see all the time. However it can be an extremely effective way to finish off your opponent from the back mount.  What tickles my fancy about this move as well is how mean this move looks when you lock it in. You get the opponents whole body twisting in ways that it certainly is not made to stretch in.

For some evidence on how rare, and mean, this move is: Here is Jung Chan-Sung’s submission of Leonard Garcia with the first and only twister in UFC history.

Why to Choose the Twister Submission

The twister submission is performed from the back mount. The go to, classic, age old submission form the back mount is the rear naked choke. Because of this, everybody is ready to defend against it so it can be a lot more difficult to sink in than you would expect. This makes also helps make the twister, a relatively unseen move, more likely to surprise the opponent.

Again, the twister is just mean. It involves twisting the whole torso and neck. The lower body is pulled in one direction by a leg triangle, and the upper body is pulled in the other direction via neck crank. The whole submission tends to focus this pressure on the cervical vertebrae in the neck making it extremely painful and possibly dangerous if followed through with.

The Set Up

First and foremost you need to take the opponent’s back with a good seatbelt and good hooks. To get in position to perform the twister you need to then get you and your opponent on your sides. This is where you will pin your opponent to torque his whole body for the submission.

To pin your opponent to the ground you use your legs to control lower body position. The technique to do this is a leg triangle. From your leg hooks in back control, you slide your lower hook through your opponent’s legs and take your top leg out and lock in the leg triangle. Your top foot is placed over your bottom leg and under your opponent’s trapped foot similar to a the lockdown in the half guard.

Your upper body positioning is also essential to completing the submission. You need to get his top side arm behind you and slide your bottom side arm around the back of your opponent’s neck.  Your opponent will still be looking to defend his head and neck from strikes and submissions so separating his arm from his body, and getting between it and your opponent, is not always easy.

The Finish

Setting up this move against a comparable opponent is hard, finishing it is easy. The hands are locked around the bottom of the head/neck of the opponent. The grip used for this is referred to as an “S-grip”. This consists of bending the top digits of the fingers down essentially into a hook and then interlocking those two hooks together.

The hips are then pushed forward into the opponent to rotate the bottom half of his body into the ground and away from you. The S-grip is used to pull the opponent’s neck up and towards you. These two contact points forcing the body in opposite directions is what causes so much torque on the opponent’s spine and neck, forcing the tap.

Here is a video explaining the move in depth

The Shoulder Lock

BJJ shoulder lock in action

The full guard position is a very versatile position to be in when you are in the bottom during a mixed martial arts fight. You can either sweeps and submissions are always options and which ones to use vary depending on which position your opponent is in and what he is doing. Therefor adding more submissions to your full guard arsenal can always help.

This shoulder lock from the full guard is fast, simple and effective, a dangerous combination in a mixed martial arts submission. This submission quickly isolates one of your opponent’s arms and lock it in place with your legs. Then pressure is applied to the shoulder by using the wrist as a lever and your whole body to apply force.

Isolating an Arm

While in the full guard you need to isolate one of your opponent’s arms to attack. This is usually the arm which wonders away from a safe position close to your opponent’s body. The leg on that arm’s side is then thrown over the opponents back and the opposite leg is pulled out from its position in the full guard. The arm is held close to your body and turned backwards toward the opponent’s legs while you rotate your body towards the isolated arm side.

This part of the set up is very similar to a triangle choke. However in a triangle choke you then rotate your body towards the side of the opponent’s free arm and in this shoulder lock you rotate towards the opposite side. This means that if you quickly isolate this arm, say perhaps in a scramble  when you throw your leg over the opponent and rotate, you can use your momentum to make the finish powerful and quick.

As you throw the leg over your opponent’s back you put your foot in front of his face and use your other leg to pinch the arm. Rolling into the opponent to force his face into the ground can help hold him down securely.  Because the weight of your whole body is being forced through the shoulder of the opponent it is very difficult for him to lift himself up. This applies even if the opponent is much larger than you, making this move a good option for smaller fighters.

Torquing the Shoulder

The finish for this shoulder lock involves putting pressure on the shoulder by using the arm as a lever. As you pinch the arm between your legs you grab onto your opponent’s hand and break their wrist towards the sky. While keeping their arm tight to your body you use the power of your abdominal muscles and arms to twist, rotating the opponent’s arm at the shoulder causing the tap.

Here is a video of the full setup and execution

Other Options

The setup for this move does not have to end in this specific shoulder lock. A more exotic version of this submission that involves using the legs to rotate the arm instead of your arms and torso is referred to as an Omoplata Shoulder Lock. Also this setup could even be used as a sweep to get to your opponent’s back or some other more advantageous position than simply full guard.

Less Than A Week Until Bellator 81

Bellator 81 Promotional Poster

November 16th is getting eerily close and Rhode Island is ready to welcome the Bellator Fighting Championship. The fights will be held at the University of Rhode Island’s Ryan Center so you can be sure that the crowd will be excited on fight night for Bellator’s debut in the state.

The match-ups are to include two lightweight semifinal tournament fights along with a middleweight and featherweight featured fights. These four fights will be aired live on MTV2. In addition to this there will be additional prelim fights before the television covereage starts. There was also some last minute and possibly controversial changes and Dan McGuane was removed from the fight card due to a prior conviction. For more information on this CLICK HERE

The Televised Bouts

The four fights that will be televised are the most promising fights of the night, naturally. The middleweight featured fight is between Perry Filkins Vs. Jonas Billstein, and the featherweight featured fight is between Dustin Neance Vs. Marlon Sandro. The other two featured fights are lightweight semifinal tournament bouts, Dave Janson Vs. Ricardo Tirloni  and Marcin Held vs Rich Clementi

Middleweight and Featherweight

Middleweight fighter Perry Filkens is a powerful striker who has won all of his professional fights by knockout and only lost one by decision. His opponent Jonas Billstein is also a powerful striker winning many fights by TKO but he has wins by submission as well. Since both of these fighters are “stand up guys” this once could potentially turn into an exciting match.

Featherweight fighter Dustin Neance is an experienced fighter who brings a fluid offensive style to the ring. He can also very comfortable either striking or grappling with opponents but he does have a good amount of losses as well. Marlon Sandro has a much better win to loss ratio than his opponent but less experience as well. Sandro is a technically sound fighter who is good at what he does; he does take a lot of fights to decision though which is not always the safest way to end a fight.

Lightweight Semifinal Matches

Dave Jansen is a very skilled grappling fighter who has a wrestling style. His professional record of 17-2-0 with ten wins by submission will serve to back up that claim. His fight versus Tommy Truex showed he is also ready to take the fight to the opponent standing up as well.  Ricardo Tirloni is a good match-up for Jansen with comparable skills and professional record, 15-2-0. His black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu means that this could turn into a very interesting grappling match. However Triloni can deffinately stand up with opponents being able to take punches and counter punch effectively. Here’s a video of Triloni in his quarterfinal fight of this tournament.

Marcin Held is a young fighter, only being 20 years old, with a professional record of 14-2-0. He is a slippery and dangerous submission artist as can be seen in the first video below. He holds a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is possibly on track to become the youngest person in Poland to receive a black belt in this martial art. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the opponent Richard Clementi being 35 years old and having a record of 45-21-0. Clementi is an unpredictable fighter with a really crazy style, and he looks crazy doing it smiling and laughing at opponents sometimes. However his strength is in taking the opponent to the ground and working submissions. The second video below shows his quarterfinal bout in this tournament.

Who Will Win

If only I knew i could make some money this Friday night. The fights are sure to be interesting though and being a televised even be ready for the Ryan center to be one hell of an arena. If your in the area it would be a good idea to grab some tickets and head down to the fight on Friday night for a good show.

What is the Correct Diet?

Diet is an extremely important part of one’s life in general whether or not they are tailoring it to serve a specific lifestyle. If you plan to compete in mixed martial arts, especially on a competition level, it is necessary to get the proper nutrition so your body can work to its full potential.

When to Eat

Meal timing is a very important for a good diet. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, everyone has heard it before but it doesn’t make it less true. This restarts your metabolism after an extended period of inactivity (a.k.a. sleep) and gives you a boost of energy. Also eating more frequently and less food is great for keeping your metabolism working on an even keel throughout the day instead of starting and stopping. This serves to give you a good supply of energy throughout the day if your training.

Post-workout recovery meals are important as well. This gives your body a supply of nutrients to repair the body after a workout. Eating meals late at night when your metabolism slows can help to store energy for another day of training. However you should still try not to eat any large meals 3-4 hours before you plan to go to bed.

What to Eat

PROTEIN! Protein is an essential part to a mixed martial artist’s diet. Protein provides the building blocks that your body needs to build up and repair muscles during a fighter’s training. Meats are the obvious source to go to for protein. Red meats, i.e. anything that comes from a cow, should be avoided en mas because of a high cholesterol and fat con been a switch to a vegetarian diet. HERE is an article showing a vegetarian UFC fighter’s diet. Fighter Mac Danzig was even featured in the documentary “Forks Over Knives” because of his vegan diet. A vegetarian diet can provide protein in creative ways with nuts, eggs, soy, whole grains, dairy products, and many other sources, and is generally lower in fat and cholesterol. This eating style is a new diet to the fighting world and it serves to be more healthy and seems to be able to provide enough protein as well, so you might want to consider this diet for yourself. 

Mac Danzig is doing pretty good for not eating meat.


Getting proper vitamins is also essential to keeping your body running correctly atents. However lean chicken, turkey, and pork products are all very good sources to get protein.

A growing trend in the fighting world hasnd efficiently. This is simple to fix in today’s society with a vitamin supplement but having a balanced diet that delivers essential vitamins is a good way to make sure your body stays healthy. You can, pretty much, not have to many vitamins either because you just expel excess vitamins through your urine.

High energy foods are also important because of the energy needed for high levels of training and competition. Fats are included in this group because of the pure amount of energy they can provide with with only a small volume. In addition to this, carbohydrates are a good way to provide your body with large amounts of energy. Carbohydrates in the morning provide energy through the day; carbohydrates at night get broken down during your sleep and stored as fat for use the next day. Also simple carbohydrates, like sugars, provide quick supplies of energy for your body.

What to Drink

Without proper hydration your muscles will shut down and your coordination will suffer once you are dehydrated. The best way to avoid dehydration is to stay hydrated all the time. When you are hydrated your urine will be clear or only slightly yellow, which can be from excess vitamins and such, but  dark yellow urine means your dehydrated. Water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated on a regular basis, but Gatorade or other sports drinks can be good to provide sugars and electrolytes to your body that are needed when working out.

Also an secret that is not commonly known is that chocolate milk is actually an extraordinarily good recovery drink. A more in depth explanation of why this is true along with other nutrition information can be found in this nutrition guide. So next time you think of drinking an expensive high tech recovery drink, think about just grabbing some simple chocolate milk.

How Not to Throw in the Towel

In mixed martial arts a fighter needs to worry about getting submitted just as much as they have to worry about getting knocked out. This is why such a diverse skill set is required to compete in MMA style tournaments.

If you take the fight to the ground in an attempt to either submit or ground and pound an opponent, you must be ready for them to attempt to submit you in the process. Once you start to get caught in a submission attempt, submission defenses can start to get very technical. However, submission defense can be simple if you take precautions and keep yourself well grounded and keep your limbs about you; which is easier said than done when you also have to try and submit or knock your opponent out as well.

Keeping Your Head on Your Shoulders

Knowing how to defend against the guillotine in MMA is really an essential aspect to your game plan. Guillotines can come quickly in a scramble or slowly be set up and executed. Although there are specifics to defending this from different positions, some concepts are consistent throughout.

Your head position can save you from getting guillotined quickly. First and foremost you should try to not let your head slip to one side. A guillotine relies on breaking the head forward to crush the neck against your hand.  Although its almost counter intuitive bulling your neck like a linebacker making a form tackle can stop this as well as increase the likelihood of getting your head out.

Body position is also extremely important. The guillotine choke tries to throw you to one side so that you do not have your center of gravity over the attacker and therefor less control over him. To avoid this an the basic rule is to keep your head and body on opposite sides when rolling with the opponent.

Here is a video with an in depth look at these defenses from various different positions.

The Armbar Defense

The best and easiest way to defend against an armbar is really to avoid letting your arms get away from your body. This really comes in handy when you find yourself in a scramble because a smart opponent will quickly take advantage of appendages flopping in the breeze.

This also needs to be taken into account when attempting to strike an opponent on the ground. Ground and pound seems like an easy way to end a fight.  But a quick submission artist who can take a punch only needs a split second to grab an arm and start to work his triangle hold quickly.

HERE is a link to a site with some more information and a video on defending against the armbar after you have gotten your arm taken.

Getting Out of the Triangle

A slam can be a very effective defense versus the triangle choke if you can do it

The triangle choke can be a difficult submission to escape from. Keeping your arms in tight during scrambles, like defending against an armbar, keeps the opponent from isolating one arm and locking in his legs into position. Also when trapped in the basic triangle setup position, full guard, the sign the triangle is coming is when the opponent  starts trying to trap one leg back to get his leg over.

Once the legs are locked in good behind your back it becomes a countdown until your opponent finagles the choke in tight. Of course you could go Rampage Jackson and full on pick up and then slam the opponent to the ground. But there are also some techniques that you can use to buy time and then quickly get out of the choke. However because of the nature of the submission getting out of this choke is no easy task.