Kimura – the joker in the pack: All the various holds have their own distinct character. Kimura often has a similarity to the knight on a chessboard. It can be used in ways that are very different from the other pieces. It has its own character that breaks the usual patterns and rules. Kimura can be used even from disadvantageous positions, from strange angles and points, from standing as well as ground, in combination with other holds, as both a hold and a means of control, it can be performed with your arms (the standard method) but also with your legs for additional power. It is often derided as a strong man’s move, but in fact if you can get an opponents behind his back, or incorporate your legs into the move, it takes no more strength than any other. Along with the guillotine/front head lock and ashi garami it is the most commonly available submission hold. A common problem for most students when they first begin using it is that they will get the grip and then the move and if it does not work immediately – abandon it. This is understandable as many kimura attempts can be strongly countered by a skilled opponent if you hang on too long. However, part of kimura mastery is learning when to hold on and when to let go. To learn this you have to hang on for a while. You’ll make some mistakes initially and put yourself in arm bars and other counters when grappling good opponents – that’s part of the learning process – but in time you’ll learn how to move and those counters and come out with a win via kimura. It all begins with time spent with the lock in place