In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, few techniques hold as much prestige and respect as the Kimura. This powerful submission is named after the Japanese judoka, Masahiko Kimura, who famously used it to defeat Helio Gracie in their 1951 match. In this blog post, we'll delve into the history of the Kimura and explore the origins of this iconic submission.
Masahiko Kimura was born on September 10, 1917, in Kumamoto, Japan. He started practicing judo at the age of 9 and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming one of the greatest judoka of all time. Kimura was known for his incredible strength, dedication, and unmatched technique. He held the All Japan Judo Championship title for 13 consecutive years, making him a true legend in the sport.
The Kimura submission, also known as the "reverse ude-garami" or "gyaku ude-garami" in judo, is a shoulder lock that targets the opponent's shoulder joint by applying pressure on the rotator cuff muscles. The technique involves securing the opponent's arm and wrist, then applying a twisting motion to force the shoulder into an unnatural position, causing immense pain and potentially dislocating the joint.
The historic match between Masahiko Kimura and Helio Gracie took place on October 23, 1951, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During the bout, Kimura managed to apply the reverse ude-garami on Helio, who refused to tap out. His brother, Carlos Gracie, eventually threw in the towel to protect Helio from serious injury. The technique that Kimura used in that fateful match was subsequently named "Kimura" in his honor, immortalizing his legacy in the world of martial arts.
Today, the Kimura is a staple in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as in other grappling arts such as MMA, submission wrestling, and Sambo. The technique's versatility and effectiveness make it a popular choice for practitioners of all skill levels. The Kimura can be executed from various positions, including closed guard, side control, and north-south, making it a valuable weapon in any grappler's arsenal.
In conclusion, the Kimura is not only a powerful submission but also a testament to the rich history and cross-cultural exchange between judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As you continue to develop your skills in the art of BJJ, don't forget to pay homage to the legendary Masahiko Kimura and the indelible mark he left on the grappling world.