In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are plenty of holds that can cause serious damage to the body. The first that jumps to mind is any form of a leg lock. These can be increasingly difficult to pull off, however, depending on the experience level you are going against.
One common move—that even the basic white belt can pull off—that can cause serious damage is the kimura. Focusing on the shoulder, the kimura is a move that once you add the slightest bit of pressure to it, can end the match just like that!
Unlike blood chokes—rear naked choke, guillotine, etc—the kimura doesn’t take a few second to really set it; it’s almost instantaneous.
The Vulnerability of The Shoulder
There is no way I can explain the importance of the shoulder’ we all utilize them, so we know just how vital they are to our everyday life. The shoulder has the most range of motion out of any body part, and when damaged, becomes rendered practically useless.
The rotator cuff is the main part of the shoulder. Made up of tendons, if there any damage to the cuff, such as a tear, the shoulder becomes very much immobile. A few years back I had done some damage to my rotator cuff, and could not bring my arm away from my body for no more than a few inches without serious, shooting pain.
When you think about it, it’s no wonder why the kimura can be used as such a dangerous submission hold. Of all the world class grapplers out there that rely on such a basic—yet dangerous—move, there is one man that stands above the rest. The kimura is very similar to the americana, you can read a breakdown and comparison of the two here.
Rafael Lovato Jr And His Ruthless Aggression
Rafael Lovato Jr is the poster boy for killer kimura’s in the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. A larger man, Lovato uses his size and skills in cohesion with one another almost flawlessly.
Asserting a heavy top game, highlighted by his dominant hip positioning skills, Lovato is able to utilize these tools to gain the positions needed to lock on a kimura.
While the hold be done from guard and side control rather easily, Lovato seems to prefer the north/south position, allowing him to add immense torque on the hold, causing a quicker submission victory.
Upon getting the desired hold, Lovato shows no mercy and makes sure he gives his opponents reason to tapout. The thought of tendons ripping and the shoulder joint dislocating is too much for his foes to bear, leaving them no choice but to submit.
Simply put, the kimura is a dangerous hold even if it may be a "basic" one at that. No matter, if you were to watch any Rafael Lovato match in which he utilizes the kimura, you can see just how effective it truly is.