Rafael Lovato Jr. Pulls Off a One-Arm Kimura Submission Victory!

Rafael Lovato Jr is America's most decorated Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor of all time - including multiple black belt World Championship golds, and a recent win over Kayron Gracie at Metamoris. His new "Seal the Deal" course is available online at

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There are few grapplers as decorated as respected as Rafael Lovato Jr. At just 29 years old, Lovato Jr is extremely accomplished for his age. With Gold medal victories in various top flight competitions—World Jiu Jitsu Championships, World NoGi Jiu Jitsu Championships, Pan American Jiu Jitsu Championships, European Jiu Jitsu Championships, NoGi World Cup & Brazilian National Jiu Jitsu Championships—Lovato lets his skills speak for themselves..Rafael-lovato-jr4_medium


A resident of Oklahoma City, by way of Cincinnati, Lovato has many notches in his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu belt. After competing against Saulo Ribeiro in 2003, Lovato Jr began training with him and his brother, Xande. Likewise, Lovato also turned heads when he became the second American ever to win gold at the Brazilian National Championships as a black belt. The first to do so? BJ Penn.

Lovato won this tournament using his legendary "pressure passing" system, check it out here!

Another one of Lovato’s calling cards is his infamous—and vicious—use of the kimura lock. Used as both a submission attempt and a decoy, Lovato has mastered the kimura grip to say the very least.

Setting Up The Kimura As A Decoy

When opponents hop on the mat with Lovato, it’s no surprise that they are well aware of what he has in mind. If he had his choice, he would rip your shoulder clean off and bring it home to place in his trophy case.

However, he’s no fool, he knows his opponents train to defend the hold. With this in mind, it isn’t a surprise to see Lovato utilize the kimura as a setup, more of a decoy than an actual submission attempt.

In this specific match, he seemingly did just that. Once he began attacking the arm of his opponent, they tensed up and refused to let Lovato get a hold of their arm to lock it on.

More than fine with the defense to the hold, Lovato is able to pass and use the threat of the kimura to help him improve upon his position. It isn’t until later that we see Lovato get a more desirable position for the kimura.

Executing The One-Arm Kimura

Later in the match, Lovato begins attacking the kimura in a major way. He is able to work into north/south position, while being able to keep the pressure going. He is able to fully apply the kimura, but is unable to get the tap.

Turning his hips towards his opponent, Lovato is able to add more torque to the hold…but still no submission.

Seeing the stubborn defense, Lovato abandons the grip and only keeps one arm on. While planting his hand on the mat towards the buttocks of his opponent, Lovato begins walking his way towards his opponents head, while applying a one armed kimura. Bingo, submission victory!

This move was so slick that you can even hear an onlooker say, "What the heck is that!?"

Awesome…that’s what it is.

Dan Faggella

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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