Shoulder Line By John Danaher Writeup
“We’ve seen that the the potential power of a Kimura is always measured most importantly in three ways:
- To what degree are my legs being incorporated into the Kimura?
- To what degree is my opponent’s elbow being taken up to the shoulder line?
- And to what degree is his head being controlled?
If I can get any one of those three well represented in my Kimura you can have a strong Kimura. If you get all three it’s gonna be an absolutely devastating Kimura.
Let’s look at the idea of a side-Kimura position and let’s look at how we can incorporate my opponent’s shoulder line into the equation. We’ve seen earlier about shoulder line is a line that joins his two shoulders. We know now that the further my opponent’s elbow is from the shoulder line the less pressure he feels, the more his elbow comes up to the shoulder line, the less work I have to do to get an effective break on my opponent’s arm.
So once we lock up on our training partner, I’m gonna demonstrate this one on a relatively straight arm, this is for demonstration purposes. I generally prefer a sharply bent arm but I want you to see that even a straightened arm like this can be attacked very, very successfully if all the mechanics are correct. In a situation where I cannot physically bend the arm in, what I will focus on instead once I get up to my opponent’s head and shoulders, is I will physically take his elbow up to the shoulder line. I do this with a pull of my left elbow, I’m not pushing this here – you can’t push an elbow to the shoulder line, you have to pull. So I first bring my head over the elbow – the exact opposite of what we do to finish the Kimura. So my head goes forward and I pull, then I find his elbow to my elbow and my head moves away.
So the first pull is just to drag his elbow up to the shoulder line. If my opponent wants to keep his hand down by the hips, it’s not easy just to pull it up in any haphazard fashion, so what I want to do: I want to first just lift and take my opponent’s elbow up, now it’s on the shoulder line. When I bring my elbow to his, trap the head and engage in that pulling action, now we’re getting severe breaks. If the arm were down here it’s very, very hard for me to get a break, I have to do a lot of work to break it from here so my first action is always to bring it up.
My favorite is to bend the wrist in these positions, but I’m just demonstrating on a straight arm, it’s a little easier on my training partner and also shows that a straight on break is possible. Once the elbow goes up to the shoulder line then everything is about the pull backwards. So if we take the extra time to take your opponent’s elbow up to the shoulder line and do our breaking from here, rather than down here, we have to do substantially less mechanical work to enact the same or even more devastating breaks.”