Class 2014-03-17: Hip Bump, Kimura, Pass/Sweep drill

Transitions AttacksThis class looks at a sweep that works well at all levels, especially when you take into consideration all the natural variations based on it.  It looks like a sweep only a white belt could love, yet this scenario comes up pretty frequently.

Much of the hip bump sweep maneuvering is reused for the kimura from closed guard, and typically the kimura is the first technique that is shown with the hip bump second.  The class was supposed to be primarily sweeping, but I couldn’t in good conscience leave our this kimura.  As the video states, these two techniques are like bread and butter.  One without the other is kind of boring. 

Hip Bump Sweep

TransitionsThere are a few variations of how the hip bump sweep is taught.   The basic elements remain the same.

First, you aren’t going to get this sweep by initially sitting up and attempting the overhook.  Your opponent will just push you back down to the ground before you have a chance to get control.  The best setup for this sweep is to have your opponent broken down, then when they inevitably posture back up, follow their motion and wrap your arm over their shoulder.  You’ll have to open your guard to get this positioning, but that’s a feature, not a bug.

Grab their triceps near the elbow with your hand, and keep your elbow clamped against their shoulder.  Post your hand behind you to make sure you don’t get pushed back down.  A common mistake is to post with your elbow, which kills your ability to elevate your hips and also makes it trivial for your opponent to force your back onto the floor.

Once your guard is open and you have the arm controlled, your hips should be fully engaged on their body.  The initial arm grab should have your hips already slightly twisted, and you are going to continue this motion.  The overhooking arm is going to drag your opponents shoulder down using your upper body weight while twisting your hips will start to force them over your blocking leg.  This twisting of your hips should also naturally rotate your hips towards your opponents side, which will also help reinforce the sweep.

Finally, swing your outside leg aggressively over as your opponent drops to their back.  All that’s left to do is establish mount.

Besides posting with the elbow, the most common mistake is to have wimpy hip elevation.  The more you push your hips into your opponent, the more they are elevated away from a good base and the easier they will be to sweep.

Kimura from Closed Guard

AttacksThis is a classic kimura setup that is either the result of your opponent mistakenly placing their hands on the mat, or by you forcing their hands to the mat near your hips.

Your first order of business is to reinforce their error.  Grab their wrist and keep their hand on the floor.  Next, use the same motion as the hip bump sweep to get your armpit on your opponents shoulder.  Instead of performing the sweep, thread your overhooking arm down towards your wrist.  It is very important that you are above your opponents elbow; otherwise you won’t have the necessary leverage to finish the kimura.

After locking the figure 4 grip for the kimura, lay back onto the mat and use the momentum to turn your body 90 degrees.  This will break down your opponents base and allow you to clamp your near leg down onto their back, while your far knee pinches them inside your legs.

Now, like any kimura, move your arms and the elbow of their attacked arm in the direction of their shoulder.  This will tighten up their shoulder and reduce their range of motion during the submission.  To finish, keep your legs clamped on your opponent and focus on a rotation of your shoulders.  This will avoid any sudden movements that might injure your sparring partner.

Any kimura that is performed in the air makes me worried about accidental injury.  It is very difficult to gauge kimuras that are done this way, and this technique is no exception.  If you do it quickly without focusing on keeping the arm near your chest, it’s far too easy to immediately crank the arm behind your opponents back and risk significant shoulder injury.  If you properly control their body and reduce their range of motion with the sliding up of their arm, you should be able to apply this submission slowly and with control.


Finally, this class covers the classic pass/sweep drill.  This drill is a great way to have a bit of fun and see who is king of the hill.  Ostensibly, this drill is a way for the two students to engage in positional sparring where the goal is to either pass the guard, or to sweep the passer.

I’ve always liked to look at it as an outsider analyzing the tactics and seeing when each player makes mistakes or has particularly successful tactics.  Often you can identify common mistakes, then ensure that you don’t make the same mistake when it’s your turn.  This is especially important when you are up against a mat monster that just finished sweeping ten other people.  Obviously, it’s also very useful to look at the tactics of the mat monster to find out what sweeps are most common against the opponents they encounter.

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