Self defense of the Week: Kimono Grab


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Today we are going to be discussing a technique called Kimono Grab. Kimono grab is an effective self defense technique against a push from the front while your attacker is grasping onto your clothing.

The technique can work very well as long as you know how to use it properly. Let’s look at some common mistakes, minor adjustments, and various applications.

Common Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes is not stepping into a proper stance. When your stance is to narrow it is easy to get knocked off balance. Making your stance wider can keep your attacker from pushing you over.  If your stance is to deep, you will have trouble moving quickly when needed.

For this technique, you will want to step backwards into a bow stance with the left foot back and the right leg forward. At the same time you will want to trap the hands.

Failing to trap the hands is one of the second most common mistakes. Many people simply want to rest their hand on their opponents and fail to grab the wrist. You will want to use your left hand to reach all the way over both of your opponents hands and grasp onto his left wrist. This will give you control over the opponents weaker limb in preparation to break or dislocate the arm at the elbow joint.

If the arm does not break, the most likely mistake being made in this instance is failing to straighten the opponents arm. If you have trapped the arm and stepped back into the stance correctly, your opponents arm should be almost completely straight. This way when you strike up on it with your forearm it breaks easily. If the attackers arms are bent, the strike will not break the arms.

Minor adjustments

There are a few tips that can help make this technique even more effective. One of those would be to lower your center of gravity. Since a push usually comes fairly straight on, lowering your stance can change the angle redirecting the force.

You may also choose to grab the thumb instead of the wrist. This will make it easier to turn the arm if you need too plus adding small joint manipulation will increase your control of the opponent.

After the break, you do a circling inward block to knock the arms off of you. That is followed by a knife hand strike to the throat, and a kick to the groin area. These last two strikes can be adjusted a lot to fit your need. The knife hand can easily become an eye strike and the kick can be replaced by any low kick.

The following video shows about how the technique should look.

Various Applications

Although the technique is meant to be off of a specific attack, there are multiple situations where the technique can be used.  The attack is meant to be off a two handed attack from the front with no adjustments necessary.

If the attacker decided to use only one hand then you may need to adjust a little bit.  If they grab with the right hand you may want to use a different technique, however a grab with the left hand will barely change anything with the exception of maybe the kick at the end.

While it is not ideal, this technique can also be used against someone charging at you with their head down. The trap simply becomes a choke instead. The circling strike can easily be used as a forearm strike to the artery located on the side of the neck. You may also opt to change the knife hand strike into an eye strike pulling the head back in order to land a more effective kick.