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Rafael Lovato Jr. & the Devastating Kimura Lock

Dan Faggella
08 June 2013
Rafael Lovato Jr. & the Devastating Kimura Lock

Allow me to ask you a foolish question: Do you know who Rafael Lovato Jr is?  Of course you do!  Alright, now that we have that out of the way, let’s proceed with this entry.  Lovato, a world renowned grappler  has been doing amazing things on the mat for many years now. 

The Carlos Machado black belt has done almost everything imaginable when it comes to grappling; World Championships, NoGi World Championships, Pan Am’s, Brazilian National Championships, Metamoris, ADCC, Grapplers Quest…the list can go on and on.

It’s not uncommon for grapplers to have a go-to move, something that acts as a calling card for them.  Rousimar Palhares has his leg locks; the Mendes Brothers have the breimbolo, whereas Lovato has his vicious, lethal kimura locks. 

Using it as a way to score a victory, and also score sweeps and passes, Lovato has mastered the art of the kimura and knows just how to utilize it. 

Staying Heavy in the Hips

Rafael Lovato is a rather large man.  Using this to his advantage on the mat, you can see in almost everyone of his matches that Rafael stays very heavy when he obtains top position.  In a match just a few months ago, when Rafael took on Ricardo Evangelista, Lovato put this approach on full display.

After the match had gotten started, the expected feeling out process occurred.  After both Rafael and Ricardo had their opportunity to take control of the match, it seemed to slow down a bit.  However, it didn’t take long for Lovato to gain the upper hand in the match.

Lovato, as seen in the video, began to put much of his weight through his hips, making it easier to pin Evangelista in place, and have a central point of focus.

Being able to utilize his size is such a vital aspect and weapon that Lovato uses, that some people just aren’t able to use.  This comes into play in so many facets; guard setup, guard defense, passes, sweeps, submission setups…you name it!

Applying the Kimura Lock 

Simply put, if you have never seen a Rafael Lovato Jr kimura lock, then you are missing out!  The man truly goes for broke once he grabs hold of the arm, and takes no mercy on the shoulder joint.

In this match, Lovato floats over to obtain the north/south.  This really isolates the arm, leaving Evangelista almost hopeless at successfully defending the hold.

Once everything is firmly in place, Lovato is able to crank the hold, earning himself the submission victory.  Unlike certain choke holds and submissions, this is a pressure sensitive hold that doesn’t call for much pressure for it to be felt.

If you're interested in more of his submission tecniques and stratagies, check out the review for his new DVD set "Seal the Deal" in this article!

Almost instantly, you can see the joy and elation in Lovato.  That’s what his game is all about; intensity.


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Last Modified:
13 June 2013

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