One of the most common roadblocks BJJ students encounter when attacking the kimura from side control is when the opponent grabs their own belt in a defensive grip. When the opponent is strong and determined to hold tight, it might not be possible to break that grip.
One solid followup to a stalled kimura attack is to transition to an armbar. We still have to deal with the opponent’s defensive grip to get a straight armbar, but now we have a strong control position utilizing our legs.
We worked on this control position (similar to the “spiderweb”) control in my BJJ classes this week and the students were very surprised at how well they could control the opponent from this position.
It is important to note that one of the biggest mistakes in performing the straight armbar from top position is trying to rush the finish and listing the top position and armbar altogether.
Try this drill and see how much better your confidence is in controlling your opponent and getting the finish.