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BJJGround Forum >> why use the 5 finger monkey grip?


9/5/13 11:25 AM
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apollo
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I can't figure out why its supposedly better to use all 5 fingers on one side of the wrist when doing the Americana or Kimura when I can use a "normal grip" and control both sides of the wrist. Someone please explain!
9/5/13 11:41 AM
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Snoozhitsu
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Conventional wisdom has two reasons:
1. It protects your fingers from damage if the person tries to break free spazzily.
2. It forces you to "pin" the arm between your hand and the mat, your body etc, creating more friction and making it more secure against a slippery opponent, when you grip is weak etc.

That said most of the time I usually use a full grip, especially from guard for kimuras - I feel they have two many degrees of freedom otherwise.
9/5/13 11:48 AM
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Judo Scott
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Feel more comfortable to me personally ie... transitioning to a straight armlock kimura is easier with monkey grip which is a common transition
9/5/13 12:00 PM
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green_machine
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I like it as I feel like I can really "hook" around their/my wrist with my hand and pull everything tight. I will initially grab with the conventional grip and then switch my thumb to the monkey grip once I get my second hand grabbing my own wrist. Phone Post 3.0
9/5/13 12:05 PM
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green_machine
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I also find that the conventional grip leaves a small gap for my opponent to straighten his arm through and power out of the kimura grip. Phone Post 3.0
9/5/13 12:59 PM
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Biggy
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I like to grab the wrist with my thumb but palm that wrist with my other hand. if I can ill twist his wrist a bit as is taught in catch Phone Post 3.0
9/5/13 1:01 PM
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TBoy2
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I was told many years ago that it makes it harder for your opponent to break your grip. I have been using the monkey grip for so long it just feels natural. It also feels stronger to me, but I am not sure if that is really true.
9/5/13 1:12 PM
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Judo Scott
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if you really want to start a war ask ask how do you slide the hand under the elbow for the americana grip.. palm up or down?
9/5/13 1:43 PM
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TBoy2
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Judo Scott - if you really want to start a war ask ask how do you slide the hand under the elbow for the americana grip.. palm up or down?

Yeah, probably personal preference. Just like some people like to fold the collar back before you choke. I don't bother folding the collar back. I just grab the collar and choke. It is faster and I've doing it that way in Judo before I even started BJJ. Been working well for me for over the last 20 years.
9/5/13 1:55 PM
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Setree
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Edited: 09/05/13 2:02 PM
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Animals know A LOT about fighting. I shot this video initially as response to Joe Rogan, but I think this will answer your questions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0gDsL247e8
9/5/13 2:13 PM
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Robobear
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Five finger monkey grip, all day. Then transition o the five finger death touch on the throat. Game over.

9/5/13 3:43 PM
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GrahamJ
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I figured it's because if you use the thumb, your ability to roll your wrist so the knuckles are facing up, is limited: you're using your thumb to push against his arm - and that's very weak.

...whereas if you use the monkey grip, then when you do that 'revving' movement, your fingertips are bringing the arm/wrist into the palm of your hand, and the heel of your hand is very forcefully pushing it away - giving counter pressures like in an armbar, that reinforce each other; and it also naturally brings your body into good structural alignment.
9/5/13 8:01 PM
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jrv
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I always felt stronger doing the americana and the kimura both with no thumb, but I never understood why. In playing around with it today, I noticed that if I use the thumb in a "Lego man" grip, there is a much shorter range of motion in my elbow and my wrist where I am strong. if I use no thumb, then I can maintain full strength for a larger range of motion.

For example, I got into the americana position from top side control. Using my thumb, I was strong if my top elbow was close to the top of my partners head, and my wrist was not significantly curled downwards (think "ape" grip). As I slid my elbow down into position by the base of my partners neck, there was more pressure on the big joint of my thumb and less ability to curl my wrist. I was able to get into this position, but I was not very strong here. When I applied the same positioning with no thumb, I was able to maintain full strength with my elbow at the top of their head (above their ear) sliding all the way down to the base of their neck, and was able to maintain strength in the forward curl of my wrist through the whole range of motion.

The issue seems to boil down to a smaller range of motion (while maintaining full strength) with the thumb vs. a full range of motion (while maintaining strength) without the thumb. This matters because one almost never slides right away into a perfect americana (or kimura) position, but rather you have to pass through a full range of motion, and sometimes fight against your partners movement and resistance until you get to an ideal finishing position.

The same thing held true with the kimura from the guard. I did not try this with the kimura from side control. My nerd batteries ran low before I could get there.
9/6/13 4:46 PM
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Stubjj844
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The thumb gets in the way.
9/6/13 5:36 PM
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GrahamJ
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Ryan Hall refers to the thumb grip as 'a defensive grip: the thumb pushes the arm away - but I want to embrace it'.
9/7/13 1:36 AM
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nogidavid
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green_machine - I also find that the conventional grip leaves a small gap for my opponent to straighten his arm through and power out of the kimura grip. Phone Post 3.0

100% the correct answer. a thumb grip is for pushing away, a no thumb grip is for pulling in. if you grip a kimura with thumbs it's possible to straighten the arm out, because you're pushing into the gap between thumb and fingers. with a hook grip you can curl around and they're just pushing into the back of your big knuckles and palm

when i see someone doing this in class, i have them try both ways with their opponent trying to straighten their arm out, it's nearly impossible with a hook grip unless you're really weak
9/7/13 4:49 AM
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tf1
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nogidavid -
green_machine - I also find that the conventional grip leaves a small gap for my opponent to straighten his arm through and power out of the kimura grip. Phone Post 3.0

100% the correct answer. a thumb grip is for pushing away, a no thumb grip is for pulling in. if you grip a kimura with thumbs it's possible to straighten the arm out, because you're pushing into the gap between thumb and fingers. with a hook grip you can curl around and they're just pushing into the back of your big knuckles and palm

when i see someone doing this in class, i have them try both ways with their opponent trying to straighten their arm out, it's nearly impossible with a hook grip unless you're really weak
A thumb grip is also used to keep your opponent from rotating their wrist.

Always go palm up when sliding hand in for the Keylock. The back of your hand is smoother on the mat and slides under your opponents arm easier - especially if they're trying to glue their arm to the mat. Try it. Phone Post 3.0
9/7/13 5:08 PM
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SMACDADDY
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Because it gives you a "full arm" on both sides of his arm. Although you have one hand on his wrist, you are using both arms to finish. The concept is that it makes your finish stronger (two arm grip vs 4 fingers on one side and a full arm plus a thumb on the other), and his ability to straighten out harder (you have all 5 fingers holding him "in" since his escape route is "out"). Plus, if it's an americana from mount, the floor is your backside control anyway. It also allows you to "curl" your wrists easier which helps cinch the lock to prevent escape.

So I've been told. Phone Post
9/7/13 5:30 PM
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UGCTT_Fillthy
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I heard in a physiology class that you shouldn't grip with your index finger, as it connects to a small muscle and fatigues easily.  When you make a grip, you should contract and hold with your middle, ring, and pinky fingers because they all connect to a major muscle in the forearm.

Any doctor types confirm this?

9/7/13 5:31 PM
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Baroquen Record
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For americana i like to have all fingers and thumb together, but for kimura I prefer to grip with my thumb.
9/7/13 5:59 PM
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biggator
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfJwoiw82Ng&feature=fvwp

first min of that video is why!


The monkey grip is used when there is only one direction for the limb to escape your grasp.

C-clamp grip is when there are more than one way for the limb to escape your grasp.

Your wrist should "lock" like when arm wrestling. with your whole hand blocking their escape.

If you position your elbow on the monkey gripping arm into an acute angle(less than 90 deg.)against their head and put your weight over that elbow you are using skeletal strength and the friction with the ground to your advantage and it is next to impossible for them to free it with just strength. (credit to relson gracie)
9/7/13 6:01 PM
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biggator
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for the americana
9/7/13 6:46 PM
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shark tank
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I use the thumb grip for pulling and the monkey grip for pushing. I feel the monkey grip engages more muscles in my arm to make it a stronger grip and I feel like I have more control. When I use the thumb, it feels like my forearm is doing most of the work...and the forearm is no where near as strong as when the bicep and tricep are also engaged with the monkey grip.
9/7/13 9:03 PM
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SC MMA MD
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UGCTT_Fillthy -

I heard in a physiology class that you shouldn't grip with your index finger, as it connects to a small muscle and fatigues easily.  When you make a grip, you should contract and hold with your middle, ring, and pinky fingers because they all connect to a major muscle in the forearm.

Any doctor types confirm this?

I don't quite agree with that, but there is some truth behind it. The majority of your grip strength comes from your middle finger, and you typically have the most dexterity with your index finger. The flexor of the index finger is similar in size to the flexors of the other fingers. Even if the index finger flexor gets tired, your grip is still as strong as if you were not using the index finger at all, so I would see including the index finger in the grip as a benefit to the overall grip strength.
I am interested in other opinions if I am missing something Phone Post 3.0
9/8/13 2:11 AM
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Eazy08
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monkey grip to pull, C grip to push

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