MMA 101: Banana Split, gogoplata, and kimura are MMA techniques?

Himantes (old fashioned By Katrina Belcher (

As per my previous article, many of the techniques associated with MMA are routinely utilized and practiced in other combat sports disciplines on an international level and they have been practiced safely.

The evolution of MMA includes a heavy influence from Vale Tude, shoot wrestling and BJJ. Vale-tudo is Portuguese for anything goes: vale – “is allowed”, tudo – “everything.”

The sport known as mixed martial arts features competitors from various martial arts and Olympic sports, such as karate, jiu-jitsu, muay thai, tae kwon do, boxing, kick-boxing, wrestling and judo.

This martial art describes competitions in unarmed combat having minimal rules. The competitors are highly skilled in multiple martial arts disciplines and compete against each other in a combative sporting event.

Unlike most professional wrestling events, the contests are not scripted and there is no predetermined outcome as to the victor of the bout. In that sense, mixed martial arts competitions are similar to boxing and kick-boxing matches.

But when a casual viewer or livid fan is watching these top-notch athletes fight, unless you train in martial arts or wrestling, it’s kind of hard to know what exactly it is you’re seeing!

To help you figure out what those holds, submissions and throws are that you hear about in MMA, please study the videos below – they should help. And let me know if there are any techniques you’d like to see me post!

Banana Split Position
Banana Split Position
The banana split is a wrestling move which can be turned into a submission. It basically spreads the legs in either direction. An unorthodox submission but good nonetheless.

Guillotine Choke
Guillotine Choke
Straight-arm choke used when facing an opponent. Usually performed from standing or guard position.

Using a Kimura, the fighter attacks his opponents shoulder. Can be performed from either side while standing or on the ground. Arm needs to be bent at approximately 90 degrees at the elbow with the arm being moved from the athlete’s waist towards their head. [This submission is also known as ude garami “entagled armlock” in Japanese (Judo)].

The translation in Portuguese (BJJ) literally means “shoulder blade” and this accurately describes this submission. The omoplata is a submission that attacks the shoulder area by using the legs. [This submission is also known as sankaku garami or shoulder lock in Japanese (Judo)].

Read related articles on MMA rules.

Most of the instructional videos you see on this site were provided through the generosity and courtesy of

What Do You Think of This Fight/Event?