Review of David Avellan’s “Kimura Trap” System

January 25, 2014
11 minutes read
Review of David Avellan’s “Kimura Trap” System

This review was completed by Jake Matesen for exclusively.

NOTE: All of the footage in this review is publicly available and not stolen or “ripped” from the DVDs – much of which is available Free at the actual Kimura Trap website, which you can see for yourself. Enjoy this review, the opinions are mine only.

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 9.19.37 PMIf you’ve follow the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu—and I assume you do—then you’ve probably have heard of the name David Avellan.

An experienced veteran, Avellan has made his impact felt in the grappling community.  With countless medals to his name and some of the most notorious submission artists under his victory column, Avellan knows what he’s talking about.

David has also branched out to Mixed Martial Arts where he had a short lived fighting career, and is also known to help train some of the big name fighters in the sport today from time to time.

On top of that, Avellan is also known for his unique approach to grappling, and has also birthed certain moves and techniques that other grapplers have sense adopted as their own.

The most well known techniques created by Avellan is the kimura trap.  Used as a kimura lock setup, the kimura trap can be used from almost anywhere on the mat.  The trick is to know why, when and how to use it.

Kimura “Practicality” as an Emphasis (and Numerous Setups)

To promote his grappling technique, Avellan released his program,  I recently was able to get my hands on a copy of the series and to see what all of the hype was about.

My initial reaction was that this setup is a very practical, easy to learn technique!  There is nothing super complicated or over the top with it, which for someone that both looks to compete and learn, as well as teach, this was ideal.

In the early stages of the series, David makes it a point to break down the original setup.  Many times I have seen instructional DVD’s that jump right into the meat of it, and leave you feeling overwhelmed.  Right off the bat, David shows you exactly how to set the move up, and why it can be a useful tool.

Personally, when I search for products such as this, I don’t need to be sold a super complex move.  I know it may seem enticing to pitch that specific set of moves, but those aren’t for everyone.  The more advanced the move is, the more you are turning away a whole range of grapplers.

David doesn’t have this issue in terms of his techniques.  I’m sure at one point or another we have heard the phrase “Keep It Simple” and Avellan does just that.  I’m not saying that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is “simple” in the sense anyone can do it, but “simple” meaning that even if you are a white belt, there will be something you can take from this series and utilize in your game almost instantly.

I love the foundation that is laid in this series, and how it is followed perfectly the entire way through.  Avellan sets the pace early, and fails to break from it.

Clear & Fluid Breakdowns – for People Who Like Details

It isn’t a rare occurrence when someone releases a DVD series and knows little about the topic that they claim to be experts on.  I knew going into this series that that wouldn’t be an issue when David Avellan has his name tied to a certain project.

Avellan is a world class competitor, and I knew it would be very informative.  While watching this, I felt as if I was in the room with David, and he was speaking directly to me.  The clear instructions given make learning the technique and it’s progressions that much easier.

Knowing David’s background in grappling—both BJJ and Wrestling alike—I knew that there would be good nuggets of knowledge the entire way through.

When I got to the part where David discusses certain take down defenses, I had my pen and pad ready.

Takedown Defense with the Kimura (Ignore the Part of About the Set Not Being Available, You Can Still Get the Kimura Trap DVDs Online at the Main Kimura Trap Website)

Especially with this section, I really enjoyed the teaching points that David makes.  While there is a lot of information being thrown out there at once, it’s easy to consume and didn’t make me feel overwhelmed with an information overload.

Personally, while I like having tons of new moves to learn, I hate feeling as if the DVD I’m watching is throwing too much at me.  Having to pause and rewind over and over breaks the flow of the viewing experience, and makes me feel overwhelmed.

I never felt this way while enjoying the  The information was presented in a clear manner, and was more than easy to learn.

Proven and Relatively Fluff-less, Probably Most Important for Any White or Blue Belt

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 9.20.06 PM

Once I learn about a new setup, I try t sit down and go over my notes and see what can be used in a live match or rolling situation.  As an instructor and owner of my own Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy, I try to find techniques that will be applicable to the most seasoned grappler in the gym, as well as the guy walking in for the first time.

Normally I find myself avoiding many new techniques for my own teaching approach, especially because the more inexperienced guys may not feel comfortable working with inverted moves or out of the 50/50.

However, David was very clear in his description as to how this setup can be used, and the positions from which you can use it are all very fundamental and basic.  From a teaching stand point, this makes formulating a teaching plan that much easier for myself.

The practicality of this setup is rather obvious.  One of the very first moves you learn in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the kimura, so your comfort level with the hold grows rather quickly.  Given my comfort in that spot, going into this project I knew that I would walk away with various setups and techniques that I would benefit from and be able to use right away.

For me, the highlights of the video series were the clarity at which the details were explained, the practical nature and the flow of the moves.  I can say that after watching this, I’m sold on the kimura trap.


The Good: Technically David knows what he’s talking about, and unlike some video sets I’ve seen, the techniques are practical and are actually moves that you can see in David’s high-level matches the the ADCC and elsewhere. There’s enough detail to work with – and there’s a continuity throughout the DVDs on ONE topic: the Kimura and it’s many uses. It’s not a smattering of 50 submissions from 50 submissions.

The Bad: Though David does show a number of other techniques, the Kimura is obviously the emphasis. If you need an “Encyclopedia” of moves, then another course – maybe Sergio Babu’s All-Encompassing “Mastermind” course – is more your style. In addition, if you’re one of those people that needs a movie back-drop in order to enjoy a video – this one was filmed at the FFA academy in Miami – so it doesn’t have some of the prettier backgrounds or movie-like transitions of other sets. Luckily it doesn’t necessarily take away from the content in the set, but I wanted to be all-inclusive, here.

To Buy, or Not to Buy?: Your call, obviously, but if you’re a Kimura guy or you have trouble with defending takedowns, there’s enough content in here to justify the investment in the course.


Thanks guys, this was fun to write!

Jake M

Science of Skill Writer / Reporter

Daniel Faggella
Daniel Faggella

Coach Daniel is the founder and head publisher at Science of Skill, LLC. A martial arts black belt and self defense instructor, Dan has spent years training with and interviewing some of the world's best self protection experts. His passion lies in encouraging others to train smart and to improve the skills that make them safer and stronger.

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