April 8, 2020

White Belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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Who is Imanari? What is the Imanari roll? How does it all relate to the heel hook?






Masakazu Imanari is a 44 year old Japanese MMA fighter who was the first to use a rolling leg lock entry effectively in both BJJ and MMA.

He was so proficient with the maneuver that it has been named after him for all time.

His nickname is “Ashikan Judan” meaning “The Great Master of Leg Submissions”.

Imanari wasn’t known for his striking ability, but his ability to use strikes as bait to setup his “Imanari roll” became legendary.

He is currently competing in the Featherweight division of ONE Championship.

A professional competitor since 2000, he is a veteran of DEEP, ZST, Pancrase, PRIDE Fighting Championships, and Cage Rage. Imanari also has had a successful career in Combat Wrestling, placing as high as third and second in their All-Japan championship tournaments. He was in the final Cage Rage Featherweight Champion, DEEP Bantamweight Champion, two-time DEEP Featherweight Champion and DREAM Japan Grand Prix Finalist.



“The Imanari Roll is a rolling leg lock setup used to quickly cover distance and entangle legs into a position where a person can finish their opponent with a heel hook or other footlock.

The roll can be classed as a takedown because the leg entanglement and reaping position causes an off-balance putting the opponent on the mat.

Once downed, the Imanari roll can finish in two positions, the Ashi Garami or the 50/50 position depending on the variation of the roll.” – attacktheback.com






The Imanari roll when performed correctly puts you in perfect position to land all of the various leglocks, more particularly, the heel hook.

The heel hook is the most dangerous submission in Jiu-Jitsu because (1) the pain isn’t readily apparent until it is too late, and (2) not tapping to a heel hook damages the knee in horrendous fashion and can put someone off of their feet for many months possibly needing surgery.


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