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Developing the Omniscient Omoplata
The knowledge of jiu jitsu has been described as being the closest thing to having super hero powers. Navy Seal and BJJ black belt Jocko Willink has said this in the past and he should know as a former Commander of Task Unit Bruiser in Iraq and friend, training partner of Dean Lister. While this could be argued to be a hyperbolic statement, the ability to quickly and efficiently address the movements of someone who could be larger and stronger than oneself can give a someone the idea that they indeed have magical powers. And the longer you train, those powers can seem to get stronger. Though we are not advocating going out and taking a stand against crime as we know it armed only with a few stripes on your white belt or blue belt, we all remember rolling or sparring with the higher belts when we were new practitioners and it seemed like they were reading our minds and were always one or more steps ahead of us.
As you begin to progress through the belt ranks, you may begin to notice that time almost seems to slow down as your brain becomes more acclimated to the techniques and you begin to see things where as a white belt you only saw a blur of flailing limbs. It is that ability to see the potential submissions where someone else might not that will begin to distinguish one's development as they progress towards the higher ranks.
Early on, it can happen with certain techniques that you tend to gravitate towards. Let's say for instance that you enjoy isolating and attacking the far arm in side control, specifically by using a straight armlock. The better and more proficient you become at attacking this position, the easier it will be to catch on more and more of your training partners and opponents. Once you get to the point where you have an almost certain likelihood of catching everyone in that technique, you will also begin to see the same submission in other places, besides side control. You will begin seeing straight armlocks available when someone is attempting to pass your guard and they leave an arm exposed and dangling.
This ability to "see" or manifest a specific technique is definitely the hallmark of an advanced practitioner who is able to set up and take advantage of a wide variety of pathways to a certain favorable technique. Rickson Gracie, it is said, once tapped out a large number of black belt seminar attendees with the same submission, one after another. Roger Gracie is famous for defeating 9 different high level black belt competitors with the same mounted collar choke in 2009 to win the IBJJF Mundials. In the video below, 5 time IBJJF World Champion Bernardo Faria applies one of his favorite submissions, the Omoplata to everyone he sparred with after a seminar on that particular topic.
How does one create this ability to be able to catch an entire group in the same submission? This is no easy task. First and foremost, one must spend as much time as humanly possible training and drilling the technique. A great place to start would be to pick a technique that you enjoy and are able to catch with some regularity.
Let's say you want to develop that almost "omniscient" omoplata where you see opportunities to land the shoulder lock from almost all other positions. Once you have established the basic pieces of the technique, it's important to start putting it into practice as much as you can. If you have some experience, perhaps you are a purple belt or higher, a good idea would be to train as much as you possibly can with white and blue belts and make the omoplata your sole goal. During all of your matches, make the omoplata the only technique you are able to go to. By forcing yourself to hone the set ups and understand the possible counters to the technique, you will be better equipped to land the submission at will. And you will find, once you are able to catch all of your lower belt partners in the technique, you can begin doing the same for those of equal or higher belt, to take your technique to new heights. You will definitely not have the same level of success, but you will be able to eventually refine the technique to the point that everyone will begin to fear the omoplata's inevitability.
In the video below, master of the omoplata shoulder lock Bernardo Faria shows a classic "old school" omoplata set up from the closed guard, a favorite position of the 5 time world champ. Bernardo also shares how he came to love the omoplata for its simplicity and availability from a wide variety of positions.
In the video below, Bernardo counters the double leg take down. One of the core principles of Faria's approach is that he is actually looking for his opponents to attempt to control his hips. Whenever they attempt to control his hips, this creates new and unique opportunities for the omoplata submission.
All it took is for a chance discussion with a good friend and training partner while he was a purple belt, who asked Bernardo why he wasn't going for omoplatas more often. It was this conversation that opened Bernardo eyes to the availability of the submission. From that initial realization of how "easy" the technique can pop up, he was able to build an entire system of omoplata attacks and like a future teller who seems to know the future in front of them, his omniscient omoplata is right around the corner at every turn.
So you want to develop the kind of omoplata that allows you to snatch those arms and shoulders from nearly every imaginable position? Then you'd better take advantage of 5 time World Champion Bernardo Faria's new "Omoplata Everyone" instructional available in both DVD and On Demand formats. Bernardo's approach to BJJ and his teaching style make it highly accessible regardless of your current rank or physical ability. There is nothing esoteric or difficult in his game plan that the average BJJ student can't put into practice right now and beginning leaving their training partners and opponents fearing their newfound grappling skills.