Escaping the Omoplata
The omoplata submission in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a shoulder lock in which an attacker isolates the shoulder with the legs and triangles them to put maximum torque on the opponents arm and shoulder joint similar to that experienced when caught in a kimura.
The technique has roots in judo and also catch wrestling historically, but didn't become popular until practitioners like Nino Schembri began to explore the potential of the omoplata as not only a submission, but also a set up to a sweep or other submissions. It is argued that until the rise in popularity of sport jiu jitsu, the technique had been marginalized as an option that could work, but most likely would not. The history of sport jiu jitsu since the 1990's has proven that the omoplata is something to be very concerned about.
One of the more recent wizards of the the omoplata is 5 time world champion Bernardo Faria who has been known to land an omoplata on an entire roomful of seminar attendees. If you don't believe it, check out the video below where he collects the shoulder joints of 30 seminar attendees in his omoplata.
It's safe to say that Faria is a fan of omoplatas. The hallmark of any submission hunter is that they have practiced and studied the position to such as degree that they also become masters of the the escape from the technique.
In the video below, Bernardo Faria demonstrates a simple, but effective escape from the dreaded omoplata.
Create Space to Begin Escaping Omoplata
It is crucial to not keep hips close to the opponent. By moving back away from the attacker's hips, the pressure of the leg triangle is decreased and space is opened up for the next phase.
Use Space to Enable Shoulder Roll
The space that is created between your hips and the attacker's hips allows you to roll over your free shoulder and uncoil the omoplata. By rolling under the attacker's legs towards the entangled shoulder, any chance of submission goes out the window.
Control Hips to Enable Guard Pass
Once free of the coil and pressure of the legs the guard pass can be initiated. One rolls into a perfect shoulder smash on the attacker's hips affording an effective guard pass.
For more tips on how to improve your escapes from bad spots, check out the BJJ Fanatics article on that topic here.
As you begin adding new submissions to your arsenal, it would pay to look closely at the various escape options that may be available to your opponents. By understanding every trap door they can slip through, you will improve the effectiveness of the submission and be able to close those doors before they even have an opportunity to think about escaping.
Do you want to cover all of the bases when it comes to escapes? Do you want your training partners and opponents to see you as Houdini on the mats? Then take advantage of the On Demand 4 volume series by world champion Bernardo Faria entitled "Escapes from Anywhere". Get your copy here.