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Gogoplata: Attack the Space
In Jiu Jitsu, space is important. Space gives us the ability to set up and finish our attacks. One issue that you will run into again and again, is someone trying to take away your space. You will see this a lot from wrestlers and bigger guys. They will drive forward, usually with their shoulders and head to prevent you from getting the space that you need. One attack that works great against those grinders is the gogoplata. The gogoplata, known also as the shin choke is a fantastic choke that works in BJJ, submission wrestling and even MMA. Three positions that are prime to go for the gogoplata are the full guard, the half guard and the full mount.
Full guard is the probably one of the best positions to achieve the gogoplata. You can be proactive on breaking down your opponent’s posture and start attacking with it. Or your opponent can be driving forward, trying to grind and stall out the guard. Either way, it is a total applicable attack. Isolate an arm (similar how you would with an omoplata) and get your leg over his arm/shoulder. As you do, make sure you get your shin under your opponent’s neck. From here, there are a bunch of different ways to finish. You can wrap your arm around their neck, grab your toes and finish with your other foot on your opponent’s hip. You can also figure four your legs like a triangle choke and finish the shin choke. Here, Nino Schembri, a black belt known for his gogoplata and omoplata techniques show some variations.
Another position where space can be an issue is half guard bottom. At some time or another while playing half guard bottom, we have all made a mistake where our opponent has made a connection around our arm and neck, to stop all of our half guard sweeps. While frustrating, the gogoplata can use that negative space to your advantage. By getting your forearms on the inside and creating a little bit of space, you can throw your leg over the opponent’s shoulder and finish the gogoplata! You can also use it as a sweep from half. Once again, Nino Schembri shows the gogo from bottom half guard.
Even being in the mount position, you still have the ability to go after the gogoplata. For this way of attacking with the gogo, you are now the one that gets to create the lack of space in suffocating manner. The key to this, just like the others, is to isolate the arm and to control the head. From there, you can carefully and in a pressure filled way, can get and finish the gogoplata. The gogo is very strong from the mount position, and also can set up some other great submissions as well. John Botello, a 10th Planet instructor shows the mounted version of the choke.
The gogoplata is a fantastic finisher of a choke. It is painful and works like a charm. It does not matter what style of grappling you are doing, the gogoplata will work. Next time, when you know it is possible to get, go for the gogo! The shin choke won’t let you down.