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How to Defend and Finish the Omoplata with Bernardo Faria

How to Defend and Finish the Omoplata with Bernardo Faria


If you’re not familiar with Bernardo Faria you are missing out.  He is one of the greatest bjj competitors of all time.  He has won the adult Black Belt World Championships 5x and has even won the most prestigious title, the Black Belt Open Weight World Championship.  Bernardo is one of the best gusy in the sport of bjj, he is always sharing content, traveling to learn from everyone and brings a great atmosphere.

Many people that know Bernardo know that he is infamous for his half guard and his over under passing.  His over under passes is one of the most popular passing positions in the world.  The list of accomplished and World Champion bjj fighters that Bernardo has been able to hit this pass on is incredible.  What many people don’t know about Bernardo is that his favorite submission is the Omoplata.  That’s right, Bernardo LOVES the omoplata.

There is actually a video which we will share below of Bernardo doing the omplata to everyone that attended his seminar.  He omoplata’s over 20 people.  Bernardo does not use this submission as much in competition but he has won prestigious titles with it.  He managed to win the 2010 Black Belt Pan Am open class by way of omoplata.  Bernardo is probably the best in the world at the ompplata so today we are going to have a look at his variation on one omoplata set up and finish and an omoplata escape.  If he is that good at finishing the omoplata then he surely knows the best escape.  Check out the video below of Bernardo using the omoplata on over 20 people.

Omoplata From Closed Guard Grabbing The Sleeve by Bernardo Faria

Below we are going to share with you an omoplata set up that Bernardo likes to use from the closed guard.  This is a set up that some people may be familiar but what we need to pay attention to is all of the finite details.  Bernardo shows how to enter from closed guard but the way that he finishes the omoplata is a thing of beauty.  Bernardo has so many details on this position.  One thing to note about the omoplata is that no matter how you get into the position, you are going to end up in the same place so the finishing details are the most important.  So let’s say you use the lasso or the De La Riva to set up the omoplata, the way you finish is the same from everywhere.  Let’s have a look at all of Bernardo’s details below.

So as you can see Bernardo is demonstrating an omoplata from the closed guard.  Many people learn this sleeve control omoplata but they fail to have all the details correct.  Like Bernardo stated in the video above, if only it was as easy as when we are taught, the more we drill and use the position the more we learn. 

Bernardo gave great details when discussing his foot placement and how he lifts his hip.  If you notice, Bernardo puts one of his feet on the shoulder of his opponent and lifts his hip extremely high in the air.  This allows him to break his opponent’s posture and create an extreme angle.  Once he gets the posture broken and the angle he gets into the omoplata.

Initially he has the under hook on his opponents leg and he has sleeve control.  He puts his opponent’s wrist into his “pocket” and then put his hand on the belt while he still has the under hook on the leg.  It is important to note that placing your hand on the belt will prevent them from rolling and it will allow you to be able to sit up quickly and without using so much core strength.

Once Bernardo sits up he places his left hand across his opponent’s lower back.  He is ultimately trying to grab their lapel right near their arm pit.  Like he said in the video if he is able to get the lapel then he believes he will have a 90% success rate.  That is extremely high, especially at his level.  When he gets the lapel he straitens his legs to put weight on his opponents shoulder and he ultimately wants to flatten his opponent so that their chest is on the floor.

Tremendous detail for a move that many of us are guilty of overlooking, the omoplata is an excellent submission to keep in your back pocket because many people think it is easy to escape.  This lack of knowledge and acknowledgement of the power of the omoplata makes it a great move to master.  Let’s have a look at how Bernardo escapes this position.

Bernardo Faria’s Omoplata Escape

Many people assume that they can just roll out of an omoplata because they will be able to anticipate the position and shoulder roll.  Although we do see many people roll out of the omoplata, they actually roll improperly and this is why so many people are able to sweep with the omoplata.  Some people do not even see the omoplata as a submission first; they primarily perceive it as a sweep.  It is an excellent sweep and this is because our opponent’s typically just concede to the sweep to avoid the omoplata. Why don’t we take a look at how to escape the omoplata with Bernardo and he will show us the proper way to roll out of it.

So as you can see above, like many others, Bernardo does roll his way out of the omoplata.  Just like with his omoplata from closed guard, it is a basic move, like all of Bernardo’s, but with extreme attention to detail, many people praise Bernardo for having a fundamental, simple, and effective game.  People think it is easy to learn and easy to implement.

Notice when Bernardo is going to roll, he starts to separate himself from his opponent, he wants to create distance from them, ultimately he wants to roll at an angle.  The reason he creates distance and gets an angle is so that they cannot stop his roll and so that they cannot sweep him off of the roll.  If you do not create distance before rolling your opponent will surely sweep you because you will be so close.

The distance will allow you to come one top after you roll.  If you notice Bernardo does not stop mid roll on his back, he continues to roll until he is back on his feet.   This is an advanced take on a very fundamental movement.  Remember to create distance and roll all the way through.  Don’t give your opponent a sweep because then they can chain attacks like the arm bar, wrist lock, and more.

If you want to learn more of Bernardo’s omoplata set ups, finishes, and entries, he has an ENTIRE DVD set on just the omoplata.  It is called “Omoplata Everyone” and if you watch this, that is exactly what you will do.  This DVD is also available as a digital download so that you can have the content immediately.


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