Omoplata Should Lock: Overview & Techniques
The History and Basics of the Omoplata
The omoplata shoulder lock might be the most versatile submission in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It's origins can be traced to the past through judo and catch wrestling and it really didn't start showing up in BJJ competition until the mid 90s.
So what makes this omoplata... NOT omAplata so powerful?
The concept is simple, your legs will entangle your opponent's shoulder joint. Which will isolate his shoulder, elbow and wrist. Essentially, all your energy is wrapped around your opponents arm - and it is very hard to get out!
The omoplata can be used as a very powerful submission that attacks the shoulder joint. But it can also be used to sweep your opponent and hit a variety of other submissions.
One analogy we like is that the omoplata is just a kimura, but done with your legs.
Omoplata Basic Techniques
Old School Omoplata From Closed Guard
In the video below, world champion Bernardo Faria shows his interpretation of the classic "old school" omoplata. It reminds us that the basics are the foundation for a reason. They are simple and most importantly extremely effective.
Secure the overhook to begin the omoplata
Bernardo shows two different ways to establish the overhook, by either swimming both hands in and catching the opponent or by breaking the grip of one side and swimming over that arm for the overhook.
Secure opposite lapel to control posture for the omoplata
Once the overhook is achieved, Bernardo suggests that you use that hand to reach through to the opposite lapel of the opponent to control their posture and help keep their shoulder tight.
Open Guard/Hip Escape
Once posture is broken and the opponent is controlled, you are free to hip out and open your guard. At this point, there are a variety of submissions your opponent might face. They've got to be ready for triangles, armbars, while you're planning the omoplata. It is a very dangerous place for them.
Block the face
By using the free hand, you will be able to control the distance and keep the opponent from pressuring in towards you. This also creates a path for you to bring your foot around to lock the shoulder with your leg.
Reach the foot and pull it in front of opponent's face
You will pull the foot and put in tn front of the opponent's face, locking your feet together.
Lock legs and secure belt
Once the feet are locked, it's time to secure a grip on the opponent's belt or even pants to prevent them from trying to attempt a roll out to escape the position.
Stretch legs while securing arm in position
You are in the final downhill stretch for the omoplata. It should take very little effort to stretch out your legs and sit up, flattening opponent. It may be necessary to hip away from them slightly to flatten them fully. You can also slide back very slightly which will help flatten them.
Bend legs to side and push into opponent to finish
It's now time to finish the position. Your legs are then pulled back to the side away from the opponent and used to drive yourself at an angle over the far shoulder of your partner. This raising of the hips with the opponent's arm trapped in a kimura-like shape will put tremendous pressure on their shoulders and they will quickly tap.