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OMOPLATA BJJ
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OMOPLATA BJJ

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The history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has gone through a high range of developments, from the early formations of the closed guard to the more intricate details of the bjj ashi garami, and the leg entanglement position.

What this article covers:

Like many positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu they started off as low percentage movements, or hidden details, before they developed into a highly successful position within the art. The half guard was the perfect example, as it was only used as a defensive position before Roberto Gordo Correa developed it into a much more attacking form of the guard.

Learn the powerful OMOPLATA shoulder lock from one of Europe's greatest grapplers ADAM WARDZINSKI!  Get OMOPLATA REDISCOVERED at BJJFANATICS.COM.

omoplata jiu jitsu

This was exactly the same with the omoplata position, as this was taught as a low percentage submission long before its development into an extremely beneficial attacking sweep, and a high level submission, for a practitioner. The omoplata has now become one of the bjj building blocks towards a highly functional guard system. Not only is the omoplata a great way to finish an opponent, it can be used as a transitional element to move between different submissions like the triangle, and the arm bar. This technique can also be used as a great way to sweep an opponent, due to its high range of leverage on the arm. 

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WHAT IS AN OMOPLATA

The omoplata has become one of the core movements in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu repertoire. It now has a high functionality for baiting, and trapping an opponent into a series of highly effective submission maneuvers. It also has impeccable sweeping qualities, which can force an opponent to roll out of danger, due to the leverage placed into the shoulder joint. To secure an omoplata the practitioner will usually set it up from the guard position. An easy way to start this movement is to try to offset an opponent's balance by pushing them sideways, giving the practitioner ample room to switch the angle of their hips. From here they can throw one of their legs up high over the back, and in front of their opponent's face, trapping the shoulder as they escape their other leg, and forming a triangle position. As the practitioner sits forward, this will force their opponent into a turtle position. From here it is as simple as getting their opponent from the kneeling position into a belly down position, and this can be done by holding on to the waist, and dragging their opponent sideways. To finish the omoplata the easy way is to take control of the opposite shoulder with their hands linked together, and simply lift their hips forward creating a rotational strain on the shoulder joint.

THE HISTORY OF THE OMOPLATA 

The origin of the omoplata submission predates any form of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The movement was popular in Kodokan Judo, and in Catch Wrestling, as both art forms used this move as more of a transitional position, rather than directly a submission. In Japanese the omoplata is called an ashi sankaku garami, which refers to the triangle feature of the omoplata lock. In Catch Wrestling the omoplata is referred to as the coil lock. Somewhere in the mid 1930's Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners began teaching this technique in their curriculum, as they labeled the move the omoplata, as it means scapula in Portuguese.  Early on many Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teachers would only teach the omoplata as a low percentage submission maneuver, and did not give much mention to the movement as a way to sweep their opponent. 

The omoplata had not yet been developed like it is seen in the modern era of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. For the best part of seventy years, the omoplata was only recognised as a submission maneuver by the CBJJ Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation of Brazil. Sooner or later the omoplata became used for sweeping an opponent, as practitioners like Nino Schembri became an innovator of the submission, turned into a sweep. His development inspired other athletes like Clark Gracie, and Rubens Charles. By 1994 the rules were modified to include sweeping points if a practitioner executed the omoplata sweep. This was a revolutionary function that would become a mainstream movement in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

VARIATIONS OF THE OMOPLATA

The omoplata has a multitude of different variations, from techniques used with the Gi, to different ways to set up chokes from this position. The common omoplata setup will usually happen from either the closed, or the open guard. A practitioner will specifically target one of their opponent's arms by offsetting their balance, and sliding their leg over the back of their shoulder, and in front of their face. From here the practitioner will lock their legs into a triangle, as they kick forward with momentum. To finish the omoplata it is important to drag the opponent sideways, as this will force them onto their belly, where the practitioner can simply lift their hips to finish the arm lock. There is also a brutal jiu jitsu neck crank, which is as simple as reaching underneath the opponent’s neck, and linking with their other hand behind their neck. Although this variation can be extremely effective it is illegal in most competition matches.

The monoplata is basically a modified omoplata, and will most commonly happen from side control. When a situation arises where an opponent manages to get onto their side, and apply their deep under hook, this is where the monoplata becomes a real possibility. Whether the opponent’s under hook attacks under the armpit, or around the leg of a practitioner, the same result is achieved. The practitioner will lean towards their opponent's head, as they swing their leg over the body, and trapping their arm. From this position the practitioner can access a number of different submissions like the wrist lock, the chin strap guillotine, the kimura, and they can even re-pummel into an omoplata by rolling, or by laying backwards into it. To finish the monoplata the practitioner will just use the momentum of their hips to hyperextend the shoulder joint.

The gogoplata is another variation that can become just as deadly as a jiu jitsu can opener from inside of an opponent's guard. The gogoplata involves setting up an omoplata position, and before they force their opponent to the floor, they can switch into the gogo. Just after the practitioner switches their leg behind the shoulder, and in front of their opponent's neck, they will continue the momentum by threading their hook around the front of their neck, while reaching around the back of the neck to secure a grip on their own toes. Once they have their toes gripped, the force of this leverage around the neck can be extremely brutal. To make this submission even more deadly, the practitioner can bring in their second foot, and kick into the back of their own heel making the torque on the throat even more intense.

Just like many of the leg locks jiu jitsu has to offer, the darceoplata is a more modern submission setup, but still incorporates the traditional omoplata setup. As a practitioner has their opponent on their knees with an omoplata in effect, there is a simple way to access the darceoplata finish. The practitioner will shoot their darce arm around the back of their own thigh, and underneath the armpit of their opponent. Their arm will reach though to the opposite of their opponent's neck, as they gable grip their hands together by connecting their top hand over the top of their opponent's neck. To finish the choke the practitioner will simply pull their gable grip in towards their own body, as this effectively traps, and crushes their opponent's neck. Another good option is when the practitioner shoots their arm in, they can grab their own lapel and feed it through underneath the armpit. From here the practitioner will use their other hand to grab the tip of their lapel  over the top of the neck, and pull the lapel towards themself. This is the lapel feed darceoplata, which can be like getting hung by a rope, as the Gi can be extremely dangerous in this situation.

Eddie Bravo's rubber guard system was created with a large range of variations attached. His intricate system begins by breaking down an opponent into the mission control position. Eddie gave many names to each individual transition like New York, the zombie, the pump, crackhead control, the meathook, and many others. One of his positions is called chill dog, and this is the equivalent of an omoplata setup. This coordinated movement allows the student to effectively control their opponent with the rubber guard, making it easy to transition into submission locks like the omoplata. Eddie's notoriety has built a highly experienced system of sweep, and submission mechanisms, in which the omoplata is one of his fundamental core concepts.

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ENTRIES TO THE OMOPLATA

The omoplata is mainly achieved from the guard position, and from here there are multiple ways to enter into this submission. One of the easiest ways to enter the omoplata is the swinging entry. This is achieved when an opponent posts one of their hands onto the mat, as the practitioner reaches around the arm like they were attempting an over hook grip, as they swing their leg over into the omoplata position. Another way to enter the omoplata is by gripping the back of their opponent's tricep, as they inch their legs around, and over into the omoplata position. Another good entry is like a pump action shotgun, and this is because a practitioner will set up with a knee in their opponent's bicep position, the practitioner then kicks their leg through the armpit, and pulls their knee back behind their opponent's shoulder, like they were pumping a shotgun. This is an easy and effective way to create an avenue to attack the omoplata.

Another way to effectively enter the omoplata position is to utilise a sideways kick. This means to use their leg as a pendulum to offset the balance of their opponent. To execute this technique the practitioner will take grips on the back of their opponent's sleeves, as they use the sideways kick to the back of their arm, as they maneuver their way into an omoplata position. They are a multitude of different ways to enter the omoplata position, as they can also be utilised from inside of the triangle, or the arm bar submission. Practitioners have become extremely diverse when it comes to attacking formations like the omoplata, as the highly effective nature of this position has become quite substantial.

FLOWING BETWEEN THE TRIANGLE, THE ARM BAR AND THE OMOPLATA 

The omoplata position is a highly functional submission, but is also used as a transition between the arm bar, and the triangle. Setting up any of these three submission moves can open up a chain of movements that lead to each submission. Setting up a triangle can be used as a bait, and as the opponent defends the submission, the practitioner can switch into an arm bar, or the omoplata. This can work in any order, as all three submissions have a perfect synergy between them. A failed arm bar can be an easy switch into an omoplata, and an omoplata can turn into a triangle if the opponent postures up too high. Either way to look at it, these chains of submissions have a unique flow that can be mastered by a practitioner with constant repetition. 

USING THE OMOPLATA AS A SWEEP

The omoplata is more than just a submission, as it can also be used as an extremely effective sweep. For a practitioner to execute this sweep movement they will set up a basic omoplata. From this position the practitioner will allow their opponent to roll over their shoulder, as they can guide the movement into an advantageous position. The practitioner can also steer their opponent from the omoplata position by using the momentum and driving forward, which can force their opponent to roll over onto the back. What makes this a really effective sweep is the fact that the practitioner can wind up in a top position with their opponent's arm exposed. This is what is called a baby arm bar, or they can use a tight grip on the arm and swing around into a traditional arm bar from side control. Utilising the omoplata sweep will not only score a practitioner points, but it will help them to easily outmaneuver their opponents in the transition

HOW TO DEFEND THE OMOPLATA

There are a few different ways to defend the omoplata position, and use an opponent's attack as an advantage. Once a practitioner has been trapped into the omoplata they can utilise a roll over their shoulder to escape from the arm lock position. This may take some athleticism from a practitioner, and a lot of practise to roll effectively, so their opponent doesn't just roll straight back into the omoplata. Using the shoulder roll may give the opponent the opportunity to secure an arm bar, or take a more dominant control position like the mount, but this is a better result then inevitably giving in to the omoplata shoulder lock. 

Learn the powerful OMOPLATA shoulder lock from one of Europe's greatest grapplers ADAM WARDZINSKI!  Get OMOPLATA REDISCOVERED at BJJFANATICS.COM.

bjj omoplata

The more effective way to escape from the omoplata is instead of rolling, the practitioner should posture up into their opponent's legs. Using this kind of postured escape creates a really strong leverage, and can force an opponent onto their back. If the opponent does not tip over, the practitioner can use their body posture to go underneath their opponent's legs, and clear their farside leg with their head. This will create a strong way to pass their opponent's legs, and the arm that is trapped becomes a grip on the inside of the far side leg. This will help the practitioner to propel themselves through their opponent's guard, and land into a dominant control position. 

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DEFENDING THE DEFENSE AND RE-PUMMELING INTO THE OMOPLATA

Defending an omoplata can happen a number of different ways, and most commonly it involves an opponent rolling out of danger. When the opponent executes the roll this does not mean they are safe from further omoplata attempts. The practitioner is in a prime position to re-pummel into the omoplata by rolling over their shoulder, and using the momentum, and the leverage to force their opponent into the omoplata again. No matter how many times an opponent rolls free of this submission hold, they are never really in the escape position. An athletic practitioner will be able to keep using this set up to break their opponent down, and work their way into a tighter omoplata. Each time they can re-pummel, means they have a greater chance of securing a control of their opponent's waist. 

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