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Omoplata Pendulum Sweep, by Thomas Lisboa

Omoplata Pendulum Sweep, by Thomas Lisboa


Ah, the omoplata.  In my first competition, I lost to an omoplata.  Since then, I’ve been obsessed with the omoplata.  I figure that I didn’t really lose if I can get something out of the experience.  And what I got out of it was a handy attack.

But thanks to Thomas Lisboa, the omoplata isn’t just a submission anymore.  

In the video below, Lisboa shows us how to get the omoplata without breaking your opponent’s grips.  Plus, Lisboa then demonstrates how we can use the omoplata to sweep an opponent.


Lisboa begins with his training partner in his closed guard.  His partner’s left hand is gripping Lisboa’s pants near his right hip while his partner’s right hand is gripping Lisboa’s lapels.

Lisboa begins by reaching across his body with his left hand to grip his teammate’s left sleeve.  It’s important that Lisboa reach over his teammate’s right arm, not under it. If he were to reach under, his partner could neutralize Lisboa’s grip by pinning his arm down.

Go Beyond The Basics with Thomas Lisboa! Click Learn More!


Once Lisboa has a good grip on his opponent’s left sleeve, he lifts his hips off the floor to make room to slip his right hand between his opponent’s legs and behind the left knee.  Lisboa then lifts his legs up in the air and spins himself around by rocking his legs until he’s in position to bring his right leg down and lock it with his left leg, breaking his training partner’s posture in the process and achieving the omoplata.

At this point, Lisboa could opt to finish the omoplata submission by removing his hand from behind his opponent’s knee and raising himself up to get the tap.  However, Lisboa opts instead to take advantage of his arm placement and sweep his teammate.  

To work this sweep, Lisboa must grab the sleeve of his partner’s trapped arm with his right hand (the one wrapped behind his partner’s knee).  

This will probably be a long reach for most of us, and it is for Lisboa.  To close the distance, he releases the pressure on his opponent’s arms by lifting his legs a little bit.  When his opponent’s sleeve is within reach, Lisboa circles his right hand to grab the sleeve/wrist on the outside.  

As soon as he’s caught his training partner’s wrist, Lisboa lowers his legs and resumes the pressure on his partner’s arm.

Lisboa is now ready to sweep his teammate.  To do so, he swings his left leg in a pendulum motion out, around, and behind his teammate.  At the same time, Lisboa begins to roll to the left. Because of his tight grip, his opponent’s body follows the momentum Lisboa has created and rolls over Lisboa’s body, ending up on the floor.

As soon as Lisboa sweeps his opponent and ends up on top, he gets into side control by planting his left foot flat on the floor and reaching across his opponent’s body to underhook his far arm.  

To watch Lisboa demonstrate the omoplata pendulum sweep, watch the video below:

Closed Guard Beyond The Basics by Thomas Lisboa
Closed Guard Beyond The Basics By Thomas Lisboa will give you the tools to have an AGGRESSIVE and EFFECTIVE Closed Guard. Lisboa’s newest instructional is an all encompassing breakdown of the Closed Guard. Get an in-depth look at all of the Sweeps, Submissions, and Transitions that go BEYOND THE BASICS!



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