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Omoplata The World! BJJ’s #1 Submission
Omoplatas Are Everywhere! Learn This Amazingly Powerful Submission From 5 Time World Champion Bernardo Faria
You hear about the omoplata all the time. It is always in the headlines, always making its rounds in grappling circles, always being talked about online and of course for good reason. The omoplata is a highly effective submission. You can hit it from so many different positions and transitions. And not only is the omoplata a great submission, it is a great way to control your training partner. Even if you do not hit an omoplata, once you have the arm locked up it is yours for the taking. It should come as no surprise to anyone that you see the omoplata used all the time in high level competition. Many instructors around the world are teaching a variety of ways to use the omoplata. It is a simple, easy to learn technique that just works.
The Omoplata is one of the best attacks for submissions and sweeps. Though the omoplata is a submission itself, the attack allows a variety of other sweeps and submissions.
So what is the omoplata? If you are familiar with the kimura lock, you probably already understand the concept of the omoplata. The omoplata is a shoulder joint lock submission that uses the same principles as the kimura. It is a technique in which you utilize your legs and hips to force the shoulder joint of your opponent to extend past its natural degree of motion. Made popular in the mid 1990’s thanks to the technical advancements of a competitor named Nino Schembri, the omoplata is widely used in competition as it has a high level of efficacy. It is a highly versatile submission that can be hit from a many different positions. The omoplata continues to evolve even to this day.
So why is the omoplata so widely used? Well, it is simple and easy to learn and also very effective. Let’s take a look at a few variations on the omoplata. Are you ready? Then let’s get started!
Omoplata From Closed Guard Grabbing The Sleeve By Bernardo Faria
Bernardo Faria has won many prestigious titles with the omoplatas submission. In 2010 he managed to win the Black Pelt Pan Am open class with an omoplatas. As one of the masters of Omoplata, Faria is the best in the world to learn it from. Check out the video below to see Bernardo break down how he hits an omoplata from closed guard.
Many BJJ guys learn to use the sleeve to control the omoplata but fail to get other details correct. One of the most important details Bernardo gives us is his foot placement and how he lifts his hip. Notice how Bernardo puts one foot on his opponent’s shoulder and lifts his hip. Doing this allows him to break down his opponent’s posture and create the angle needed to get in to position. Bernardo starts with sleeve control as well as an under hook on his opponent’s leg. By trapping his opponent’s wrist Bernardo can then safely grab on to the belt while still maintaining his under hook. Gripping the belt prevents his opponent from rolling out of the submission. It also allows Bernardo to sit up easier to finish the submission.
From here, Bernardo places his left hand across his opponent’s back, grabbing the lapel near. For Bernardo, securing the lapel that makes his omoplata much more effective. From here it only takes straightening his legs to flatten his opponent by placing weight on his shoulder. Ultimately the goal here is to flatten your opponent by bringing their chest to the floor as you lift your hips to tighten the shoulder lock, causing your opponent to tap.
Lasso To Rolling Omoplata by Tom DeBlass
Tom DeBlass is a high level competitor in both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts (MMA). Tom is a master of the omoplata, and a great instructor and person to learn from. The rolling omoplata is a bit different than your traditional omoplata. Watch the video below of Tom DeBlass demonstrating is lasso to rolling omoplata and then we will break down his technique!
Often times from half guard your training partner will use a leg weave to set up a guard pass. When doing this your opponent will keep their hips back to create space and use a tripod stance to drive forward. In this case, you can manipulate their pass attempt by controlling the gi sleeve and ending up in an omoplata. When your training partner gets to his standing tripod position it can be a very tough situation for you to be in. If you can’t pull your leg in front to recover you are going to get passed. When your training partner passes you want to exploit the arm you still have control over. To do this come up to your shoulder as your partner continues to walk around you. As he does this you want to turn, going across your shoulders.
The most important detail here is to come up to your shoulder. Most BJJ guys will switch to turtle, which does not work. You can also recover guard from here. As your partner walks around you, you can simply go up to your shoulder and switch your leg to come back outside into the lasso. If you stay flat you will not be able to do anything, especially if your training partner gets a hold of your head. Once your opponent gets up into the tripod you need to anticipate his walk, and as he is walking you want to get to your shoulder. Pull your opponent’s arm towards you and spin all the way through and finish the omoplata.
Omoplata Escapes by Dean Lister
Because of its wide use, it is important for every Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player to eventually learn how to spot, counter, and escape the omoplata. Nobody understands this better than Dean Lister. Dean Lister is an American mixed martial artist and a former King of the Cage Middleweight Champion. Watch the video below of Dean demonstrating how he escapes the omoplata and then we will break down the technique.
Dean likes to start off simple, countering the omoplata position by grabbing the inside of his knee. From here you want to be careful about extending your other arm out too far when your opponent is pressuring with his leg. It is common for the player doing the omoplata to exploit this by controlling your arm to lock up the submission. With your hand on your knee you can sit and hold this position pretty well. It also gives you the opportunity to clear your arm, almost nobody sees it coming, and you will be able to pass their guard.
Because you are close to the ground you can hold on in this position a lot longer. Even if your training partner is using his hips to try to put pressure you can counter by turning away from him. You can pass the legs as soon as your opponent tries to pull back on your arm. One thing you need to be careful of is getting caught in a triangle. To avoid this, do not allow your head to go between your training partner’s legs when you are passing.
The omoplata is everywhere nowadays. It is in your best interest to know it thoroughly. If you liked these techniques and are interested in learning more about the omoplata then be sure to check out Bernardo Faria’s excellent instructional series, “Omoplata Everyone.” In this series Bernardo shows you all his secrets to securing the omoplata on everyone he rolls with. It will definitely make your omoplata much more effective, so check it out and be sure to give these techniques a try the next time you are on the mats!