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Half Guard BJJ Instructional Video
Omoplata To Triangle
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Omoplata To Triangle

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The ability to string together submission attacks becomes more and more crucial as you begin competing with higher level, more talented grapplers. 

It’s no secret that we all train not only submissions, but submission escapes, so the ability to use a submission as a way to create a reaction in order to trick your opponent into another submission is what separates the advanced grapplers from the pack.  

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While there are tons of examples out there, I tend to like triangle submissions a lot, so any time I can find something that leads me there, I take a particular interest in it.  I also like to play half guard, and enjoy Professor DeBlass’ instruction style, so when I came across this video clip, I was obviously intrigued. Let’s break down “Jiu Jitsu Moves: Omoplata to Triangle by Tom DeBlass” and see how you can take your half guard triangle game to the next level.  

First, it’s important to keep in mind that any time your training partners arms are split from each other and their own body, you have an opportunity for Omoplata and Triangle submissions.  

Starting in bottom half guard with both hands framing on his training partner’s outside arm, Professor DeBlass removes his top hand frame in an effort to encourage his training partner to drive into him.  As the opponent drives in DeBlass further encourages it by using his legs to pull the opponent in and then pushes their head to be in front of his chest preventing the opponent from getting any type of cross body control.  It’s important that you maintain wrist control the entire time with your bottom hand. If the opponent is able to get their wrist to the inside, you simply need to swim your hand back to the inside and regain your control of their wrist.  This would be especially important if you find yourself in this position in a street fight self defense situation or MMA as this is the hand that the opponent would be looking to use to deliver the strikes. 

The next step in setting up the Omoplata to Triangle submission is to shrimp (hip escape) out from under your training partner enough to where you can pull your top leg over the opponent’s back, placing your foot over the far side of the opponent’s head.  Professor DeBlass notes that if possible you want to try to get your foot so far on the other side of the opponent’s head that you are able to either plant it on the mat, or hook the opponent’s far side arm with the instep of your foot. If you’re not able to do this with your foot, you must keep control of the wrist until the opponent tries to posture up.  The last detail to note that while doing these steps, DeBlass is also bringing his bottom knee closer to the opponent’s head in preparation for pulling it out when the opponent gives him the opportunity, while I don’t think this is a must do, as it’s not mentioned in the video clip, it stands to reason it would certainly help in most situations where time is crucially important. 

From this position the opponent will likely (almost always) posture up in attempt to nullify your Omoplata submission attempt.  As soon as the opponent begins to try to posture up, rather than fight them trying to keep their posture broken down as we would normally work to do, we allow them to posture up.  As soon as there is enough space, we remove our bottom leg pulling our knee to our chest to get the leg clear of the opponent’s legs and then we lock our legs in our figure four triangle lock.

Now that the triangle is locked, it should not be a question of if we get the submission, but rather, how we want to finish the triangle.  As shown in the video clip, Professor DeBlass likes to switch from a standard triangle to a reverse triangle lock to allow him to finish more easily without having to worry about getting the opponent’s arm across.  He also points out that if you simply turn your toes up and pinch your knees together, you can still get the triangle submission with the standard figure four lock. 

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Note: A common misconception is that you must get the arm across in order to finish the submission.  This is not accurate. Here is a quick recap from Neil Melanson’s “arm on the mat triangle finish” in case you missed it. 

“Just because the arm is on the mat does not mean you can not finish using a traditional triangle strangle lock and finish.  In order to make this work you must maintain control of the opponent’s posture, continually hugging your leg that is biting over their neck in order to ensure they can not posture up of escape the hold.  This must be done immediately after shooting the triangle and must carry on until you are able to get your figure four lock with your legs and cut an angle to be as close to perpendicular as you can be on the same side as your leg that is biting your opponent’s neck.  From here you need to hug that knee, curl your legs toward you and squeeze the knees together in order to finish the submission. 

Neil goes on to reiterate the importance of squeezing your legs.  Squeezing your legs together is imperative to your success in this position.  If your legs are loose “forget it” you will not be able to get the finish. Neil also goes on to say that not only can you finish the triangle strangle submission without getting the arm over, but he prefers to do so using the finishes detailed here.  In his opinion it is not worth the work required to work to get the arm across to the other side of your body.”

As you progress on your Jiu Jitsu path you are likely starting to realize that the further into the journey you get, the more like chess Jiu Jitsu becomes.  It’s been called human chess by many because of the strategy required to get a submission at a high level. Think about it like this. If you took two high level black belt competitors and announced to both which submissions the other person was going to do, and when, it’s likely and reasonable to assume that no one would win the match.  It’s when we add the ability to create a strategy and “trick” the opponent through a series of submission attempts that we are able to secure the submission and win the match.  

For more tips, tricks, and black belt secrets from one of the most sought after instructors in the world check out “Half Domination” by Professor Tom DeBlass.  This video instructional will take you into the mind of a world class competitor, teaching you the strategy and techniques used to not only compete at a high level, but to dominate at a high level.  It is designed to put you in a position of complete control so you can control the pace of the match and force the opponent to play your game, rather than you playing theirs. 

Half Domination from Tom DeBlass has been one of the most successful DVDs we've ever offered.  With the addition of the Half Butterfly Guard to your arsenal, you are going to do far more than dominate your opponents and training partners from the half guard position.  Get your copy of Half Butterfly Guard today at BJJ Fanatics!

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