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Sweep and Submit the World with the Omoplata

Sweep and Submit the World with the Omoplata


The omoplata may be the most underrated submission in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  It is not utilized often at the highest levels of bjj but it is an excellent submission.  We have seen omoplata’s executed in bjj and MMA before but they are not used as frequently as other submissions such as the kimura, the arm bar, or the triangle.  Why is this?

There seems to be a common misconception among the bjj community that the omoplata is ineffective or that it is not a high percentage submission.  This is a problematic ideology because it stunts the growth of bjj when this type of attitude is spread.  Lucky for us there have been a few people that have experimented with the omoplata and brought many innovations to the position.

The omoplata has been used successfully at the pinnacle of Jiu Jitsu competitions by Bernardo Faria where he secured the open class Black Belt Pan-American Championship gold with an omoplata in 2010, Clark Gracie has used this position to submit many high level practitioners, and Dominyka Obeleyente, an open class and weight female black belt world champion is infamous for her domoplata.

Part of what makes the omoplata such a good position is the lack of knowledge on it, many people neglect this submission and don’t understand the mechanics of it so if you take the time to learn this position you will have an upper hand on a lot of people and can keep it in your back pocket.  The other advantage is that the omoplata is an excellent sweep, it is almost like a guard, and it is also an excellent counter and move from bottom position or top.

The Omoplata from Bottom

The omoplata is primarily used from the bottom position, there are several omoplata set ups from various guards that all work effectively.  You can successfully use the omoplata from the closed guard, half guard, spider guard, De La Riva guard, and collar and sleeve guard.  There are other unorthodox set ups for the omoplata from guards like X-guard and single leg X but they are not as popular.

The main ideology with using the omoplata from the bottom is to make your opponent flare their elbows.  You want your opponent’s elbows to be separated from their bodies so that you can start to attack the omoplata.  Some of the best places to set this up from are the closed guard, the spider guard, and the lasso guard.  These are all excellent options because you can isolate an arm effectively in these guards.

With the spider guard or lasso it is very easy to keep your opponent’s elbows separated from their bodies, anytime that their elbows are flared, theoretically, you can attack an omoplata.  In spider guard or lasso you can keep your opponent’s arms separated and shoot your leg through, if you can’t get the omoplata, you can use it to sweep your opponent directly into side control. With the lasso your leg is in the perfect place to omoplata and it makes the transition even easier.  Clark Gracie infamously sets his omoplata’s up from here.  Check out this extensive instructional with Clark Gracie showing the omoplata from spider and lasso below.

If you are more of collar and sleeve guard player or De La Riva guy, the omoplata is also an excellent threat for you.  This move can be a secret weapon and you can use it to sweep, submit, or set other things up.  For example, if your opponent is defending the omoplata it may allow you to enter into other things.  In De La Riva or collar and sleeve guard the omoplata set ups are very similar; you want to keep your opponent’s posture broken down and keep their elbows separated from their bodies.  Theoretically at any moment you can attack the omoplata. Check out this set up below from collar and sleeve control.

If you’re more of an old school guy than the omoplata from the closed guard may be the best option for you.  The closed guard omoplata has been an excellent choice of submission or sweep for a long time.  Bernardo Faria may have the best omoplata from the closed guard, or even guard.  He does seminars around the world and omoplata’s literally everyone after them every time.  Check out this good old fashioned closed guard omoplata with Bernardo Faria below.

Omoplata from Top

The omplata is also an extremely underrated submission from the top position.  You can use the omoplata extremely well from the side control, north south, and knee on belly very well.  The idea with this submission from the top is that you bait your opponent with an under hook.  If you are on top side control smashing your opponent, you can let them see the light for a little by allowing them to get an under hook, once this happens, you can capitalize and attack the omoplata.  It is an absolutely excellent way to surprise your opponent!  Check out this option for an omoplata from side control with Gui Mendes below!

The Omoplata as a Counter

The omoplata can also be an excellent way to counter your opponent.  For example, there are excellent options to utilize the omoplata when your opponent gets an under hook from the top half guard where you can frame and attack the omoplata.  Anytime your opponent gets an under hook, you can theoretically start to work the omoplata, it may be difficult and require a lot of framing but it is very possible.  Timing plays a massive role with the effectiveness of the omoplata from the half guard because giving your opponent the under hook in bottom half guard it can be very dangerous.  Check out this omoplata from the half guard with Kurt Osiander below.

The omoplata is not only an excellent counter to different attacks but it is also an excellent place to set up other submissions or attacks.  For instance, there are so many other submission that you can do from the omoplata.  If you are attacking the omoplata you can also attack the back, you can attack triangles, arm locks, kimuras, and wrist locks.  The possibilities are endless when you are in the omoplata, you are completely isolating one of your opponent’s arms and it makes it extremely difficult for them to defend other potential attacks.

The omoplata can also be used to counter take downs.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The omoplata can be the kryptonite of a good wrestler.   If someone is shooting a single leg or a double leg they are exposing their arms.  In this case you can attack their arms when they are so far from their bodies.  Check out this omoplata counter to a double leg with 5x Black Belt World Champion, Bernardo Faria.

So there you have it, the omoplata is the submission that you have been missing in your arsenal of attacks.  It is one of those secret weapons that are worth working on.  Since many people don’t do them a lot of people are not familiar with the mechanics of the position and you can take advantage of this. 

So now that you have read this and are reevaluating all of your submission attacks you decided you want to learn the omoplata.  Well lucky for you BJJ Fanatics is your number one shop for Jiu Jitsu instructional DVD’s.  Also lucky for you, 5x Black Belt World Champion, Bernardo Faria just released a DVD called “Omoplata Everyone.”  This is a 4 DVD set all about the omoplata.  Bernardo has one of the best omoplata’s in the world and he does not do any crazy or fancy set ups.  He is not athletic, not flexible, not a freak athlete, he is just an ordinary guy with amazing technique.  Check out his DVD and it can change you game.  You will start to see omoplata’s from literally every position, and they won’t be omoplata’s that are hard to set up, they will be simple and effective entries!  Check out his DVD below.


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