The BJJ omoplata is one of the most iconic submissions of the sport. In fact, it is a move that is highly specific to BJJ, to begin with, Moreover, it is a move that we’ve seen bring people to world titles. Top grapplers like Clark Gracie and Bernardo Faria are great examples of how far the Omoplata can take you. But, what happens when the Omoplata shoulder lock doe not work for one reason or another? Well, you have some great options to fall back to, if you know how to use the Omoplata as a position rather than just submission. That said, we have one inescapable Omoplata attack chain for you here today. Enjoy!
The BJJ Omoplata is something everyone dabbles with, even if it doesn’t end up being your number one move. The reason for this is primarily that it is a move we learn very early. Moreover, it works even at the highest levels and is not that difficult to understand. However, The success of the Omoplata has brought about a bunch of ways to prevent, counter, and escape it as well. In cases when you’re near the Omoplata lock but can’t really finish, you should consider chaining together attacks rather than simply abandoning it completely.
The BJJ Omoplata As a Position
If there’s one trick I learned as I progressed through BJJ it is that every move can turn into a position of control. If you have a Guillotine choke, for example, you don’t just have a submission ready to go. And, if you can’t tap someone, you can use the control the position gives you to adjust your submission attempt, sweep to get on top, and finish from there or switch to different submissions. The point is, that any well-placed submission is in itself a position of control, even if you can’t finish directly.
The same holds true for the BJJ Omoplata. Once you get someone in the Omoplata, there’s no rush to finish it. In fact, getting to the Omoplata position is way easier than actually applying the lock. An Omoplata shoulder lock requires a lot of precise positioning and careful leverage. That said, instead of thinking only about the lock, you can actually chill in the position.
All it takes to control someone from an Omoplata is to keep the arm bent between your body and the body of your opponent. As long as you have that, and your legs are in pace over the shoulder, you can pretty much do whatever you want. To that extent, let your mind roam free. You are not limited only to submissions that include the arm you have trapped. On the contrary, you can go for chokes, armlock on the opposite side arm, leg locks, or sweeps to the top position. Or, you can use any of the above as a threat to actually open the initial BJJ Omoplata attack.
Who better to give you a masterclass on the Omoplata than a five-time world champion? Bernardo Faria’s “Omoplata Everyone” DVD set focuses on the BJJ Omoplata across four incredible volumes!
Finishing Options Other Than A Shoulder Lock
The BJJ Omoplata is definitely a devastating submission hold. However, it is much more valuable as an attacking position than it is a submission, Just think about it. Which other position helps you get a variety of different submissions and sweeps without even having to move? Moreover, the entire time you have your opponent pinned you can completely control which direction they move toward.
To that extent, options today are going to cover a sweep from the Omoplta position, a toe hold, a particularly brutal choke, and even one Shoulder lock finish that’s slightly different from the original.
The Omoplata Sweep
The Omoplata sweep is something that actually comes naturally to most people. However, you can actually look to set it up from the BJJ Omoplata position every time you’re there. The sweep won’t work whenever your opponent’s knees are firmly on the ground. That’s okay, as you have a different option then. However, a common reaction for people is to lift their knees in order to try and jump over them. This is the perfect moment to launch an Omoplata seep. All you need to do is extend your legs while lifting your upper body along. The best direction for the sweep is forward, so you want your opponent doing a front roll. You end up either in side control, or, if you hold the arm, you can spin back and end up in a mounted triangle.
This one is highly recognizable as something Mackenzie Dern pulled in one of her first professional MMA fights At the Legacy Fighting Championship. She got an opponent in the Omoplata but couldn’t finish from there. so, Dern decided to get up and grab the opponent’s waist as far as possible. From there on, she actually rolled forward on the nearside shoulder once more. However, she stopped the roll right after her back hit the ground, trapping the far side ar. This is a crucifix-Omplata combo position that actually provides a very easy choke, lapel, or RNC.
This is one of my personal favorite attacks from the BJJ Omoplata position. As opposed to opponents getting up and trying to jump over you, others choose the complete opposite path- digging in, That said, when an opponent digs in and tries to get their arm out, you have a really easy leg lock available, All you need to do is bring the nearest foot on top of you and sink in the figure four toe hold. that’s it. there’s no way out since you have complete control over both the leg and arm on one side of the body.
Bonus: A Sneaky Finish
Finally a sneaky finish for everyone out there that’s just dead set to end a fight with the BJJ Omoplata. Once again, whenever you hit a snag, exploring some different options is your best choice. The control the Omoplata position provides allows you to adjust the original submission as well. or even switch to a more efficient, less expected variety. This is a variation you use when you can’t fatten your opponent out from the regular Omoplata. The goal is to use the far side arm to control the torso. This opens up space for you to turn your hips towards the opponent. The goal is to bring your shin over the opponent’s shoulder, rather than your knee. All you need to finish is to rotate towards the opponent and lift your leg off the floor.
The BJJ Omoplata is one of the most powerful and reliable submissions you can have in your arsenal. It is a great position to use when you want to slow things down and assess your options. And, even if you decide you like to attack with different things than an Omoplata, you can use the position to set them up easily.