Omoplata Basics

*** Well, a friend pointed out that the bumper at the beginning of the videos says The Genle Art instead of The Gentle Art. Dang! I’ll fix when I get a chance. In the meantime sorry about the typo.

 

It was submission week this week in class and I decided to teach some basic omoplata stuff. If you know me you know that I’m much more interested in the why than the how. I want to know why things work the way they do. Simply learning a series of steps to get a submission or achieve a particular end in jiu jitsu is not interesting to me. I am not interested in solving particular problems in the art. I am interested in understanding how it works so I can solve problems spontaneously on the mat.

With that in mind I produced a set of videos on the omoplata. I tried to cover a variety of things that were helpful to me in learning how to use this as a position and submission. There are a ton of things I didn’t cover. I didn’t want to give a comprehensive look at the position, only the things that I’ve learned and what has been the most helpful to me in using it in my game. I’m hoping that through that you can discover some fundamentals that will be helpful to you.

Breaking down Posture

I have a couple of ways that I break down posture when applying the omoplata. The first will be for the common occurrence of the other guy trying to posture up. This is super common. What I want you to get out of the instructional is not so much the how but the why. There are some laws of physics around fulcrums, vectors, and anchor points that will be useful to know.

In the image below you will see the straight leg. This gives the best leverage. It’s counterintuitive. A lot of people will bend the knee or even go to a triangle position to collapse posture. This is not the most efficient. The straight leg provides better leverage. Notice also that my hip is below her shoulders. This is the ideal position for the lever point. Imaging that my leg is a stick attached to the ground with a hinge. Then imagine grabbing that stick at the end where the ankle is and using that to pull her down to the mat. If you imagine that you can see why the hip position and the straight leg are ideal.

Notice two things. First notice how my hip is directly below her shoulder. My hip is the pivot point and placing it here is best for leverage. Next notice the straight leg. Bending the knee reduces the leverage.

Notice two things. First notice how my hip is directly below her shoulder. My hip is the pivot point and placing it here is best for leverage. Next notice the straight leg. Bending the knee reduces the leverage.

The pressure is applied by driving the heel towards the mat against the shoulder right in the groove where the arm meets the shoulder.

A hip movement also aids in the posture break. You will move your hips away from the other guy using your free leg to scoot out quickly. If you do it quickly they won’t have time to readjust their posture. They will fall to the mat shoulder first. This is exactly what you want.

This is the most common way I break down posture when the other guy postures up. I’ve even been able to hit this when the other guy is on his feet if I can get them bent at the waist just a little bit.

The next video will show an easy and common way to break the other guy down if the attempt to roll out of the position. Now, you can just let them roll and take top. I do this quite often sometimes using the plata as a sweep instead of a submission. This is a perfectly fine way to use the plata. If you want to keep it though and get a sub you might try this:

Knee Pinch Position

I’ll show you a path to the omoplata from closed guard using a knee pinch position. I picked this particular path because it’s easy to get and beginner friendly. It has a few fundamentals embedded into it like controlling the head, shrimping your hips out, and knees to chest.  There are many many ways to get to the omoplata position but this one is a nice one to use to teach beginners. It doesn’t involve any pendulum motions or big pivots that beginners often have trouble with. It also allows them to find another use for the shrimp which is something beginner friendly as well.

Knee pinch position. This is a great beginner friendly omoplata set up position.

Knee pinch position. This is a great beginner friendly omoplata set up position.

Key points:

  • Keep the knees above the shoulders of the other guy if possible.
  • Squeeze your knees together tightly.
  • Make your body a ball.
  • Don’t be afraid to grab your own knee or their head to trap everything in if necessary.

Omoplata Bottom Knee Trapped

Next I’ll show you what you can do when the other guy traps your bottom knee. This is less common but something that more advanced players will think to do. By trapping your bottom leg they prevent you from moving into the finish. If you make a few changes to your posture and how you put the leg in you can overcome this.

Dyslexic Armbar Position

This is a favorite position of mine. I found it through frustration in finishing the omoplata. What I found is that this position is easier to hold. it also allows access to the armbar, triangle, and numerous other submissions. There is really a goldmine of submission opportunities from here. When done right you can hold the position for a long time with minimal effort.

Keys:

  • Keep your knees wide.
  • The foot by the head must “hide” so that the other guy can’t grab it.
  • Look for the triangle if they posture up.
  • Look for the armbar if they roll.

That’s it for today. Happy rolling and drop me a line if you want.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.