Omoplata To Triangle by Tom DeBlass
Who is Tom DeBlass? Tom DeBlass is many things. He is one of the most sought after instructors in the grappling world right now. He is a world class grappler and former mixed martial artist. He is an exceptional instructor. He has a huge social media following from his technique breakdowns and advice on relationships, transformation, adversity and training. Tom DeBlass is many things and world class in all of them.
Tom has many accomplishments in grappling and mixed martial arts. He has fought in both the UFC and Bellator. He is a 3x ADCC veteran, Fight To Win Pro Main Event Winner, 2016 ADCC North American Champion,2016 ADCC American Nationals Absolute Champion, ADCC NY Super Fight Champion,2015 Black Belt World No Gi Masters and Absolute Champion, 2014 ADCC North American Champion, 2013 Black Belt No Gi Pan American Champion, 2013 Black Belt No Gi Worlds Bronze Medal, 2009 ADCC North American Champion, 2009 Black Belt No Gi Worlds Bronze Medal, 2007 Brown Belt No Gi Worlds Champion, 2007 Brown Belt Pan American Champion, 2007 Brown Belt American Nationals Champion, 6X Grappler’s Quest Expert Champion and member of the New Jersey Martial Artist Hall of Fame.
DeBlass’ education and teaching ability is also exceptional. Tom earned his black belt from legendary ADCC and MMA veteran Ricardo Almeida in just over six years. There are many testaments to his exceptional teaching ability. His first black belt is the great Garry Tonon. Gordon Ryan is Tonon’s first black belt. Tom is a former elementary school special education teacher. This experience has honed his ability to take complex concepts and make them understandable to even the novice grapplers. Another testament to his teaching ability is his academy Ocean County Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has over 350 students and 20 black belts. Additionally he has an empire of affiliates around the world.
It is also worth noting the Tao of Tom’s social media presence. He has many great quotes from training to adversity, transformation and life. Here is a great quote from Tom on transformation, “The last 4 weeks I have dedicated to changing myself. Every day I have been praying, asking God to help me in the areas of life where I struggle. Regardless how successful you may think you are, there is always so much room for improvement, always. I am nowhere close to where I want to be, but every day I am getting better. It is a conscious effort that I must put in, but I feel myself becoming a better person.”
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Tom starts this video by exploring a set up for a triangle from the butterfly half guard. DeBlass states that there is an opportunity for many great submissions from this position because most passes require one arm in and another arm out. Tom starts in a butterfly half guard positon. He has half guard with one butterfly hook in. He has the far side wrist control and has either a collar tie or a cross face with the near side arm. Note the detail on the wrist control. This is a crucial component of the move. If the grip on the wrist is broke Tom will recapture it. He prefers a thumb less grip. From here people will typically pass by driving into you while posting their head on your neck. Tom welcomes the pressure and pushes their head across the center line toward the mat with his near side arm. From here DeBlass will swim his butterfly hook out and assume an omoplata position, draping his leg across the top of their shoulders. Tom states that it is great if you can position your foot under their far side arm. However, this may not be an option depending on flexibility or body types. This movement threatens a submission and forces your opponent to address the omoplata. Next Tom swims out the near side leg and secures a triangle. Often he will switch the triangle to a reverse triangle. It is an interesting detail that DeBlass does not bring the captured arm across his body for the traditional triangle finish. Instead he turns his toes up and pinches his knees together for a quick tap.
This video is a fine example of Tom’s ability to breakdown technique and principles in a manner that is applicable to everyone from the white belt to black belt. Without a doubt, we can all refine our game with the information provided. Tom DeBlass is certainly many things. Beyond Jiu Jitsu technique, he sets an example on how to run an academy and our mindset for training, transformation, adversity and life in general. The Jiu Jitsu community is lucky to have people like Tom DeBlass.
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