The Omoplata can be a frustrating submission to finish if you don’t have all of the details just right. Over the years, I have met several people who have their own thoughts on the position, unfortunately it seems often times that this submission attempt is looked at more as a transition position than a viable option to submit the opponent. Why is that? Why are we so quick to dismiss a technique chalking it up to, that only works for (insert characteristic here, big guys, small guys, fast guys, etcetera).
In my opinion, often times when we hear, “that move doesn’t work for me” it comes down to one of a few things. It’s either, that doesn’t work for me because I never took the time to learn the proper way to do the move, or that doesn’t work for me because I wasn’t taught all of the details, or at least not properly, and need more information in order to be successful with this technique.
Thanks to the BJJ Fanatics team, we are able to resolve the latter of the two issues. No one can make you care enough to learn the technique in it’s entirety, but the BJJ Fanatics team does a great job of ensuring there is a ton of content out there for you to access and learn the details of just about any position or technique you desire.
Shawn Williams helps us better understand how to finish the Omoplata so we can end the frustration and stop spreading the lies that it just “doesn’t work”. Let’s take a look at his detailed breakdown in his video clip “Gold Standard to Finishing the Omoplata”.
Let’s start out assuming you are familiar with the basic Omoplata position, as shown above. One of the most common defenses from this position is for the opponent to roll over their (in this case) left shoulder and roll out of the submission. Typically to combat the roll we would want to reach over the opponent’s back, as Shawn is doing in the picture above and block the hip. For this technique, Shawn is going to allow the opponent to roll to get to what he feels is a stronger finishing position. Before allowing the opponent to roll forward Shawn reaches under the opponent’s left shoulder with his left hand with his palm facing the opponent’s chest. He is doing this to get in position to lock his hands in an S grip around the opponent’s right arm and head as they roll.
Do you like Shawn’s finish? You should see The Complete Williams Guard!
Once in position, Shawn then allows the opponent to roll over their left shoulder, ending in the position shown below. Again, note, that Shawn is gripping around the opponent’s right arm and neck using an S grip, and has maintained control of the opponent’s hand, which is still trapped between Shawn’s stomach and his thigh. Before locking his legs in the figure four lock Shawn opts to do a small hip escape away from his opponent to ensure he is able to stay flat on his back, something we don’t typically desire in Jiu Jitsu, but imperative for this finish, nonetheless.
In order to finish the Omoplata from what Shawn refers to as “the supreme finishing position” Shawn first pulls his S grip towards his chest, doing this will ensure the opponent can not escape their hand and the pressure remains on their shoulder. Next, Shawn will begin pushing his left foot towards the mat, as if he wanted to plant his foot on the mat. This should cause enough pressure for the opponent to tap, however, if it does not, once your foot is planted on the mat you can bridge your hips upward to increase the pressure and guarantee the submission.
There is a chance the opponent will bridge into you. If this happens, it will force you off of your back and onto your hip with the opponent resting on your rib cage. All is not lost, but the Omoplata is. From here we want to reverse our S grip, in this scenario, Shawn switches his right hand to a palm up grip and begins to pull the opponent to the other side of his body using the grip around the opponent’s head and arm. The opponent’s arm will almost certainly escape the Omoplata (if it doesn’t, continue to pull and finish from here), however you will end with a very deep under hook under the opponent’s far side arm and have the ability to finish the head and arm choke from this position. While the Omoplata is gone, this is still a great transition that keeps the opponent from escaping and keeps you in a dominate position to finish the head and arm choke.
Are you looking to take your Omoplata game to the next level? Check out “Omoplata Everyone” – by Bernardo Faria. Bernardo is a 5x Black Belt World Champion that makes the bold statement of “Do you wish you had a move that you could always hit? Well you have one, you just don’t know it yet.” When speaking about this video instructional. It’s time to rethink the Omoplata and put the time in to turn this from the technique that “doesn’t work” to the one that always works.