A rising trend in Jiu Jitsu, thanks to great minds like John Danaher, is the implementation of comprehensive systemic methods to develop one’s skill rather than an individual technique-based game. Watching grapplers like Gordon Ryan and Garry Tonon helped me conclude that systems of generally superior to being skilled at individual techniques.
The relationship between techniques and systems is analogous to that of neurons in the brain and their connectivity. Sure, individual neurons are interesting and necessary, but it’s the massive infrastructure of how they communicate that truly exemplifies the power of the whole system. The same applies to techniques in Jiu Jitsu.
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One example of a technique that is not commonly integrated in Jiu Jitsu systems is the omoplata. The omoplata is a shoulder lock that is attacked using the legs. Anatomically, the omoplata is the reverse of the kimura. The omoplata, just like any technique in Jiu Jitsu, can be included in submission attacking systems, especially from the guard.
Compared to other submissions from the guard, the omoplata can be difficult to finish. It is, however, easier and faster to attack and trap an opponent in a cascade of potential of submission attacks. In the following video, Tom Deblass illustrates how one can use the omoplata to transition to a better submission, the triangle choke. See below:
The omoplata can be connected to submissions to that have seemingly little to do with it. A common defensive reaction to the omoplata is for the defender to stand. Standing opens up the legs and allows for leg lock attempts to be made. In the following video, Gabriel Arges illustrates how to connect the omoplata with a knee bar. See below:
Finally, we need to discuss how to respond to the forward roll from the omoplata. The forward roll is the most common defense to an omoplata, especially in the late stages of the submission. We often try to stop the forward roll, however, that can be difficult at times. Rather, allow the defender to roll forward and proceed with a back step to end up in a mounted triangle.
Just like with any submission in Jiu Jitsu, there are various systems we can apply that enhance the overall efficacy of the finish. In this article we talked about three different possibilities. I recommend trying to develop your own because those are the least likely to be defended.
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