Omoplata – Escapes and Counters
Today during our No-Gi Team Training class at Crossroads Brazilian Jiu-jitsu we continued with this weeks theme of submissions chains off of Omoplata escape attempts. By understand with directions the person in the submission can move in an attempt to escape and by understanding when they have successfully escaped or are about to escape we can begin to transition to other submissions. In todays class we focused on transitioning from upper body submissions (the omoplata) to lower body submissions. By not neglecting the submissions available on the ankles and knees we can create more diversity in our attacks, and less predictable.
We started the class by one of the more common stalling strategies of grabbing the inside of the inside leg. This is typically done by the person who the submission is being applied to to stall and wait for the right time to escape. In this case we immediately begin to attack the inside ankle in a toe hold. By transitioning immediately we catch the person in the defensive position off guard and force them to switch gears from defending a shoulder lock to a leg lock. This submission is also particularly hard to defend because the shoulder is still locked in place grabbing their own leg.
The second toe hold is done off of the rolling escape, by anticipating the roll we can sit up with our training partner and catch the leg before they complete their roll. This is a very traditional transition originally taught by Royce and Rorion Gracie when BJJ had first came to america. The transition is a great representation of flow in Brazilian jiu-jitsu because it doesn’t try to use force to stop the roll instead you allow the roll and intersect their movement to attack a different limp. This also works well because the limp is already traveling in the direction you need to apply force to complete the submission.
The last transition we drilled during our No-Gi BJJ Class was off of a limp arm escape attempt. One of the easiest escapes to use when you are being put in an omoplata is to raise your hips in the air and work your elbow to the ground. By bringing your elbow to the ground you take the pressure off of the shoulder and give yourself more time. Off of this escape we transitioned to a knee bar. Because the hips are raised by pressing the feet into the ground the legs must be straight. If the attacker comes up in an attempt to finish the omoplata it makes it easier to complete the escape. By keeping our back on the mat instead of trying to force the original submission we can move under our opponents and take advantage of them straightening their legs.
By making sure we have the ability to attack all five limbs we can more easily transition to alternate submissions simply because more submissions are available. If we train a position long enough we become familiar with the escapes available, and we develop the timing required to transition to alternate submissions. We can also begin to work submission options that happen at different points during the escapes. Make sure you make it to class to keep honing your omoplata submission and transitions.