5 Simple Ways To Set Up The Omoplata

The omoplata is a versatile submission used in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that can be locked up for various positions, used to set up other submissions, or used to sweep opponents. There are many different ways to set up an omoplata and new techniques are constantly being invented. 

While the omoplata is often underrated, it is one of the most effective submissions used in BJJ. Despite many fighters’ reluctance to use it at the highest levels of BJJ competitions or sports like mixed martial arts, there’s more than enough proof it can be effective at those levels. 

Bernardo Faria secured a gold medal in the open class Black Belt Pan-American Championship with an omoplata in 2010. Others like Clark Gracie have submitted many high-level BJJ players with it. Ben Saunders forced Chris Heatherly to tap to an omoplata at UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Dos Anjos. 

The fact many fighters don’t spend much time training the omoplata – or how to defend against it – makes the technique even more effective for those who put in the time to master it. The omoplata is more than just a submission. Think of it as almost a type of guard. It’s also an excellent way to sweep opponents and end up in a dominant position. 

This article will take a close look at some of the simplest ways to set up the omoplata that anyone can add to their grappling arsenal immediately. 


Five Simple Omoplata Setups

Ready to learn some low-risk, high-success-rate omoplata setups? Let’s jump right into our list:


1) Triangle Choke Setup

The triangle choke setup is one of the most common ways newbie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students learn to secure the omoplata. It is the easiest way to set it up since setting up both techniques share many similarities. One of the ways to defend against a triangle choke is by hiding your trapped arm under the attacker’s hips so your opponent can’t pull it over their hips to finish the choke. 

This setup works off anticipating your opponent’s attempt to prevent you from securing a triangle choke by hiding their arm under your hip. You then have two main options to counter it. First, you can push your opponent away with your hips to create space. Secondly, you can push away with the palm of your hand to create space, so you can bring your foot in front of your face to transition into the omoplata. From there, you can transition into the omoplata. Make sure you control your opponent’s hips, so they don’t roll out of the position. 


2) Armbar Setup

A failed armbar attempt can also be a simple setup for an armbar. This technique starts in your guard with you going for a conventional armbar by trapping one of your opponent’s arms with the arm closest to it and grabbing the back of their head with your far arm to prevent them from posting up.

This is an essential setup for securing armbars from your guard. Allow your opponent to create space, and they’ll simply pull their trapped arm away from you to block the armbar. Fortunately, this is exactly what you want your opponent to do for this setup. 

As soon as your opponent pulls their arm, throw your far leg over their shoulder as you scoot to the outside. Place your closest arm around your opponent’s waist to prevent them from rolling away and ending up on top. Break down your opponent’s posture by scooting to the outside some more until their chest is on the ground. You then finish the choke by bringing your ear toward your opponent’s far shoulder. 


3) Overhook To Omoplata

The overhook to omoplata is another simple way to set it up. This technique starts in your closed guard with you using an overhook on your left side to break your opponent’s posture. Once you’re in control of your opponent’s body, open up your guard as you throw your left leg over their shoulder while keeping your right leg on their hips. 

You can transition to the omoplata from this point, but a savvy opponent might trap your foot to prevent you from securing it. You can counter that by simply driving toward your opponent’s head. You should end up in top mount eventually. If your opponent doesn’t attempt to trap your legs, go ahead and transition to the omoplata. 

This is a more advanced entry into the omoplata, but it’s a technique that should be in your arsenal since overhooks are so easy to secure from the guard and the entry gives you a powerful sweep into top mount. Play with this technique anytime you’re in your guard until it becomes second nature for you. 


4) Lasso Guard Setup 

This omoplata setup starts from the basic open guard with both feet on your opponent’s hips. You can then look to secure bicep control on either side as you would for some triangle choke setups. We’ll use your right side for our example. You can then circle your opponent’s bicep with your left leg to secure a lasso hook on the other side while holding on to their sleeve with your left hand. You want the lasso hook to be as deep as possible. 

Control your opponent’s posture with a cross-collar grip with your right hand, release your sleeve grip, and grab your opponent’s tricep with a hook grip to prevent them from scrambling free. From here, you can kick through right into the omoplata. 


5) Spider Guard Setup

To use this setup, transition from closed guard to spider guard by hooking your opponent’s sleeves, and placing your right foot on their left bicep. From there, you can kick through your left leg and transition to the omoplata. Use your closest arm to control your opponent’s torso to prevent them from rolling out. You can also roll into your opponent if they posture up and end up in the top position. 


There Are Countless Ways To Set up The Omoplata

The omoplata is one of the most versatile submissions used in BJJ so feel free to experiment with it. It’s one of the most fun techniques to pull off and you can catch anyone with it when you have a thorough understanding of how it works. 


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