Everything You Need To Know About The Lapeloplata In BJJ

The difference between BJJ and other grappling martial arts is the heavy utilization of the lapel to work around different techniques. When tradition meets innovation, the lapel can be used to dominate your opponents by restricting their upper body. Building a game around it will level up your game, as it can be a gateway to connect with other modern guards. Today, we will talk about the lapeloplata in BJJ.


What Is The Lapeloplata?

The lapeloplata is an inverted sweep commonly applied against opponents looking to pass the guard standing. Similar to the omoplata sweep, rather than trapping the opponent’s arm behind their body with your legs and sweeping them, with the lapeloplata, you’re using the opponent’s lapel instead of the arm to sweep them from an upside-down position. Having a grip on their lapel with your gripping arm underhooking their knee on the same side allows you to control their posture, thus allowing you to finish with a sweep and advance in a dominant position.


How To Perform The Lapeloplata

Starting from the closed guard, untuck the opponent’s right lapel. Initially, you want your left hand to hold the opponent’s right lapel. You aim to pass the opponent’s right lapel to your right hand while your arm underhooks the opponent’s right leg.

Pass the opponent’s lapel to your right hand as you pivot your body to the side facing their right leg, similar to how you create an angle for an armbar in closed guard, though without opening the guard. Now that your arm is underneath their right leg and is controlling the opponent’s right lapel, you are in a solid controlling position that prevents the opponent from posturing up.

Open your closed guard, and using the momentum from your left leg, pivot yourself 180 degrees to end up beside the opponent’s right leg. Perform it like how you angle your body when setting up an omoplata. To finish the sweep, kick forward with your right leg and turn to your left belly down.   


Connecting The Lapeloplata With Other Open Guards

While the lapeloplata may generally be seen against standing guard passes, it can also be initiated from different open guards such as the spider, de La Riva, lasso, or even the closed guard. Let’s dive into some ways you can connect the lapeloplata.


1) Lapeloplata From Squid Guard

Assuming the opponent is standing, free the opponent’s right lapel and place your right ankle beside the opponent’s right hip. Grab the opponent’s right lapel while underhooking their right leg with your right arm. Turn your body to the side while wrapping your right foot onto their right hip. Doing this enables you to grab the opponent’s right collar as you break their posture forward.

Most of the time, the challenge is when the opponent stands too high or is postured up, making it difficult to grab their lapel. You can use your left foot to hook the opponent’s left knee and push it to your left side to create some off-balance. This way, it forces the opponent to a wide stance, allowing you to manipulate their left leg.

As soon as you have control of the opponent’s right lapel, kick and stretch your right leg up as you pull their right collar down. Pivot your body beside their right leg to create an omoplata effect, trapping their right lapel underneath your right knee instead of their arm. Start connecting your feet to allow you to push forward. This makes it difficult for the opponent to defend by grabbing your left leg (bottom leg) and pin it to the mat.

Likewise, finish the sweep by rolling forward to your left side and coming up with your elbow and on your knees, putting you in side control.


2) Lapeloplata From De La Riva

Assuming you are seated on the left side, apply the de La Riva hook on the opponent’s left leg. Start by untucking their left lapel using your left hand. Transfer your lapel grip to your right hand. While maintaining the DLR hook, use your right foot to post on the opponent’s right hip. This will help you bring your hips off the mat.

Underhook your left arm behind the opponent’s left calf while trapping their left shin between your neck and left shoulder. While maintaining the hook and your hips up while posting on the opponent’s hip, pass the lapel grip from your right hand to your left. Swing your right leg, connect it with your left leg, and lock it in a triangle. Post your right hand and elbow on the mat as you drive your legs forward and rotate your body to the right to come up on top.


Attacking With The Lapeloplata

You can set up some awesome submissions from the lapeloplata, such as the armbar and collar chokes. Mixing the two submissions allows you to submit your opponents with the Lapeloplata choke from the side control.

Control the opponent’s head from the left side control by applying shoulder pressure on their chin and trap their near arm between your lats and left elbow. Aim to loosen the opponent’s collar and use a knee on the belly with your right knee to pin them on the mat. As soon as the opponent blocks the knee with their left hand, grab their wrist with your right hand.

Step back to clear the opponent’s hand, step over their body with your right foot, and place it above their left shoulder. As the opponent blocks your right leg with their left hand, pull your left elbow back to trap their right arm below your armpit. Switch your stance by lifting your left knee on the mat while dropping your right knee. Reach your left foot towards the opponent’s head with your right hand, grab your ankle, and place it above their neck.

If the opponent blocks your left foot with their hand, release your right hand from your ankle and start grabbing their left collar. Fall back to the left side as if you are about to finish an armbar and pull the opponent’s left lapel. Finish strong by stretching your legs.



Learning various ways to attack with the lapel will revolutionize your game. Even more so, it is vital to understand the lapel guards to avoid falling into a trap when dealing with them. Remember to adopt what can benefit your game and discard what is not.


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