Posted on

Omoplata from Guard Set-Ups (Artechoke in a Can)

In today’s edition of Artechoke in a Can, we continue our omoplata module and start to look at specific set-ups for the submission from guard, rather than just covering the basic movements like we did last week. Before we dig too deeply, don’t forget that we are running an Indiegogo to fund a book by Matt “Aesopian” Kirtley and giving away a free book in the process. Click here to learn more about that.


The first set-up we look at is an open guard transition into the omoplata. In the video below, I emphasize controlling the elbow rather than the wrist to expose the arm. When you do this in training, you can really hit from either wrist control or from elbow control, but I started teaching it from elbow control to emphasize the importance of dominating the entire arm when you go for the omoplata and to focus on developing the awareness of rolling the arm forward with multiple parts of your body.

Remember, there are three ways to force your opponent’s arm to bend into the omoplata (or kimura) position. Most of the time, you use all three methods in combination, but some entries rely more heavily on one. Those three ways are:

  1. Collapse the shoulder.
  2. Flare the elbow.
  3. Rotate the wrist.

You’ll see what I mean in this video:

Next, we start to explore the connection between the triangle in a very basic way. In a lot of situations, the triangle and omoplata are closely linked. The set-ups will seem similar as you work for both because when you go for one, the other is often right next door. In this particular technique, we attack with a relatively fundamental omoplata to counter a triangle defense. It’s not very complicated, but we use this set-up as an opportunity to develop our ability to dig out the omoplata when there is a little space by using our free leg to create more leverage.

In the video, I mention that there is some risk to bringing your other leg into the fight, so remember that as you work this into your game. When you use your free leg, do it quickly and with it authority to establish control over the position. Don’t linger.

For our final entry of the class, we look at using a flower sweep to create an opening for the omoplata. Where in the previous technique we had very little space, we have a large amount of space in this technique. Each presents different challenges, but the key mechanics remain largely in the same. When you attack from a distance with any submission, usually your success or failure will come down to your ability to close the gap with your hips, which is what we emphasize here.

While these set-ups are effective in their own right, what we are ultimately doing is building comfort with very particular movements that we will re-purpose throughout this module. To have an effective omoplata, you need to be comfortable with these skills and these transitions, and these basic techniques are a great place to start.

Next week, we will start to troubleshoot common defenses and counters to the omoplata so that we can build the awareness necessary to fight through your last-minute challenges to either get the submission or improve your position.

Artechoke in a Can is the online version of Marshal D. Carper’s weekly no-gi class. Marshal is a purple belt under Sonny Achille at Steel City Martial Arts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and he is the author of The Cauliflower Chronicles and Marcelo Garcia’s Advanced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Techniques.

Leave a Reply