Lesson Plan for 2014-01-29: Omoplata When It Matters

Tonight we are going to take a look at our our own James Briggs at Gladius 9, a blue belt waiting for his blue belt promotion.  This class will combine analysis and technique.

First, the setup.  James is mount, and his opponent thinks he’s going to underhook the leg and go out the back door.  Bad idea when you leave your arm behind.

Never leave an arm behind!


James instinctively controls the only thing he has left as he falls to his back.  His opponent had two options.  Keep his head up and get triangled, or keep his head down and leave his arm vulnerable to an omoplata.

I'll pick head down for $200
I’ll take head down for $200.  “What is an omoplata?”  Hey, why did he take my money?


James already has the opponents hand in the pocket and knows he has to transition towards the legs to finish the omoplata.  His opponent uses this transition to try to posture up to escape, but James is already reaching to control the hips, exactly as he is supposed to.

Not so fast, bub.
Not so fast, bub.


This is where things get interesting.  His opponent correctly identifies his escape route, but James’ aggressive control of the hip and trapped arm stuffs the escape attempt.


Notice James’ right leg extending, which drives the shoulder to the mat.  Now we are going to look at a mistake.  James correctly attempts to sit up, but he doesn’t continue extending his leg.

It was going so well. . .
It was going so well. . .

Students from my last class will recognize this position, and know that the right leg should be extended while breaking the opponent down flat.  Because James didn’t apply his entire weight to that shoulder, his opponent was able to posture up.  James goes on to make the mistake of locking his legs when his opponent has base.  All this does is make your body a rigid blob on the arm and allows your opponent to use raw strength to posture up.

Game face only takes you so far.
Game face only takes you so far.  Use the force.  a.k.a. technique.


Recognizing that the attempt isn’t going as well as he’d like, he attempts to lock up a seatbelt grip, which at least should lock him into a good position and keep him safe from losing position or taking damage.

Plan B.  OK, Paul, I'll use technique.
Plan B. OK, Paul, I’ll use technique.

Unfortunately, James is late, and we go to the universally recognized “I screwed up my omoplata” position.

This wasn't the plan.
This wasn’t the plan.

James goes into bulldog mode after his opponent stands.  We have a position of beauty here.  Arm attack, seatbelt grip, and a trip, all at once.  James’ feet aren’t even on the mat.

This won't end well.
This won’t end well.

He’s like a little demon on the guys shoulder saying “you’re going to fail.”  And there’s no angel on the other shoulder.  Good thing, too, because James would just knock it off with what’s coming next.

Is there anything else you'd like me to control?  Would you like fries with that order?
Is there anything else you’d like me to control? Would you like a Large Choke with that order?


James finishes the fight with Jiu-Jistu and a whole lot of simultaneous domination.  The final image here is wallpaper material.  Seriously, this should get printed out and put on the wall.

Is that a tap?  What did this do to you? Tell me. And remember, this is for posterity so be honest. How do you feel?  -Count Rugen
Is that a tap? What did this do to you? Tell me. And remember, this is for posterity so be honest. How do you feel? -Count Rugen Briggs.


What does all this have to do with a jiu-jitsu fundamentals class? EVERYTHING. Plus it gave me an opportunity to simultaneously boost what James did well (he looks like a jiu-jitsu black belt here at the finish), as well as an opportunity to show some scenarios that we will build off of.

So tonight, we dine on omoplata and victory.  I will briefly cover the attempted escape so that everyone is prepped for applying the counter.  We will then cover scenarios for success and failure against that escape attempt.

Finally, if we have time for the bonus round, we will hit a gi choke from an omoplata.


Recognizing killer blue belts, one at a time.

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