The omaplata is a popular shoulder lock submission in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) that uses the attacker’s legs to trap the opponent’s arm, thereby applying pressure to the shoulder. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to execute an omaplata:

Omaplata from Closed Guard:

Materials Needed:

  • A training partner
  • Mats or a safe training environment


  1. Starting Position: Begin in the closed guard position with your legs wrapped around your opponent’s waist.
  2. Grip Control: Secure a grip on one of your opponent’s arms. It’s common to control the sleeve and the same side lapel.
  3. Hip Movement: Shift your hips to the side of the arm you’re controlling, so that you’re at an angle relative to your opponent.
  4. Leg Positioning: Bring the same-side leg (as the controlled arm) up onto your opponent’s back, anchoring it there. This can help control your opponent’s posture and position.
  5. Create Space: Push the controlled arm away from your body, creating enough space to swing your other leg around.
  6. Swing Leg Over: Swing your free leg over your opponent’s tricep, ensuring the back of your knee is snug against it.
  7. Secure the Lock: Break your closed guard and plant the foot of your first leg on the mat, close to your opponent’s hip, while ensuring your other leg is over their shoulder and arm. Your opponent’s arm should be trapped between your legs.
  8. Adjust and Sit Up: Rotate your body away from your opponent, sit up, and reach over to grab their far hip or belt. Your legs should be controlling their trapped arm tightly.
  9. Finish the Submission: To finish the omaplata, keep your knees pinched together and apply pressure by leaning forward and pushing your hips into their arm, forcing their shoulder to rotate. Your opponent should tap due to the pressure on their shoulder.

Important Points to Remember:

  • The omaplata can be a complex movement, especially for beginners. It’s essential to practice under the supervision of a qualified instructor to ensure safety and correct technique.
  • Always be aware of your training partner’s safety. If they tap, immediately release the pressure.
  • There are numerous setups and entries for the omaplata, and it can be used as a sweep if the submission is defended. Familiarizing yourself with these variations will make your omaplata attack more versatile.
  • As with all BJJ techniques, drilling and practicing against a resisting opponent are key to mastering the omaplata.