How to Switch From Omoplata to Armbar in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Updated on April 2, 2020
revolutionbjj profile image

Andrew Smith is a 3rd-degree BJJ black belt based out of Richmond, VA (Revolution BJJ). He runs BJJ Path, a video tutorial website.

Switching to the armbar.
Switching to the armbar.


The omoplata is a fantastic primary attack, and while it's relatively easy to get into the position, it's also relatively easy to escape an omoplata. For this reason, the switch to the armbar is a valuable tool to have in your back pocket. Virtually everyone knows the triangle option from the omoplata set up, but here, we're going to give you two much more unorthodox attacks that your opponent may be unaware of. Let's do just that.

Nuts and Bolts

The general cue to do this move is when you have an omoplata set up, but your partner might bury their arm (typically, inside their own thigh). While this means it's going to be challenging to finish the shoulder lock, this opens up another excellent opportunity.

Start by underhooking their arm, then planting your foot on the mat. This should allow you to drop your inside knee to the floor, completely changing your angle of attack. Now reach with your free right hand to grip your partner's foot or pants, and then bring them to your left (and continue to drive them to your right as you flip your body over to follow them). You should finish in a very tight armbar position.


Once you realize you're stuck in the omoplata and you can't finish your partner, try underhooking their arm with your left arm (just swim your left hand through the space provided between their forearm and their own ribs). The next step is to get your knee to the ground, ultimately ending with you facing their feet. You can either shrimp (open your legs to do this) or simply scoot into the position by assisting by pulling on their arm. Next, grip their pants or foot to help roll them over.

One adjustment you can make is to climb up a little higher, thus adding extra momentum for the "flip them over" part of the move that probably seems the most daunting at this point. It may be useful to consider the similarities between this and the belly-down armbar.

Another Path

A completely different path to the armbar is presented here. Start with a nice leg overhook, then transition into an omoplata (let's use your partner's right arm as the base assumption, for descriptive purposes). Anticipate your partner's roll; it's likely to happen more than 50% of the time, and probably considerably higher than that. As they roll, just turn your hips away from them, facilitating not only the roll, but also the finishing position of your feet. Attack the wrist that's right in front of you (go for a very simple gooseneck attack). As your partner reaches over to defend the wristlock (they will nearly every time), use this opportunity to catch a Kimura grip on your partner's left arm. Now it's just a matter of spinning around to the other side, utilizing the complete mechanics of our Kimura system to get to the back, then set up the finishing armbar.

From the omoplata:

See results


These two different approaches can both work well for you. As a Kimuraphile, I've been a huge fan of the latter approach for quite some time, but efficiency is your friend, and if you can work out a smooth transition to the armbar straight from the omoplata attempt, it should serve you well throughout your jiu-jitsu career. Keep in mind that nothing comes easily in jiu-jitsu, and so you might need to experiment a great deal before adding a new technique into your game. As always, please let me know how these techniques are working for you!

© 2018 Andrew Smith


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Usama Shahzad profile image

      Usama Shahzad 

      2 years ago from Peshawar,Pakistan



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)