To become an unpredictable BJJ fighter, step one is to become well rounded, with an offensive guard and sharp guard-passing skills. But a good surprising position in your arsenal can also help.
Kayron Gracie knows this. The son of Carlos Gracie Jr. goes so far as to stimulate his students to develop powers of invisibility. After all, your opponent can’t defend against something they can’t see.
Like, for instance, this omoplata that ends in an armbar. When you attempt the omoplata, your opponent’s natural reaction is to counter-attack and throw their weight. Instead of restoring the guard and starting over, how about a plan B?
In the following video, Kayron teaches how to make the transitions to catch the omoplata. The point is to pull your opponent’s elbow to spin the hip. Then the Gracie Barra instructor shows how to come up without losing the position and continue to keep the pressure on the shoulder, to then detail the position for the invisible armbar.
Note how he pulls and holds the right sleeve and opens the omoplata, kicking the left foot back and making a base to come up. Finally, Kayron pulls the right sleeve, gets on top and finishes on the arm. Note that his opponent’s thumb is up, which creates pressure on the elbow.
Translated lesson transcript:
“I like doing the omoplata against heavier people [0:16]. When I’m getting up, he’s coming back too. So I put my hand on the floor. I’m gonna come with my hand inside my leg [0:36] to catch his arm. I’m gonna open my foot, pull his arm, get on top and finish. Hand on the elbow [1:20], hand on the belt, I kick and come up. What I do here is I butt-escape. Often he’s gonna grab here or here and make it easier for me. I open and I get on top of him, pulling his arm. When he lands, he can’t escape anymore. Why? Because he can’t pull the arm — he has no lever. So he’s done.”