Baratoplata – Origin, Basics and Varaiations

In the Jiu-Jitsu arsenal, there are a lot of submissions that are quite common, and they came to jiu-jitsu mostly from Other martial arts such as Judo. But from time to time there is innovation that changes and reshapes the “game”.  One of these unusual but effective techniques is submission so-called Baratoplata.

There is a variety of shoulder locks that you can see and perform in BJJ. One of the most popular of them all is the so-called omoplata shoulder lock. You do this move by sliding your leg under your opponent’s neck while your knee is over his shoulder and you control his hand. This move has some variations that are equally as effective and as powerful, but maybe not as popular.

The fact that they aren’t so popular can make them even more powerful because your opponents won’t expect them and won’t be able to counter them. Below you will find out more information about how to perform the Baratoplata.

Baratoplata Origin – Rafael “Barata” Freitas

Baratoplata is credited to Rafael Freitas also called “Barata”, a black belt under Carlos Gracie Junior. He is an accomplished competitor with many important titles such as Pan American and the World Nogi Championship. When Rafael was a purple belt he invented Baratoplata as a  bicep slicer submission. Problem was that this move was not allowed at his level (purple belt IBJJF rules), so he modified this move from slicer to shoulder lock.

How does  Baratoplata work?

Baratoplata is primarily shoulder lock submission. Shoulder lock position is achieved by trapping opponents elbow between legs and applying pressure by moving to opposite side.  Key details for finishing this submission are:

  • move the elbow and wrist in opposite directions at the same time.
  • your hand should be positioned behind opponents elbow holding your thigh
  • Rotate your body to the opposite side of the opponent’s body
  • LIfting the arm is a final detail that will seal the deal

Baratoplata from guard

The easiest and most often used way to perform this move is from the bottom guard. The way to do this move is by going for the triangle first.

If you wrap your legs around your opponent’s neck and below his armpit – then, by all means, go for the triangle. But what you will see very often is that your opponents will manage to put their hand between your legs and grab it with their other hand. This will serve to create pressure in your groin and they can use it to stand up.

Well, you can use this to perform the baratoplata. What you need to do is slide your arm under your opponent’s retracted elbow and grab your thigh with your hand. Then you need to put your outside leg over your opponent’s other shoulder. Make sure to create pressure on his back so that he won’t be able to stand up. Use your other leg to push back off of your opponent’s hip and create pressure on his shoulder. This will soon result in a tap out.

We can understand if this move seems difficult to understand by reading. There are a few details that you need to look out for. If you wish to see a visual demonstration of the move, then we suggest that you check out video below.

Baratoplata from side control

The beauty of this move is that it’s versatile. You can implement it from various positions. One of them is side-control. If you get into side-control, then you should put your knee on your opponent’s belly. More often than not, he will turn into your knee. This is your perfect chance to put your arm between his forearm and bicep muscle from the outside in and to grab your hip as you throw your leg over his neck. Then you should throw your other leg over your opponent as well. You can then proceed to add pressure to the shoulder and get the job done.

Baratoplata from mount

You can not only do this move from the bottom guard and from side-control, but you can also do this move from the mount. If your opponent has a good defensive game from mount, then you can try doing the baratoplata. Typically, good defense from the mount means that you will need to keep your elbows retracted near your body. Well, this is the perfect setup for the baratoplata.

All you need to do is, once again, slide your arm between your opponent’s bicep and forearm and grab your hip while throwing it out to the other side of your opponent. You can see demonstrations of all of these moves if you check out the video from above. This will help you create enough pressure to make your opponent tap out.

There are also a few other variations of the baratoplata. As we have mentioned before, this is a highly versatile move that you can execute from various positions. You can even do this move from the basic armbar position. However, this is a somewhat more advanced variation – we think that you have enough on your plate already with the main variations from guard, side-control, and mount.

Why to learn Baratoplata?

The baratoplata is a very good move that you can use in BJJ. The best thing about is that it’s not very popular, which means that few people will know how to defend this move properly. You will find that it’s a high-percentage move. However, it would be a mistake to try doing this move without drilling it properly first. There are many things that could go wrong while doing this move so that your opponent will end up not only escaping but also in a dominant position. So, drill the baratoplata as often as you can. It may prove to be a devastating weapon that you can use in your BJJ game.

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