Gogoplata – BJJ Submission Explained


It isn’t a technique you see pulled off everyday, but when you do it is really exciting to see. The gogoplata is one of those chokes that brings fans to their feet when they see this submission done.

Some grapplers that aren’t the most flexible tend to avoid learning the gogoplata, but it’s all in the technique. Here is everything you need to know about the gogoplata.

We’ll cover everything from how it was popularized and how the submission works. Then details a few different methods to hit the gogoplata and tips for how to do it.


Who came up with the gogoplata?

Nobody can really take credit for inventing the gogoplata, but within BJJ it was popularized by Nino Schembri. Nino is known for being one of the most creative minds ever within Jiu Jitsu

Known for his high level open guard game and flexibility he would use to attack his opponents. The two submissions Schembri is most known for are the omoplata and gogoplata.

He would often mix these techniques together to set traps for his opponents. Going for the omoplata to set up a gogoplata and then going for a gogo to set up an omo. 

Because of his flexibility and use of the high guard, Schembri was a very influential grappler for Eddie Bravo. Eddie credits Nino as one of the people he studied to come up with his patented rubber guard system.

Since Schembri started using it, the goplata has become a favorite for flexible grapplers that love to play guard. Since it became more widely used in Jiu Jitsu, the submission now has numerous ways to set it up.

How does the gogoplata work?

The gogoplata is a choke, where your foot slides under your opponent’s neck. Then you can finish the choke two ways.

You can either bring your other leg behind their head to keep them from posturing as you pull down their head. Or you can reach around your opponent’s head to grab your foot to trap their head.

A lot of times, the gogoplata comes off of your opponent either defending an omoplata or armlock. As they turn into they leave their neck exposed for a choke.

If you know the gogoplata, you can take advantage of this and counter your opponent’s defense with a choke.

Basic gogoplata setup

Here is a basic gogoplata set up from the guard. Start by cross grabbing your opponent’s collar and taking an overhook on their same side arm.

With their arm and posture controlled, hip out and bring your leg on top of your opponent’s shoulder. Now bring your leg over your opponent’s shoulder.

When you do this a lot of times your opponent thinks that you’re going for an omoplata. A reaction you might get is that they turn their head in and drive forward. This puts them right in position for you to do the gogoplata.

As they come forward, place your foot right under your opponent’s chin. From here, you have two different options to finish the submission.

You could grab their head, loop your other foot on top of their neck, and pull down. Or reach behind their head, grab the top of your foot, and push up on your heel to finish the choke.

Also instead of pushing your heel with your hand, you can use your foot with extra force. Some grapplers call this the locoplata.

Gogoplatawith sleeve grips

This setup starts from guard and you take sleeve grips on your opponent. Hip escape out and place your shin on your opponent’s bicep.

With your sleeve grip on the other hand, turn the grip out, and bring your leg over their shoulder. Like normal, your opponent will think omoplata and turn into you to defend.

They fall into the trap and you put your foot under your opponent’s neck and choose your way to finish it. (Turn your subtitles on for this video and the finish is low percentage, so ignore it.)

Williams Guard Gogoplata

You can get a great omoplata setup from the Williams guard. If you don’t know this guard it is simple to get into.

Start by hipping out, then getting an overhook, then slide your arm under your leg, and lock your hands together. The end position is where you’re on your side with your leg over their shoulder and hands connected under your leg.

With their arm control, you can start the setup by bringing your leg over your opponent’s shoulder. They might think omoplata and turn in to defend the submission leaving their neck exposed.

Go into your gogoplata grip to finish the choke.

Gogoplata from the mount

When you have got the mount on your opponent, the gogoplata is another submission option you can go to. First slide up to high guard and hook your opponent’s neck.

Then put their arm flat on the ground and bring your shin over to pin it down. With that arm controlled, overhook your opponent’s other arm.

Now with that overhook, you grab your opponent’s shoulder to lift it up and come up on your foot. Base out on your other hand to get space to bring your leg over their shoulder and under their chin.

You can either base out as you drive your leg down to finish. In Gi, you can reach under your foot to grab your opponent’s collar and pull it down to add pressure.

Rubber guard gogoplata

From the rubber guard, you can set up a gogoplata from the New York position. To get there, bring your knee up to your elbow, then throw your leg on top of your opponent’s back. Then swim your arm in and loop it over your leg to get an overhook and end in the New York position.

Once you’re in the New York position, you must clear your opponent’s head to get your leg over their shoulder. Frame on their head with your forearm to make space to bring your leg over.

With your leg over their shoulder, keep a hold of your foot and crunch in towards your opponent’s head.  Reach your free hand around your opponent’s head to grab the top of your foot.

For the finish, straighten your arm and kick your foot out to put on the pressure.

The Aoki gogoplata from mount

You’ve probably seen the video of MMA fighter Shinya Aoki landing the first mounted gogoplata in MMA history. The setup was basically the rubber guard setup we just detailed, but from the mount.

Aoki was in the mount controlling his opponent and throwing punches. When his opponent bucked up, Aoki went to a high guard and under-hooked his leg to bring over their shoulder. 

With his shin under his opponent’s chin, Aoki based out and pulled his opponent’s head to finish the choke.

The Nick Diaz gogoplata 

For many, the first time they ever saw a gogoplata was when Nick Diaz did it to Takanori Gomi in Pride. It was an exciting fight that ended in an unexpected finish.

After getting hit with multiple shots, Gomi shot in and took Diaz down. From his guard, Diaz hipped out and brought his leg over Gomi’s shoulder.

Takanori then took the bait and drove forward. Nick used wrist control on Gomi’s other hand to push his arm away and lock in his figure four for the finish.

Winning with possibly the most famous gogoplata finish in MMA history.

Tips for doing the gogoplata

To do a gogoplata, you really have to be particular with your setup and get the details right. Here are some tips for doing the gogoplata.

  • The Setup: Your opponent isn’t just going to let you get in position for a gogoplata. You have to set the submission up and bait them into it.
  • Get The Angle: When doing a gogoplata from guard, you have to get the angle to get your leg over your opponent’s shoulder. This is especially important if you don’t have the best flexibility in your legs.
  • Pull Your Leg Over: For those that can’t just bring your leg over their shoulder, grab your leg, and bring it over their shoulder. This is a really important detail for getting your leg over the opponent’s shoulder.
  • Foot Under The Chin: Foot foot must be under your opponent’s chin, otherwise there is no gogoplata.
  • Break Their Posture: Just like with any choke from guard, you have to keep your opponent’s posture broken.
  • Watch Your Base: If you attempt a mounted gogoplata, you must watch your base to keep from getting reversed.