As I said in my first batch of notes, what made this Marcelo seminar special was that he was given a chance to teach aspects of his game that aren’t already covered on his instructionals or previous seminars.

I’ve seen Marcelo criticized for teaching the same seminars wherever he goes, so that if you’ve been to one, you’ve seen them all. I don’t think this is his fault. Most people want to learn his signature moves and that’s what they pay him to teach, so he’s stuck showing nothing but armdrags, taking the back, RNC and x-guard. They’re all excellent techniques, but it can get tiring to teach the same stuff over and over again.

For example, at the first seminar, I had a chance to watch part of his private lesson with the hosts. They were asking him about techniques straight off his DVD. They also got to choose the topic of the seminar, so he mostly taught material I’d seen in his instructionals before. It was all great material, and it was nice to have him personal teaching it and correcting you, but it seemed somewhat redundant.

Having trained with him so many times now, Leo Kirby knew how much more Marcelo has to offer. He knew first-hand how he has an incredible omoplata game, a fact that’s only now getting noticed in recent footage of him rolling at a seminar, his training footage in Arte Suave and his match with Lovato Jr. It was this omoplata game that Leo asked Marcelo to show.

At the start of the second day, Marcelo said he was happy to get to teach us what he does in his everyday training. He said that it’d get boring to just do armdrags, x-guard and taking the back in sparring. He said he’s also always working on expanding his game into new areas, so he can improve and evolve to have other skills fall back on if his main ones fail.

Here are my notes.

Counter double leg takedown with omoplata

You’re both standing and they shoot for a double leg takedown. Ideally, you sprawl and break their grips and defend it, since you don’t want to give up the 2 points. But here’s what you can do if you can’t stop them.

As you’re resisting the takedown but feel yourself about to go down, note which side their head is on. Let’s say to your left.

Shove their head to the side with your left hand. Squat and sit to the right (so you turn to face to the left), opening your legs wide. Swing your right leg over their back, bringing your heel towards the back of their head for the omoplata. Make sure their arm is wrapping your thigh with their wrist by your right hip.

Continuing the same motion, drive your right knee to the ground, putting as much weight in your leg (and their shoulder) as you can. Escape your hips slightly to the left. Force their shoulder to the floor.

I watched Marcelo going over this with the guys next to me. He made a point of throwing his hips forward on to their shoulder like he wanted to sit on it, so as much body weight as he possible drove it down.

Sit up and grab over their back before they can roll to escape. Reach under their far armpit with your right hand. Reach behind their neck and over their shoulder with your left hand. Join your hands however you can or just grab their far shoulder. This grip prevents them from rolling out or posturing up.

Fold your legs to the left so your feet are on the floor near each other. Lean forward and try to stand to get the submission.

Marcelo showed how you can do this to any double leg, regardless of if it’s from standing or them escaping side control or coming up into it from guard.

Omoplata from butterfly guard

You are sitting with butterfly guard and they are kneeling. You are playing the normal game of hand fighting and getting underhooks for sweeps.

You get an underhook with your right arm and grab their elbow with your left hand so you can sweep them.

They counter by pummeling their left arm in and getting double underhooks and driving in, starting to put you on your back.

You need to get a foot on their hip and push them away before they’ve flattened you out entirely. You want to create enough space to work your game but not so much that they are too far away.

Let’s say you step on their hip with your right foot. Push them back enough that your right knee can come up behind their armpit.

Keep their arm trapped in your armpit by grabbing their triceps just above their elbow and pinching your elbow to your ribs to trap their wrist.

Push their head to the left with your left hand. Swing your right leg over their back and into the omoplata. Drive the weight of your leg and hips into his shoulder and touch it to the ground. Finish as described before.

Armlock from butterfly guard

When you go for the last move and they feel you’re about to go for the omoplata, they’ll straighten their arm and try to posture up to pull their arm out.

As they start to posture, bring your other foot to their hip too. Pinch your knees, squeezing their shoulder between them. Keep a good grip on their elbow/triceps and pinch your elbow to trap their wrist and prevent them from turning it. Bridge really, really high to elbow lock them.

If they are able to turn their wrist and bend their arm to defend, just switch back to the omoplata.

This is a speed move that takes very good timing, so you need to drill it a lot to get it. You have to hit it as they try to pull their arm out, so you’ve got to be fast and throw your hips really high.

Marceloplata from butterfly guard

You’re going for the omoplata from butterfly guard. They try to stop your omoplata by grabbing your bottom leg so you can’t turn out all the way.

Stretch your right leg so your foot and ankle are across their face. It’s important that you keep this pressure and contact throughout the move.

Turn your body to the left and try to come to your knees. By turning to your knees, you create tremendous pressure on their shoulder and force them to roll. Be careful with this so you don’t hurt your training partner.

Hold their elbow with your left hand and post with your right to maintain control of their arm and stay tighter as you turn over.

You need to make sure you keep your leg stretched with your ankle across their face throughout all of this turning and rolling. It tends to get loose if you don’t pay attention to it and you’ll lose the submission.

Keep rotating as they roll over so you come to an “armbar” position as they land on their back. What makes this different than an armbar is that their arm is still bent around your hip, which changes the mechanics of finishing it.

Make sure your right ankle is still on their face. Your left leg is across their torso. Hold their elbow with your left hand to control it. Post on the mat with your right arm (the arm that’s on the same side as their head).

To finish, grab your right knee with your left hand and pull your knee to the left. Switch your hips so you’re sitting towards their head. The strength of this submission comes from sitting towards their head so your hips and torso are cranking the arm. Stay tight to their shoulder and don’t try to lay back like in an armbar. They’ll submit to a strong shoulder lock.

If you did slip down their arm some, it may be an elbow lock instead. If their arm comes out from being wrapped around your hip, you’ve still got a plain armbar sitting there.

Marceloplata from half guard pass

These next three build on the way Marcelo teaches passing half guard in all his instructionals. Being familiar with those passes will make these much easier to learn, since they assume you’re already somewhat comfortable with them.

You’re on the top of half guard. Let’s say your right leg is trapped. They have double underhooks, so you’re in danger of them taking your back.

Hug their head with your left arm and crossface them with your shoulder. Turn towards their legs. Switch your base so your left knee is bent under their butt and your left toes are on the mat (to keep them from bridging you over). Your right foot is on the ground near their butt with your knee pointing up.

A good tip on maintaining this position is to grab their ankle with your right hand so they can’t open the triangle and bridge.

When you feel they’re not going to bridge you over, let go of their ankle and push their thigh down until your right knee slips out. Once it does, turn towards them again and drive your knee over like you want to come into mount.

You now almost have mount, except your right ankle is still trapped between their legs. They also still have double underhooks.

Take a big, strong step forward with your left leg. Your foot should end on the ground behind their head. Your shin comes up behind their neck and shoulder. Press your knee to the right, towards their head.

This is an unorthodox position, so I got a picture:

Marceloplata from mount

Pinch your left elbow to keep their arm trapped. Push their face to the floor with your right hand and pass your foot over their face. Sit to the ground but stay tight to their shoulder and don’t fall away. Finish as described above.

Marceloplata from reverse half guard pass

You’re on top of half guard and they have double underhooks. This time they reach down with their right arm and try to underhook your leg, like this want to come underneath your hips.

Crossface them and sprawl your leg back before they grab it too deeply. Post on the mat with both hands to support yourself. Switch your hips and swing your left leg around so you end up sitting on their other side.

This takes your left leg away from them so they’ll switch to double underhooks on your upper body again.

Your right leg is still trapped. Your left leg is posting out to prevent them from bridging you over. Your hands are still on the mat with your chest facing their chest.

You need to get your knee out of their half guard. This will happen two ways.

First, for them to come to their knees, they need to open their legs. When they start to, slide your knee out and bring it to the mat. It doesn’t matter if your ankle is trapped still.

The second way is just that some people will slide down to your ankle on purpose since that’s how they play half guard.

As soon as your knee is out, swing your left leg back over and come into “mount” as shown in the picture above. Finish the submission as usual.

Marceloplata from spinning half guard pass

Marcelo wasn’t sure he should teach this, since he thought it would confuse too many people, but he did anyway since he felt it was important to really understand what he’s doing with this half guard and Marceloplata game.

As in the previous move, they have half guard and are underhooking your leg. This time they are able to get deep under you like they want to go out the backdoor before you can crossface or sprawl out.

Post with your right hand on the mat for balance. Push their shoulder down with your left hand. Step over their head with your left leg and swing it forward. Spin to your right, going almost 180 degrees as you turn to face them. Unless they want their arms to be trapped (in which case you just pass like normal), they get underhooks again. So you end in the same position used in the last move.

This time your knee will usually come out as you spin, since they have to open their legs to get the momentum to rock under you.

Once your knee is out, step over into “mount” and finish like usual.

Omoplata as they escape side control

You have side control on their right side but they get the underhook. As they bridge into you and turn on their side, quickly throw your right leg over into mount. Step with your foot behind their neck, similar to the picture above (only this time you’re not in half guard).

Reach back with your right hand and grab their wrist to push their arm down so it’s wrapping your hip.

Fall to your right, throwing your right leg over their head as you go. Put a ton of pressure into their shoulder with your leg to first force them up to their knees and immediately down so their shoulder touches the mat. Sit up and finish like a normal omoplata as per above.

Marceloplata as they escape side control

The same side control situation as above. This time when you step over into mount, they push your left foot into half guard. Just make sure to keep weight on your left knee so they don’t put it in too, then proceed to do the Marceloplata like usual.

Omoplata as they force the side control escape

This time, you’ve got a big guy who is going to force his way up even if you get mount. As you step over, he just keeps getting to his knees anyway and bowls you over. Simply fall backwards and omoplata him like usual.

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