BJJ 101: The Gogoplata

In BJJ, you can divide submissions into two categories: fundamental submissions and unorthodox submissions. The gogoplata falls into the latter category. In this article, we discuss the gogoplata—a challenging and rarely seen BJJ and MMA submission. 


Overview Of The Gogoplata

The gogoplata is performed by applying pressure to the throat of your opponent with your shin while pulling down on his or her head. The gogoplata, also called the “kagato-jimeas” in Judo, was popularized by 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu founder, Eddie Bravo, as part of his famous rubber guard system. The term “gogo” is the Portuguese word for Adam’s apple, which is the body part that the gogoplata targets. There are several variations of the move, including the locoplata, which is a version of the submission in which the attacker’s free foot is used to push up on the choking foot and increase the pressure of the choke. 


How To Perform The Gogoplata

The gogoplata is typically performed from the rubber guard. Therefore, in order to perform the gogoplata, you must first establish the rubber guard. In order to establish the rubber guard, do the following:

  • From your back, place the shin of one of your legs across the shoulder and behind the back of your opponent.
  • Place your other leg around your opponent’s hip.
  • Use your arm to hook the ankle of the leg that is across your opponent’s shoulder.
  • Use your other arm to overhook the knee of the leg that is across the shoulder.

Once you have established the rubber guard, you may attack with the gogoplata. In order to perform the gogoplata, do the following:

  • To apply the gogoplata with your right leg, grab your opponent’s arm that is parallel to your right arm. Pull this arm towards your left shoulder.
  • Place your right leg under your opponent’s chin so that it is right along his or her throat. 
  • Place your left leg on the side of your opponent’s neck. In order to establish the correct leg position to finish the submission, try to create the letter “H” with your legs. 
  • Place your hands behind your opponent’s head and pull forward. This will create immense pressure against your opponent’s neck, forcing him or her to tap out. 

An alternative way to finish the choke is to throw your left leg over your opponent’s head and down on the back of his or her neck. In order to apply the submission from here, simply grab your leg and pull down. Again, this will create strong pressure on the front of your opponent’s neck, forcing him or her to submit. 


Why Is The Gogoplata So Rare?

As noted above, the gogoplata is an unorthodox submission. Thus, it is rarely seen in BJJ and MMA competition. There are several reasons that the gogoplata is rarely used. For one, as opposed to standard BJJ submissions that are designed to work for people of average flexibility and athleticism, the gogoplata is largely attribute-based. In other words, only students with above-average flexibility will have success with the technique. This means that most BJJ and MMA students will never add the move to their repertoires. And because the move isn’t accessible to everyone, many instructors don’t teach it, meaning that even students who possess the physical attributes to be successful with the gogoplata are never exposed to it. 


Famous Uses Of The Gogoplata 


Only a handful of MMA fighters have completed gogoplatas in major MMA organizations. The earliest of these was performed by Shinya Aoki in his win over Joachim Hansen on New Year’s Eve in 2006. And in 2007, Nick Diaz choked out Takanori Gomi with a gogoplata. UFC fighter Joe Soto also used the move in 2009 to defeat Mike Christensen. Finally, ONE Championship fighter Jenny Huang defeated April Osenio with the gogoplata in 2016.


Shinya Aoki vs Katsuhiko Nagata

In his 2006 fight with Katsuhiko Nagata, Shinya Aoki applied a gogoplata from the mount, which is even more difficult to pull off than a standard gogoplata from the rubber guard. As you can see in the clip above, after mounting Nagata early in the match, Aoki uses his left arm to place his right leg across Nagata’s neck. Next, with his shin over Nagata’s neck, Aoki grabs the back of Nagata’s head with both of his hands and begins to pull back, increasing the pressure on Nagata’s neck. This submission demonstrates not only the difficulty of the mounted gogoplata, but also showcases the amazing balance and flexibility of Shinya Aoki.


Nick Diaz vs Takanori Gomi

In the 2007 fight between Nick Diaz and Takanori Gomi, both fighters blasted each other with punches for most of the first two rounds. Towards the end of the second round, Gomi took Diaz down, leading to a beautiful gogoplata submission. As you can see in the clip below, as soon as Diaz hits the mat, he almost immediately places his left leg and shin up and under Gomi’s chin. Gomi keeps his head high on the way down, giving Diaz plenty of room to place his shin directly against Gomi’s throat. From there, Diaz throws his other leg over the neck, grabs Gomi’s head, and pulls down to complete the submission.


Joe Soto vs Mike Christensen

In this 2009 fight between Joe Soto and Mike Christensen, Soto mounts Christenson and pummels him with punches until Christenson gives up his back. After Soto fails to properly secure back control, Christenson ends up in Soto’s closed guard. Without using much of a setup, Soto grabs his own leg and slowly brings it over Christensen’s shoulder, eventually pulling it under his chin. As Christensen attempts to circle out of the choke, Soto pulls down on his head, finishing the submission from his side.  


Give The Gogoplata A Try

Occasionally, it’s fun to switch things up in training and try unorthodox, flashy moves. While these types of techniques shouldn’t form the bulk of your BJJ game, it keeps things exciting to play around with them from time to time. Therefore, next time you train, throw up a few gogoplatas!


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