How to do the Baratoplata Shoulder Lock

How to do the Baratoplata Shoulder Lock

The Baratoplata is one of the most effective and underrated shoulder lock submissions . This slick submission created by Rafael Freitas has become quite popular in BJJ.

This is a submission that can be hit from top or bottom and is to attempt. Let’s take a closer look at how to do the Baratoplata shoulder lock.

We’ll take you through the steps to do this submission and give key details to be successful with it.

The Barratoplata

What Is The Baratoplata?

The Baratoplota is a shoulder lock made famous by Gracie Barra black belt Rafael “Barata” Freitas. His nickname “Barata” is Portuguese for cockroach, which he was named for being quick.

He developed the Baratoplata when he was a young purple belt. Although at first his submission was a bicep slicer that was illegal in IBJJF competition. Rafael began tweaking his submission and turned it into a shoulder lock.

Barata would have a lot of success with his shoulder lock submission. Soon it would catch on and he started showing his technique to other practitioners.

It was so successful that it has entries created to his Baratoplata from various positions.

Basic Baratoplata

The basic baratoplata was created from the mount position. Traditionally when you have the mount on your opponent, they will keep their arm tucked and crossed around their neck. Defending armbars and chokes.

When you’re in the mount, the first step can be a little tricky to do. You have to underhook under one of your opponent’s arms and grab the opposite wrist palm down.

Hooking through one arm and grabbing the opposite wrist traps both of your opponent’s arms. Next, you step up like you’re going for an armbar, but turning towards the opposite side.

Then step over the opponent’s head and grab your thigh to isolate their arm. For the last step, place your hand on the mat and turn your hips outward to put pressure on their shoulder.

Watch the innovator of the Baratoplata himself Rafael Frietas demonstrate the move in this video.

Baratoplata From Closed Guard

From the closed guard, you start the Baratoplata by cross grabbing the opponent’s wrist and underhooking their arm.

Then with their arm controlled, bring your leg over your opponent’s head and around their shoulder. As your leg comes over, you grab your thigh and catch your opponent’s wrist under your leg. It’s vital to catch the wrist or the shoulder lock will not work.

With their arm controlled, you then turn your hip towards your opponent’s head and recommend you use an underhook. As you turn your hips toward your opponent’s head this puts pressure on their shoulder to get the submission.

Baratoplata From Open Guard

Baratoplata can also be done from the open guard. Start with sleeve grips and open your guard, putting one foot on your opponent’s hip and other on their shoulder.

Then switch to a cross sleeve grip and cup their elbow with your same side hand. Use these two grips to pull your opponent’s arm across your body and hook under their arm at the elbow.

With their arm controlled, bring your leg over your opponent’s head and turn into them for the finish.

Baratoplata From Reverse Knee Ride

Barata came up with another set up for his shoulder lock from a reverse knee ride. You start in side-control and control your opponent’s near wrist with your hand.

Then you’re going to pop up in the reverse knee on belly using your far knee. This is to dig your heel under your opponent’s elbow to pry it open.

Now you’re going to rotate your body around their arm and shoot your hand in between their arm. Grabbing your thigh and putting you right into position for the Baratoplata.

Watch Freitas walk your through this entry in this video.

Key Details To Remember

The Baratoplata can be a very effective move to add to your game, but the details must be exact. Here are some of the details below: 

  • Arm control: Establish good control of the arm you want to attack before going into the Baratoplata.
  • Reverse armbar movement: Remember the movement of the Baratoplata is similar to an armbar, but the opposite direction. If you turn the wrong way, your opponent will either reverse you on top or pass your guard on bottom.
  • Trap the wrist: When you bring your leg over, make sure to trap their wrist under your leg the submission will not work.
  • Grab your thigh: After you bring your leg over your opponent’s head keep control of their arm by holding onto your thigh.
  • Turn toward the opponent's head: To lock on the pressure, remember that you have to turn your hips toward your opponent’s head.

How To Defend The Baratoplata

Once you get put in the Baratoplata, you’ll never want to be put in it again. Here is how you defend against the submission. 

  • Turn on your side: When you’re on your back, your opponent needs your flat on your back. So you need to turn and work to hip escape out of danger.
  • Good posture: From inside the guard, your opponent needs to break your posture in order to get the Baratoplata. If you keep good posture, they won’t get any submissions on you.
  • Hand fight: You can never stop hand fighting no matter what position you’re stuck in. If your opponent gets control of your hands and arms, they can set up the move.

Final Thoughts

We are taught to defend the basic submissions, but the setup of the Baratoplata can really catch you off guard. It is sneaky but that’s what makes it a really effective shoulder lock – you won’t see it coming!

If you are good at armbars and triangle chokes, then you should really add the Baratoplata to your game. You can hit it from nearly any position and is hard to escape when you lock it in!