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Gogoplata for Mixed Martial Arts

The gogoplata is one of the lesser seen moves used in MMA, yet it remains a very effective submission.

It is typically set up from the rubber guard position. Which would mean, from an open guard you are reaching behind the opponent, grabbing one of your legs with your arm and raising it up toward his shoulders.

From that position the raised leg would be pulled over the opponent’s head and the shin placed against his throat. The head is then pulled down and the windpipe is compressed causing an air choke.

Some versions of the gogoplata use the foot of the leg not being used in the choke to press up on the leg that is being used. This causes added pressure on the throat.

It takes quite a bit of flexibility to use this submission. Unless you are naturally very flexible, you will need to do quite a bit of stretching be able to perform this technique. When working on your flexibility for this move, you will want to focus on stretching the hamstrings and glutes.

Let’s take a look at the gogoplata being used in a MMA fight…


Let’s break it down.

  1. The man on the bottom is in an open guard.
  2. From the open guard the practitioner brings his right leg up and passes it over the opponent’s head.
  3. The shin is placed against the throat.
  4. The practitioner first tries pulling down on the head with just his hands.
  5. He then places his other leg on the back of the neck and pulls down on his foot. This gives him extra leverage.
  6. The choke hold is now locked in tight and there looks to be no escape.
  7. The fight is stopped.

This choke is certainly one of the more painful ones used in mixed martial arts. This is due to the pressure being applied directly to the throat rather than the side of the neck. It is quite a bit more painful to have your windpipe compressed than to have the same done to the arteries in your neck. In fact the tap out may come due to the pain rather than a lack of oxygen.

Note: The gogoplata thus far has been referred to as an air choke, but if the opponent turns his head to the side, this will become a blood choke.

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  1. 16 Comment(s)

  2. By Mandrake on Oct 23, 2007 | Reply

    Gogoplata hurts like hell, both ways, anyone reading this should avoid trying this technique if it doesn’t have good flexibility and without proper stretching and/or warming. It was uncomfortable for me to do it, and it was also for me to take it when we tried.

  3. By durty on Jan 7, 2008 | Reply

    defense: Dress Right (or Left)….DRESS!! Those who understand the command, and watch the video while thinking about it will understand the defense to the move. It is very difficult to practice and defend against.
    those of you who have aspirations of becoming fighters watch and learn. watch and invent. watch and learn. repeat. It is much easier to defend a move if you know how it is performed

  4. By peque on Mar 14, 2008 | Reply

    the version of the gogoplata that The Undertaker aplies is great. it looks like it hurts a lot. originality is what you need to make a powerful move like this, something worse for your opnent

  5. By densetsushun on Apr 10, 2008 | Reply

    the gogoplata hurts like hell, my friend pulled it on me for a while and it really hurt a lot. but it’s quite difficult to pull, even though I’m quite flexible

  6. By rob on Apr 11, 2008 | Reply

    This is a great submission! One thing I’ve found is that dorsiflexing your foot (flexing your foot up) makes for a much harder surface across your opponent’s neck. Plus, it lets your shin and foot each press on an artery. It may feel wierd, but for me, this has been the key to its effectiveness.

  7. By Jake on Apr 15, 2008 | Reply

    very resourceful little choke, lol.

  8. By jenny on May 2, 2008 | Reply

    this hold is one of the best i’ve seen so for in my researches ahaha!!
    the undertaker does it very well, and can throw it quickly.
    i once used this and like, the person was coughing up blood…. wah, i know
    but i used it as a form of defense… another use of the Gogoplata Choke!!!
    i really like this hold, and yeah!!!

  9. By Leo on May 10, 2008 | Reply

    I find this move VERY easy to throw out, on the other hand I have been able to put my ankles behind my head since I’ve been a toddler.

    I have a question tough…how come noone seems to use it as a tool for an armbar?
    Most of the time your opponents arm is gonna be ‘caught “half way to an omaplata” , but if you straighten it out the transition is natural….for me atleast…

  10. By Dan on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    the best use of this choke that i have seen in an MMA fight was in diaz vs gomi. possibly the best mma fight ever.

  11. By ben on May 18, 2008 | Reply

    hell of a submission, the undertaker does this move wrong, admitadly, i doubt he’d be able to do the real way to do it hes getting on a bit.

  12. By mma-fighter on Jun 6, 2008 | Reply

    gogoplatas arent suppoed to actually work.. lol.. only time sumone would actually tap out to a gogoplata is if they are completely exhausted or have no will to fight.

  13. By Ryan on Jun 8, 2008 | Reply

    When i was school we were wrestling in p.e and it was tap out i lock it in on the kid i was wrestling and h started to cough out blood and he was tapping out like hell i like this move

  14. By jack on Jul 26, 2008 | Reply

    very good choke but i think i prefer triangle choke because you can get sum punches in there too lol anywy gsp rules

  15. By Retired on Oct 8, 2008 | Reply

    I’ve been semi inactive these past months. However in previous bouts I undertook I used a innovated version of the Gogoplata while my opponent was still standing. I found it effective and switched my style to support it. However after repeated use it began to come into routine and opponents where aware of it. Never rely on a single offense, a lesson I gave up trying to learn, in my case I was too predicable.

    Those interested I used both the downward pressure of my leg and weight to drop down the throat onto my shin to ‘knock the wind out of them.’ It takes little pressure then to force a submission. However there was occasions I mistimed the hold and left myself open to several types of moves. Sometimes costing me a bout.

    My last match ironically ended with me being placed in the gogoplata. I felt confident because I had used the move so many times that a escape method would be visible. However I was cocky and because I felt I knew the move I would be immune to it. I coughed a mouthful of blood out and tapped from the pain. Afterwards my opponent admitted it was his first time using it and he would be supporting it now as well.

  16. By Dane on Jan 13, 2009 | Reply

    Oh my god, this move is the perfect thing to use against someone who posts up real well, and uses both his hands on your abs to keep you from coming up. There’s also a variation that allows for less chance of escape. You put both legs on his/her shoulders, and slide one to the neck. Good luck, guys!

  17. By dal on Jan 25, 2009 | Reply

    i lov it

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