22 Sept 2015

Review - Dominyka Obelenyte - Spider Variations & Domoplata by Digitsu

Black belt World champion Dominyka Obelenyte shows off some of her favourite moves. The set is split roughly into two halves: the first showcasing seven spider guard sweeps, the second half concentrating on submissions. The most notable moves of the set are her 'Domoplata' attacks and the shoulder wrenching "coat hanger of destruction."

Available from: Digitsu as a play on demand video or digital download.
Cost: $19.99
Number of techniques: 11
Running time: 23 minutes

I have no personal or business connection with Digitsu. I was granted media access to the complete Digitsu on demand library. All views expressed in this article are my own.

Dominyka Obelenyte is the current 2015 ladies black belt World Champion (weight and absolute). To say she is a rising star is an understatement, Dominyka has been making headlines since she was a young teenager (she's still only 20 years old). She is a one-woman jiu jitsu destruction machine!

Looking at her fights, Dominyka favours playing a very attacking open guard game, throwing out dangerous submissions pretty much at will. One of her submissions is a variation on the omoplata, something she refers to as the 'Domoplata', and another of her moves is something she calls the coat hanger of destruction.

In fact...

Watch this video of Dominyka vs Rachel Demara below. It was captured at the IBJJF New York Spring Event in April 2015. Note the technique she executes around 3:15. That's her 'coat hanger of destruction' technique and anyone other than her hyper flexible opponent would have conceded by then. But follow it through and watch how Dominyka transitions to her 'Domoplata'. The camera angle obscures the final submission, but I'm pretty sure she used that technique. Both these finishes are shown in this instructional video.

Spider Guard Sweep
Spider Single Leg X Sweep
Shin-To-Shin Triangle
Balloon Sweep
Leg Trap Sweep
DLR Balloon Sweep
DLR Balloon Sweep #2
The Domoplata
The Domoplata - Mounted Choke
The Domoplata - Omoplata
The Coat Hanger of Destruction

Format and production quality
I watched this set as an on demand video on the Digitsu website. The playback quality was in HD and lighting and sound was at the usual high professional quality that I have seen with other Digitsu videos. I'm still annoyed by the hyper loud rock guitar music that bursts in at the slow motion replays. Navigation on the Digitsu website was very easy and user friendly. I like that I have the option to download the videos (at 240p quality) - useful for watching on mobile devices when out and about. Each technique includes a change of camera angle, though nothing as sophisticated as the multiple frames of the Lucas Lepri guard passing set.

BTW it is worth noting that Digitsu content is available on iTunes. I don't own iOS devices so cannot comment on the app experience - but I assume it to be the same high standard as the web based online platform.

Spider Variations
Dominyka kicks off the set with a half dozen or so fairly basic spider guard sweeps. There isn't much here that hasn't been covered in other sets. What I like however is that she links several techniques together - if your opponent defends the previous one, here's what you can do instead. But with only seven techniques on offer, it's only a brief introduction at most to a guard system with much more intricacy and variability (see Michael Langhi, Romulo Barral or Abmar Barbosa for example).

As someone who grew up for most of her life in the USA, Dominyka speaks perfect English and her instruction is concise and clear as she talks through each technique.

From my point of view, I found the latter half of the set far more interesting. The Domoplata is best described as a gogoplata choke but executed from the top mount position.

Dominyka introduces the technique from mount position and instructs us to make sure the opponent beneath you has his arms clear and out of the way - something that no resisting opponent would willingly ever do in reality. Some further explanation of how to get into the Domoplata (and ensuring the arms are cleared out of the way) would be helpful - perhaps something for a later set? There's no doubt however, it's a lethal submission, as Dominyka has amply demonstrated.

Coat Hanger
Let's talk about this coat hanger of destruction submission. It's pretty evil! The tech Dominyka shows is very similar to the one Michelle Nicolini executed on Tammi Musumeci and broke her arm. See the video here.

Dominyka's coat hanger is no less nasty than the Nicolini one and unless you are hyper flexible there isn't really much of a way to escape. It's basically a counter to someone defending an omoplata. It possibly helps if you have long legs (as Dominyka does) but I woudn't say it was a difficult technique to pull off (assuming your opponent was unaware of what you were doing.)

Ideally I'd like to see more depth to this video set. Perhaps a further exploration of how one can transition from omoplata - to coat hanger - to domoplata, which is what Dominyka does in the New York comp video above. As an introduction to the spider guard sweep, this set is a good basic rounder for beginners. For more experienced players, the Domoplata might be a new submission to study and add to the omoplata-family of submission techniques. Overall, the production quality is excellent and the brevity of the entire set (23 minutes) make it easy to digest and absorb in one or two sittings.


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Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.



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