Countering the Berimbolo
The berimbolo has become an extremely popular position. Almost every academy has a couple of guys who love to berimbolo and it can be very difficult to deal with. Why is the berimbolo so difficult to deal with? There are so many minor details that just missing one inch can cause your back to be taken.
The first step to defending something as complicated as the berimbolo is to learn the position. Check out our article “Berimbolo for People who don’t Berimbolo,” this is a great resource for anyone who needs to learn the berimbolo. There are other steps you can take to defending the berimbolo, the first thing you should do is have good base and posture. There is no berimbolo if you don’t fall or get swept. Another option is to pressure pass.
Base and Posture vs Berimbolo
For the most part, the berimbolo starts from the De La Riva position. Assuming your opponent has put you in a De La Riva guard and wants to berimbolo you, you cannot let them sweep you. There is not berimbolo if they can’t get your butt on the ground. With good base and posture you can avoid getting swept.
Good posture in De La Riva is squatting with your back strait, having good grips, and actively controlling the leg that is not the DLR hook. Once you have good posture, you can start attacking passes. There are dangers when being very adamant about not letting your opponent sweep you in DLR. There is a very good back take from DLR that you need to be aware of. Check out the back take below.
Pressure Passing vs Berimbolo
Now we know that the berimbolo comes from the De La Riva, it would be obvious to say that if you don’t let your opponent establish a good DLR than you can avoid the berimbolo. This is easier said than done, and lets assume that your opponent managed to get a good DLR hook. Now how can we apply pressure?
To pressure pass the DLR you need to have excellent posture and base and one of the best and simplest passes is a strong knee cut from “head quarters.” “Head Quarters” position is a fancy name for good posture. If you can get the good posture, you can continue to knee slice and negate your opponent from the berimbolo. Lucas Lepri is a multiple time black belt world champion and won the black belt worlds without conceiving a point. He is infamous for an amazing knee cut and nullifying De La Riva. Check out a knee cut with Lucas Lepri below.
If you really want to defend the berimbolo, we highly suggest learning every aspect of it. Who knows, if you study the berimbolo enough, maybe you will become a berimbolo master yourself. Check out our article “Berimbolo not as intimidating as it looks.” This is a great resource for studying the berimbolo, and for those that want the attention to detail, check out the Miyao Brothers 4 DVD set “berimbolo and beyond.” The Miyao Brothers are infamous for their bolos and they’re the best in the game at it.