The Berimbolo, Not as Intimidating as it Looks

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The Berimbolo, Not as Intimidating as it Looks

The berimbolo has quickly become one of the most popular and effective moves in sport Jiu Jitsu today.  It is frequently utilized by multiple time world champions at the highest levels of competitions.  The berimbolo has one of the highest success rates for any position.

Many people are very intimidated by the berimbolo, and some won’t even attempt to learn it.  The berimbolo is not as intimidating as it looks.  There is a common misconception that you should be young, skinny, and flexible to berimbolo, this is not true at all.  In particular, people are intimidated by the inversion aspect of the berimbolo.

The berimbolo is an extremely technical and grip dependent position, we say position because it is not just one move.  You can use the berimbolo position to get to a leg drag, mount, arm bar, toe hold, back take, and more. The berimbolo can be easily applied with proper grips, timing, and control.

The Berimbolo and the Importance of Grips

One of the most important elements that will allow you to have a successful berimbolo is the grips.  You must have good grips.  The grips are what will allow you to invert rather effortlessly.  Inversion has a bad reputation in bjj, inversions are not as difficult as you may believe.  If you use the proper grips to invert it can be much easier.

The berimbolo position comes from the De La Riva guard for the most part so to include the berimbolo in your arsenal, you’ll want to be good at the De La Riva guard.  This article is about the berimbolo, but if you want to work your DLR, check out this post. Check out this video below of a guard study of the Miyao Brothers who are infamous for their berimbolos.  Watch how important the grips are.

The Berimbolo and Timing

Like with any good sweep, submission, pass or position in Jiu Jitsu, you need good timing to make the berimbolo effective.  Timing is one of the most essential parts of becoming a good bjj practitioner.  Whenever you initiate a berimbolo, your opponent must have their butt on the mat, so you would either been in a double guard pull, or you would have swept them.

Once they are on the mat, and you have the proper grips, you can take advantage of their momentum and weight by applying the berimbolo at precisely the right time.  The berimbolo is a position with several options, but assuming you’re going for the traditional back take, or any move, you’ll need timing.  When your opponent gives you a reaction, they will make it easier to invert and you can move with them and take their back effortlessly.  Check out this instructional video below of one of the best bjj practitioners to berimbolo, Gianni Grippo.

The Berimbolo and Control

Once you combine the grips and the timing, you need to be able to control your opponent as well.  This means that you must keep every aspect of the berimbolo tight.  The grips, the hooks, everything needs to be tight.  This is because you cannot let your opponent stand, and you need to stay glued to them to take the back.  If you’re sick of getting berimboloed by lower belts, you can check out our article on “the benefits of smash passing,” or watch this video below from Marcelo Garcia Black Belt, Philzihno on how to avoid the berimbolo.

If you are feeling bold and want to make the berimbolo part of your arsenal it’s well worth a try.  Get your hands on this DVD by the Miyao Brothers, “Berimbolo and Beyond.”  This DVD has amazing content and instructional videos, remember, the berimbolo is not as intimidating as you think.


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