The berimbolo is a controversial move in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, known for its acrobatic nature and its ability to throw off opponents. Some people love it, others hate it. But regardless of your personal opinion, there’s no denying that it’s a powerful technique that can be incredibly effective when executed correctly.


History and Origin of the Berimbolo

The berimbolo was first popularized by Rafael Mendes, one of the most successful BJJ competitors of all time. He used the move to great effect in competitions, often catching opponents off guard and sweeping them to the ground. From there, he could easily take the back and finish with a choke.

The move itself involves rolling backwards while simultaneously hooking your opponent’s leg with your foot. This puts you in a position to take the back or sweep your opponent to the ground. It requires a great deal of flexibility and timing, making it a difficult technique to master.


Controversy Surrounding the Berimbolo

Despite its effectiveness, the berimbolo has its fair share of critics. Some argue that it’s a gimmick move that relies more on athleticism than technique. Others complain that it’s boring to watch, with matches devolving into a back-and-forth battle of berimbolo attempts.

There’s also the issue of injury. Because the berimbolo involves rolling backwards, it can put a lot of strain on the neck and spine. This has led some BJJ schools to ban the move outright, citing safety concerns.

Defenders of the berimbolo argue that it’s a legitimate technique that requires a great deal of skill to execute. They point out that many of the criticisms leveled against it are the result of misunderstanding or ignorance of the move’s intricacies.


Mastering the Berimbolo

Regardless of your opinion on the berimbolo, there’s no denying that it’s a complex move that requires a great deal of practice to master. Here are a few tips to help you get started:


1.Work on your flexibility: The berimbolo requires a great deal of flexibility, particularly in your hips and legs. Incorporate stretching into your daily routine to help improve your range of motion.

2. Drill the technique: As with any BJJ technique, repetition is key. Work on the berimbolo with a partner, drilling the movement over and over again until it becomes second nature.

3. Focus on timing: Timing is crucial when it comes to the berimbolo. You need to be able to time your roll and hook your opponent’s leg at just the right moment to execute the move successfully.

4. Don’t rely on the berimbolo: While the berimbolo can be an effective technique, it’s important not to rely on it too heavily. Mix up your game and incorporate a variety of techniques to keep your opponents guessing.


Love it or hate it, the berimbolo is a powerful and effective technique in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While it may not be for everyone, it’s certainly worth learning and incorporating into your game. With practice and patience, you too can master this complex and acrobatic move.