Berimbolo Technique

 Berimbolo Execution & Back Take Setups


Dan “Micro” Faggella is a No-Gi Gold Medal Pan Am Champion and a recognized Expert Analyst in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World.  Dan has produced over a dozen Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructional DVD courses and the author of multiple books on Skill Development & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Technique.  His most recent research report titled “Keenan Cornelius Game Analysis” is now available for instant download at:

There is never enough time when it comes to properly drilling your skills when it comes to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Luckily, chances are very high that you have an opportunity to hop on a mat, so when the time arises, make sure you work twice as hard!

When it comes to drilling and expanding your game, there is no such thing as “being too good.” This is a common flaw in many athletes when they are looking to become better; they get complacent. In my opinion, there is always something to be learned and new holds, sweeps and transitions to be drilled.

Today, I’m here to tell you all about the wonderful world of the berimbolo sweep. This move is used from various positions—mainly x-guard and spider guard—and allows you to sweep your opponent and obtain the back mount. From here, many doors are opened for you to go about ending the match.

The Berimbolo Setup & Execution

This move can be very, very tricky for some. It calls for serious attention to detail as well as forcing you to move in certain ways that your body is not used to. The berimbolo calls for some serious body control and range of motion, so make sure you’re in an athletic state when you perform this move!

Like I said earlier in this entry, this can be executed from either the x-guard or the spider guard.

X-Guard setup:

  • When your opponent applies their x-guard, they will look to take you down to the mat.
  • There is a chance they will eliminate your base; this is fine, just plant your leg.
  • Apply a grip on their belt.
  • Roll to the side, over your shoulder.
  • While on your back, free your feet and release your hands.
  • This will allow you to float over and take the back.

Spider Guard:

  • Our opponent will likely place their knee between your legs.
  • Grab their belt with one hand, and their heel with the other.
  • Roll to the side while pulling on their feet, and kicking through their torso.
  • After the roll, you will be on your back, ready to take theirs.

Keenan Cornelius-Ruler of All Back Takes

One name that I always harp on when it comes to the berimbolo and other various back takes is that of Keenan Cornelius. A brown belt—with a black belt certainly in his future—Cornelius has all kinds of potential he can fulfill. I could go on for days about the different guard and seated guard setups – but if you wanted to learn to the Berombolo from a lot of the easiest positions – you can check out this post on the Science of Skill about learning the Berimbolo for beginners (white and blue belts).

In most of his matches, Keenan makes an aggressive push to obtain the back. He likes to use the berimbolo as a setup sometimes, as well as different variations of the sweep.

Here’s a video of a recent Keenan match for you to enjoy, and watch the modified berimbolo he throws out there!


Dan Faggella


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