No-Gi Berimbolo With A Ninja Roll


Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in lightweight grappling. Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, – and recently filmed a free Berimbolo DVD series that he’s giving away EXCLUSIVELY at   For a limited time only you can get your Complimentary Berimbolo DVD completely free.


When it comes to effective, difficult and fulfilling moves, there are few that can top the awesomeness of the Berimbolo sweep.

A move made famous by the Mendes Brothers—Rafael & Guilherme—this particular sweep is known to help smaller, quicker grapplers take advantage of their opponents and obtain the back position in the blink of an eye. I’ll lead this article with a disclaimer – this is a slightly advanced Berimbolo Technique……and even though it has the “cool guy move” essence to it, the instructor in me wants to share the Berimbolo 101 Tutorial – just so you also have the simple instructional video of the Berimbolo…..I wrote an article called “Learn the BJJ Berimbolo” over at Science of Skill that may help you if you’re looking for a “Berimbolo Fundamental” video breakdown.

BJJ Berimbolo Video

However, as the move becomes more and more popular, grapplers are becoming more aware of how to go about defending an denying the advancement of the position.  What good is a move if it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do?

With this in mind, I concocted a way that would make the Berimbolo even more effective—if not more difficult.  Before attempting this sequence, make sure you’re able to hit the Berimbolo without missing a beat, as this will be very difficult if you aren’t able to do the regular to sweep in the first place.

Berimbolo to Ninja Roll : Video Technique

‘The Counter To a Counter’

Adding the variation of the Ninja Roll to this makes for a very dizzying experience to say the very least!  The Berimbolo in general calls for a lot of topsy-turvy movement that could easily throw off your equilibrium, and adding an extra Ninja Roll doesn’t help that much.

  • In this scenario, we’re assuming our opponent is working their x-guard game.
  • Grab their exposed foot, and stuff it between your legs, eliminating it completely.
  • Bring your knee into their hip, almost pinning the two together.
  • As you go to execute the roll, let’s say your leg comes free.
  • Plant, and turn into your opponent, rolling back into the direction you were in.
  • Coming back over the top of your opponent, hook their leg with your inside foot.
  • Roll back over your shoulder, keeping their leg hooked.
  • Turn in and grab the back position.

When To Use The Ninja Roll

As you can see from the above breakdown, this move can be very, very difficult to pull off, especially in the heat of the moment.  You have to know when to execute this Berimbolo alteration, and it isn’t always applicable.

You want to be aware of what your opponent is doing; if they are looking to counter your Berimbolo sweep, then this is the perfect time to surprise them with the Ninja Roll!  I can guarantee that they will not be anticipating it, and it will most certainly pay off.

This is high up on the difficulty meter, there is no doubting that, but this is a game changer that you should take time to know this and break it down.  By all means, it won’t happen overnight, but with good, consistent practice, this will be able to win you some big matches down the road.

Dan Faggella


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