The Difficulties of The No Gi Berimbolo Sweep

I love the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and everything about it.  Being the sport that runs my life, I love to analyze the little things that the common fan may not spend time looking at.  Recently, I’ve dived head first into the world of the Berimbolo sweep.

The reason being is it’s a favorite setup of mine, given my small stature and agility on the mat.  But more so because it presents a very interesting debate that can be had among my fellow Brazilian Jiu Jitsu diehards out there.

The Berimbolo is seen heavily in Gi based matches (see the Berimbolo competition highlight here).  There are many variables and components that play into this reasoning, but that’s for later on.

I have spent plenty of time recently going over all the possible ways the Berimbolo can be executed effectively in a No Gi match, where it is far less common than it’s Gi counterparts.

The question is extremely simple: can it be done?

Why It Is So Effective In A Gi Match

For those out there who may not be aware of the Berimbolo, it is a very tough move to execute.  It calls for great precision and strong and effective Gi grips.  Having the proper grip strength is a must so you don’t lose the grip halfway through, rendering the move ineffective.

The Gi obviously presents plenty of opportunities to apply grips, something that a no Gi match does not present.  The lose material allows the sweep to be easily accessible, where as in the no Gi grapplers are normally wearing a compression shirt, which stays tight to the torso, thus allowing no give.

Knowing When To Use The Berimbolo In No Gi

Unlike it’s Gi counterpart, the no Gi setup for the Berimbolo must be chosen wisely as it is far more difficult to pull off.  Unlike the Gi, where you can virtually hit the Berimbolo from countless setups ranging from bottom guard, to the double guard pull to the x-guard, the variety is far less in depth in No Gi.

For instance, you could be able to pull this move off from the double-guard pull in no Gi, but the likely hood of hitting the move in its entirety is very unlikely, given the sweat from your opponent.

However, a setup such as the x-guard offers a better opportunity to hit the move, as it allows you to exert more top-dominance onto your opponent, making it more difficult for them to set themselves up for an escape.

No matter how you slice it, the Berimbolo is possible in no Gi, but it’s very difficult.  Just make sure you drill, drill and drill some more, that’s the best way to get comfortable with this move!  Once you get it down pat, you’ll be able to dominate the no Gi landscape!

For a full breakdown of some of Rafael Mendes’ best back attacks, check out this full article on Science of Skill.

Dan Faggella

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