Is there a move that splits the Jiu-Jistu community more? I very much doubt it. You’ll either hear one of two sentences when it comes to the infamous ‘Berimbolo’ sweep. They are as follows;
“I LOVE the Berimbolo.” or “FUCK YOUR FUCKING BERIMBOLO, YOU FUCKING CUNT FUCKING BASTARD FUCKING FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!”
I knew at some point I’d have to man up and learn this move. Conceptually, the move utterly baffled me. This is part of the reason I haven’t attempted it sooner. Also, I wanted to work with someone who was fluid with the technique. As there are a few purple belts at my gym, however it’s not something I often see in use whilst rolling.
Today’s class was hosted by Raphael. I’ve mentioned him before. He’s from Brazil and has a purple belt wrapped around his waist. He is quite simply shit-fucking-hot. We started with some warmups, that were fun and essential to what was in store. Then it was time to cut the shit. De La Riva guard, leading into a basic Berimbolo sweep. After that, we worked Berimbolo from 50/50. Now I’m not about to break down each move, because I cannot be fucked, I’m tired. Fuck you. What I will point out though, is how simple each are when you break the ‘I cannot do THAT!’ barrier.
The Berimbolo itself is like riding a bike without stabilisers for the very first time. You’ve dabbled before with a bike. You understand the basic mechanics at a very young age. Pedalling drives you forward, and you’re quite content to do so whilst those stabilisers sit by your sides to guide you on your quest to super-stardom around the playground/street/whatever. Take those stabilisers away and you’re instantly conditioned to think, I cannot do that. The first time attempting riding a bike without stabilisers is both scary, and foreign. There’s your Berimbolo. The reason for the fear is simple. You don’t think you can do this move, so you’re under the impression that you’re about to make a fool of yourself in class. This can be embarrassing. It’s foreign because it’s out with what you’ve done before, as far as you can see.
Now I’m the sort of learner that can be shown something 5,000 times and not be able to replicate it. This is because my brain hates me. I seemingly, with Jiu-Jitsu at least, learn by feel. So naturally my first few Berimbolo attempts were awful. Once I’d broken that barrier of embarrassment in front of my peers, I was swiftly rolling under with ease. This blew my mind like you wouldn’t believe. Reason being, I didn’t think I could do this move. I assumed it was going to be one of those things that escaped me.
Luckily, my self-doubt is often proven wrong. I could list all the things in my life that I doubt I’d be able to do properly, but it would bore the shit out of you. Fact is, when I apply myself I can do stuff. And that’s the approach I should have taken with this stupid fucking move. Not shying away from it, like I have been for months. I’m going to drill the fucking shit out of it now. I really am.