November 28, 2023
Among the many positions that can give you the advantage during a Jiu-Jitsu match, taking the back is arguably the shortest path to victory. Even if you don’t manage to land a submission, just getting to that position will land you enough points to win the match via score or even the referee’s decision in most cases. Unless you’re facing a really experienced opponent, they’ll be left almost helpless as you plan and execute the next steps of your game to take the win home.
However, the benefits offered by this position are equally proportionate to how challenging it is to actually reach it. Every athlete is wary of getting their back taken, and that awareness grows as you get closer and closer to the black belt. One way to reach the position is berimbolo, the spinning technique that uses flexibility and precision to pierce the opponent’s defenses, but this also comes with its own set of risks. With that in mind, check out these three key tips to successfully use berimbolo to take the back and seize the win!
Set the stage
People who start giving berimbolo a try usually lose the position before the spin is even completed. That’s because it is important to put your opponent in a vulnerable position before actually going for the spin. Starting from the de la riva guard, use the leg opposing to the hook to position your adversary sideways or diagonally to you, as this will make it easier to destabilize during the spin. Even if the opponent is sitting, being sideways means they’ll be less likely to escape the move.
Tighten those grips
The anticipation of using the berimbolo to reach the back can work against you. Even if the opportunity presents itself, try to first focus on locking your grips tightly on the opponent. While the grip on the leg stops your foe from escaping, grabbing the pants from behind guides you to avoid losing the adversary’s hip during the spin.
Stay sharp during the spin
Entering the berimbolo is the first step. While speed is the key to getting the drop on an experienced opponent, spatial awareness during the move is equally important to reach the back. Before using it in a competition, practice your berimbolo against the wall of your gym, as this will allow you to train your body for the movement, allowing you to go back and forth as many times as needed to learn how to maintain your sense of direction while upside down.