The “berimbolo” is a popular and sometimes controversial technique in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) that’s used to invert underneath an opponent from the De La Riva guard to take their back or achieve a dominant position. Here’s a basic step-by-step guide on how to perform it:

Step-by-Step Guide to the Berimbolo

  1. Establish De La Riva Guard:
    • Begin with your opponent standing or kneeling in front of you.
    • Wrap one of your legs around the outside of your opponent’s leg, placing your foot on their far hip. This is the De La Riva hook.
    • With your other foot, control the distance by placing it on your opponent’s thigh or bicep.
  2. Control the Distant Arm:
    • Grip your opponent’s far sleeve or collar with your hand on the same side as your De La Riva hook. This prevents them from basing out or posting with that arm during your sweep.
  3. Off-Balance Your Opponent:
    • Using your De La Riva hook and sleeve/collar grip, pull your opponent forward, causing them to post their hand to the mat or, in some cases, fall to their shoulder. This gets their weight off their legs and sets up the inversion.
  4. Begin to Invert:
    • As you off-balance your opponent, use your free foot (the one not hooking) to kick them lightly in the armpit or shoulder, which helps you to start rotating underneath them.
    • Begin to roll over the shoulder on the side of your De La Riva hook. Your head should move between their legs as you invert.
  5. Spin Underneath:
    • As you invert, release your sleeve/collar grip and reach for their far leg (the one without the De La Riva hook).
    • Continue to spin underneath your opponent, aiming to come out behind them.
  6. Secure the Back Position:
    • As you complete your spin, look to hook your legs (your “hooks”) inside your opponent’s thighs, establishing back control.
    • Secure an upper body grip, ideally a seatbelt grip (one arm over the shoulder, the other under the armpit).
  7. Alternative Finish – Take the Top Position:
    • Sometimes, taking the back isn’t feasible due to your opponent’s defensive movements.
    • In these cases, you can use the berimbolo to sweep and come up on top, securing a dominant position like the mount.


  • Drill Regularly: The berimbolo involves a lot of coordination and can be challenging to master. Regular drilling is crucial.
  • Flexibility and Mobility: Working on your flexibility and spinal mobility can make the inversion process smoother and more effective.
  • Safety First: Ensure you’re comfortable with inverting and rolling to avoid neck injuries. Always tap out if you feel any discomfort during training.

Remember, as with all BJJ techniques, the berimbolo is best learned under the supervision of a qualified instructor who can provide hands-on guidance and corrections.