Berimbolo Time: Samuel Braga explains his role in the newest sensation

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Samuel Braga finishing from the berimbolo’s most desired destination. Photo: Ivan Trindade

In efforts to shed light on the berimbolo technique and in honor of our most recent print issue, #194, we give you another take on the move. The back-taking phenomenon that has recently influenced many games of competitors from white to black, is explained by GMA GB Knoxville head instructor Samuel Braga.

He recently spoke with GRACIEMAG about how he discovered the move and where he thinks it’s going. Also see the video below of examples where he has used the move in his past competitions as early as 2005.

GRACIEMAG: When did you first figure out the berimbolo move?

SAMUEL BRAGA: I figured the move out in 2003 as a purple belt, after struggling to sweep from the back step as people were avoiding my back step sweep.  I was getting stuck in that position while inverted as I’m really flexible. I was using a similar move as a blue belt, but it was more like taking the back. It was not the berimbolo yet.

What was the most memorable time you implemented it in competition?

Most memorable time was at the Brazilian Nationals as a purple belt in a really tough match. I thought I was going to lose it, but towards the end I got the move. After that it was the 2005 finals at worlds for sure as a black belt.

What do you think of the viral hype around the move today with even white belts using the technique?

I think it’s amazing seeing everyone using it and how much Jiu-Jitsu is envolving with the berimbolo. I think it is just the beginning for a new trend.

Are there pieces of the move everyone is missing out on? If so, what is missing?

I think people are missing some details that can be really important. Hip control for one. A lot of people are not controlling the hips by letting their outside hook get too low on the position so they usually miss it. But if they miss the move once then it is like a cycle. They can always go back to De La Riva and pull the move again.

What do you think of its evolution to the larger black belt divisions recently?

I think it is starting to evolve to a point that all the belts are using it. If you don’t know the move, you are behind. At least have a deep understanding to try to counter or stop the move. It’s amazing watching even heavyweights and guys like Buchecha using the move and being good at it.

For more information regarding Samuel Braga and his GMA academy in Knoxville, TN please visit and more information from him about the berimbolo and his DVD you can click here.


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