Keenan Cornelius warns: berimbolos don’t work in BJJ anymore; here’s why

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Keenan at SJJIF World Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2018. SJJIF

An American Atos star known for studying many different guards with a modern twist, Keenan Cornelius recently expressed an opinion that split the BJJ world in two. To Keenan, the popular spin from the de la Riva guard known as the berimbolo is no longer effective in some aspects of the game.

After Keenan put his opinion out there on social media, Graciemag’s own Marcelo Dunlop reached out to him for a more thorough explanation. Here’s that brief interview:

Graciemag: You said during a seminar in Seoul, South Korea that the berimbolo is a fad that does not work anymore. Could you share your thoughts?

Keenan: The berimbolo was a very effective technique for a couple years but it just doesn’t have the longevity of other guards. The defenses for it have become more effective than the berimbolo. You see most of the great berimbolo fighters switching to the more reliable worm guard back attacks . It’s not that the technique doesn’t work; it’s just that someone who is aware of the defenses can easily defend against it. So yes, it can work. But no, it’s not nearly as effective as it was over the four-year period we saw it being used a lot.

Spider guard attacks have become significantly less effective too. Some positions have inherent weaknesses that, when they are discovered and utilized by most of the educated jiu-jitsu community, are almost totally abandoned. What would be the biggest BJJ fad? 

I think leg locks will be the biggest fad. Highly effective against the uneducated. But as the overall knowledge level rises, these techniques are also pretty easily defended against. And I say this as an avid leg locker, spider guarder and berimbolo master.

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