The first time I saw the berimbolo was on a video about four years ago, and I didn’t really understand what was happening, but it intrigued me, so I sent a link to Conan, who was my head Jiu-Jitsu instructor at the time. Then the next day in class, he had us practice it, and I thought “Oh no, I didn’t actually want to learn it! It’s way too complicated for me, I’ll never figure it out!”, and I didn’t work on it again after that day.
Now, I’ve gotten so tired of Tumbleweed Mike berimboloing me all the time, that I’ve become determined to figure out how to make him cease and desist. I told him it was frustrating because I knew when it was coming, but I wasn’t able to stop it, and he said “You’ve stopped it lots of times.”, but I would like that percentage to be closer to 100%!
So, since the best way to learn to defend something is to learn how to do it, last week I watched a bunch of berimbolo videos (both offense and defense), and I wish I could say that the next time I rolled with Mike, he wasn’t able to get one on me, but he still was. However, I definitely feel like I have a much better grasp of what’s happening, and after I briefly practiced it on Mike the other day, he said I basically understood it.
When I finally went back and revisited the berimbolo, all these years after it first piqued my interest, it didn’t seem that complicated anymore, and it fits right into the type of game I like to play. Now what I really need to do is work on it more, and since we didn’t have an official Ethridge class at the dojo yesterday (because Coach Amy couldn’t make it), Joe and I just did some drilling, and he let me practice the berimbolo on him for awhile. Even if I do end up getting really good at it someday, I still might not be able to stop Mike from doing it to me (since he told me that Alejandro does it to him!), but it certainly couldn’t hurt my defense, and I wouldn’t mind if the end result is that I’m able to berimbolo some people myself.