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How to Use Worm Guard Effectively to "Wormimbolo" in BJJ

Andrew Smith is a 3rd-degree BJJ black belt based out of Richmond, VA (Revolution BJJ). He runs BJJ Path, a video tutorial website.

Using the berimbolo.

Using the berimbolo.

About Worm Guard

The berimbolo is a pretty fancy maneuver for BJJ competition (or even just for rolling at the gym), but nevertheless, people are starting to get pretty good at it. However, it can be difficult to get into the initial rolling position in order to finish the back take. Here, we'll pick up where we left off with the worm guard tutorial, but take it a step further and complete the rolling back take (instead of heading to the mount). We'll also take a look at an alternate finish when your opponent has an incredible base, finishing with an armlock instead.

The Berimbolo

Using the exact same worm guard set up as before, just go for the scissor-style sweep to mount, building your base up to your elbow. From here, instead of going on to mount (or if your partner is defending your advance to mount, which is all too common), you can roll to take the back. First, turn your head away from your partner, dropping your shoulder to the mat (the one that's closest to your partner's head). Next, your free leg (the one that's not trapped in your partner's lapel—your left leg if you're mimicking the video) needs to kick your partner's legs down, using a "heel to butt" motion. Using your free left hand, grab the bottom of your partner's pants leg, taking control of the lower part of their legs as you've already controlled the upper portion with the lapel trap. Now, using all four of your limbs (both hands and both legs), push your partner downward, forcing them to turtle. Once your partner is in a quasi-turtle position, grab their belt or the skirt of the gi (belt tends to be looser) with your left hand, and then grab their collar if you can reach it. Finally, just hip out to the side and complete the back take as normal.

Berimbolo Finish Details

The berimbolo with your foot trapped in your partner's lapel is somewhat easier than without, as you have an extra bit of leverage, but it's still a move that requires a great deal of practice to be able to hit during live rolling. Here, Daniel starts on the crown of his head and then looks away to initiate the roll. This is an excellent place to start practicing just the back take portion if you can discipline yourself enough to drill one move for a few minutes at a time, over and over again. Once the "rolling breakfall" movement is initiated, it's a matter of throwing everything downward with both your hands and your legs. After that, you're just trying to complete the back take. Consider which of these motions is the most challenging, and drill the crap out of it.

Full Speed(ish)

Above and below are two videos with the complete move, both somewhat short of competition speed, but faster than typical demonstration speed. Notice how the movements blur into one technique, from the setup to the sweep, on to the rolling back take, and securing the back once there. It needs to be broken into pieces at first, but eventually it all becomes one move.

Rolling Armbar Variation

A really cool "bonus move" you can shoot for if you get good at the wormimbolo stuff is to roll through for the armbar. Take your left foot back in front of your partner's leg, and then build up to a headstand (like earlier, but your partner is still standing). Now just roll over your left shoulder. Your partner is completely trapped (doesn't look like much, but you're really stuck in there) and has to roll through. You can land in a basic straight armlock, although it's also possible that you'll get a triangle or just a sweep.

The Wild World of Jiu Jitsu

It's a wild and crazy world of jiu jitsu, and right now is an incredibly innovative time for new techniques. You can expect many more as the Internet becomes ubiquitous and everyone is able to create videos of their ideas, and these ideas spread incredibly rapidly. Don't be daunted by these new techniques; you're never going to know all of the jiu jitsu, but there are always going to be fun challenges to try and figure out, and you too can contribute to this ever-growing body of knowledge!

© 2016 Andrew Smith