In Mestre Decanio's book "Herança de Mestre Bimba", there is this interesting testimony on how Bimba handled opponent's attempts to grab him:
"Mestre Bimba did not fear grappling arts... and said ... 'armiloqui'[armlock] as well as other locks ... 'only works after he grabs you!'
.. so ... 'if he tries to grab you' .. just escape or give him 'Chega prá lá'!
Simple? ... But no one was able to grab the Mestre!"
'Chega prá lá' is described as 'Brusque movement to push the opponent away'.
Now, this is especially interesting today, with the grappling arts such as jujutsu being popular.
However, what was this mysterious 'Chega prá lá?' Was it really just a random pushing of the opponent away?
I am afraid it is not as simple; as Bimba would not be that succesful using that.
We can do better than that! Because we know that Bimba used Nemer ginga; and Nemer maneuvers in general.
A couple minutes of experimentation yields that there is indeed a movement using Nemer archetype where you push the opponent away with both palms.
And it has a key effect: It applies a nerve disruption to him at the same time.
This will make his legs give and will put him on his heels; so the push will really get him away from you, without him being able to do much about it.
I am almost certain that this was Bimba's magic 'Chega prá lá' defence against grapplers; using this move, he could push the opponent away and at the same time apply a nerve disruption to him, so as to completely nullify his grabbing attempt.
It is indeed 'simple'!
But of course, this only works using Nemer archetype! So for Bimba's students, who were not able to use Nemer archetype, this movement would be just a simple push and would not really work to defend them from grabbing attempts.
So next time, try this real Bimba's 'Chega prá lá' to defend opponent's clinching and grabbing. It was a simple, but effective part of his Nemer system!
Note: This maneuver was of course a lot more effective with Bimba's size; but thanks to correct mechanics, it works even for David who is smaller.
Note: Other capoeiragem styles, such as Carioca, had their own ways of defending grabs; we will look into them later.
There exists a variation on the above technique. As above, user Nemer to push the opponent away with both palms; but reinforce it with LightLegs. This push - Nemer+LightLegs - has shorter range, but it is almost guaranteed to take the opponent down on the ground. This was probably not used by Bimba, but it is interesting to know.
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