Bernardo Faria is from a town in Brazil called, Jiuz De Fora, it is in Minas Gerais States, for a point of reference it is about 2 hours from Rio De Janeiro. Bernardo started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2001. He was just 14 years old and was influenced to train by one of his brothers friends, they used to play fight and Bernardo found that he was always on the losing end, so he decided to take up bjj. At just 14 years old and after about 1 year of training, Bernardo recalls knowing that this was what he wanted to do for the remainder of his life.
Bernardo has 2 brothers, one of them is a highly respected engineer and the other is a highly respected doctor, when he decided that he wanted to train and compete in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for a living you can imagine that it did not go over so well with his father. Bernardo trained under Ricardo Marques from white until black belt so he could stay near home and attend college. His dad told him if he received his degree he could do whatever he liked. In 2008, already a black belt under Ricardo Marques, he finished college receiving a degree in business. He still wanted to be a Black Belt World Champion and his first coach and mentor, Ricardo Marques, encouraged him to move to Sao Paulo to train under Fabio Gurgel. Bernardo is lucky to have had a coach who knew that in order to reach the pinnacle of the sport he had to move, with his newly attained degree, the freedom to move from his father and the encouragement from his coach, Ricardo Marques, Bernardo made the big move to Sao Paulo to train under Fabio in 2009.
Bernardo moved to Fabio Gurgel’s academy at a perfect time because he would train and live with many other future Black Belt World Champions. Bernardo shared a room with many familiar names in bjj that included Bruno Malficine, Michael Langhi, Sergio Morales, and Leo Nogueira. Training under Fabio Gurgel paid off after just 1 year when Bernardo managed to win his first Black Belt World Championship in 2010, he also won the Pan Americans in his weight and open class in that same year. He stayed training under Fabio Gurgel from 2009-2013, in his time there he managed to win his first Black Belt World Championship and he also won the Europeans in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and the Pan Americans weight and open class in 2010 among other prestigious titles. In 2013 Bernardo decided to make the move to America and started teaching and training full time at Marcelo Garcia’s Academy in New York City.
After his big move to New York City Bernardo continued to establish himself as one of the best to ever compete by winning the World Championships as a black belt yet again in 2013, and in 2015 he managed to win his weight at the World Championships and the Open Weight class. This is the most prestigious title that anybody can attain in bjj. In his time at Marcelo’s Bernardo also became one of the head instructors. This is where he realized that he also has an incredible ability to teach. Relaying information in a manner that anybody can comprehend is extremely difficult but Bernardo is excellent at it. Bernardo moved from New York to Boston in 2017 where he is working on opening his brand new Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy in the Bedofrd, MA, and area. He has also become extremely passionate about business and marketing over the last year and has announced his retirement from competitions for the time being. His new goal in life is much more selfless, he wants to be the best instructor he can be. Bernardo’s new goal is to help others attain their goals regardless of what they are, whether they want to be better at their job, in Jiu Jitsu, in competition’s, or anything, Bernardo just wants to open his academy and help people be the best they can be.
Bernardo sets the bar for how simple Jiu Jitsu can be. He is widely known for his trademark over-under passing position, his knee bar from the over-under passing position, his “Faria Sweep” from the deep half and his single leg half guard. Bernardo has been doing these simple techniques for almost a decade and no one can stop them. They are easy to learn and easy to use. Simplicity is a key element in Bernardo’s game. He has infamously stated that he is not athletic, he is not flexible, he is not anything special, he just works hard and plays a simple game.
Over Under Pass
Knee Bar From Over Under
The Faria Sweep
In this unique variation of the kimura, one can see the application of Tom’s notion of “perfect jiu jitsu” which is free of extraneous movements, adjusments or the use of strength.
Single Leg Half
Bernardo has been involved in so many wars throughout his extensive competition history but there are some matches that will go down in history. Check out some of these matches below and see how much of the techniques featured above are used throughout the matches!