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BJJ Instructional Videos
John Danaher Leglocks
John Danaher Back Attacks BJJ
Half Guard BJJ Instructional Video
Beating the Whizzer with Bernardo Faria

Beating the Whizzer with Bernardo Faria


Half guard is one of the most simple and effective guards.  If you spend time developing the half guard, you will be able to nullify a lot of fast paced guard passers and hit moves on everyone.  The half guard has long been considered a “basic” or “fundamental” guard.  This is because it is one of the older positions in bjj.  Since the induction of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions, we have seen the half guard utilized at the highest levels of competition. 

The half guard is one of the best positions to work from because of the fact that it is extremely versatile, it is simple and effective.  You can use the half guard for self-defense, MMA, gi and no gi bjj.  Some of the best people in the world have used the half guard, one of those people is 5x Black Belt world champion, Bernardo Faria.  Faria is infamous for having one of the most simple and effective games that there is because he plays the half guard. 

So why are we talking about the half guard when the title of this article is “beating the whizzer?”  Well, the fact of the matter is that when you play half guard, the majority of the sweeps come from what we call “the dogfight” position.  The dog fight is when you were in bottom half with the under hook and you come up to your knees with your opponent.  Typically you can hit a single leg or a double leg, but something that stops these sweeps is the whizzer.  To develop a good half, you need to be able to stop the whizzer.  So let’s learn how to do that with the man himself, Bernardo Faria.

Rollover Sweep From Dogfight With Bernardo Faria

We are going to take a look at a sweep from the dogfight with Bernardo Faria where his opponent is able to get the whizzer.  Bernardo is going to start by explaining to us what the dog fight is and introducing the position.   We can guarantee you that if you play half guard, this is a situation that you are going to encounter.  Check out the video below and then we will do a breakdown. 

Breakdown of the Rollover Sweep from Dogfight with Bernardo Faria:

So as you can see in the video above, Bernardo is going to start by getting the under hook in half guard.  One of the principles of the half guard is that you almost always want to get the under hook and block your opponent’s cross face.  This is because if you allow the person on top to get the under hook they will be able to flatten you and nullify much of your game. 

The cross face is also one of the most important things to evade when playing the half guard.  Although an under hook can be used to flatten you, if your opponent is able to get a cross face they can also force your shoulders/back to the mat and flatten you.  When playing the half guard you never want to allow your opponent to flatten you, the reason is if you are not on your side, you are weak.

Bernardo secures the under hook and then he will use his outside leg to twerk the knee of his opponent, this is so that he can come up to his knees easier and make it difficult for his opponent to stop.  Once he has the under hook and he does this knee twerk, he will “turn on the knee” or come up to his knees.  This is what we would refer to as “dogfight.” 

Both people are on their knees, one has the under hook and one may have the whizzer.  When someone does not have the whizzer you can attack the back or get a double leg.  Bernardo is going to try the double leg but the whizzer his opponent has is forcing Bernardo’s shoulder to the mat and making it hard.  IT is important to not that Bernardo is really going to try and get the double leg, he is not faking it.  IF he succeeds then he still gets the sweep.

This realistic reaction of your opponent pressuring with the whizzer and pushing into you is what will allow you to do the sweep.  This is a basic sweep but to get all of the details right, it is very advanced.  Once your opponent pushes back into you, this is your time to dive under their leg and rollover on your hip.  This sweep is occurring from momentum.  Anyways guys, hope you enjoyed this sweep, try it out this week in training.

IF you want to learn more high level and easy to use half guard tricks from Bernardo, check out his DVD and Digital download, “The Battle Tested Half Guard.”  This has long been one of our best-selling sets because so many people rant and rave about how Bernardo’s game is very good for the older guys and for people who are nursing injuries.  Anyways, check it out below!


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