The Best BJJ Z Guard Game by Bernardo Faria
Bernardo Faria is a BJJ champion who is skilled at so many aspects of Jiu Jitsu. He can beat you up almost anywhere on the mat. With a multitude of championship titles and medals to his name, there are a few areas in particular that he really shines. One of those areas happens to be the z guard. Bernardo Faria’s z guard game is top notch and helps him dominate the opponents that stand in his way. He has used it to decimate other black belts on the road to tournament wins. But why is his z guard game so successful? Here are a few of the reasons why…
BJJ Z Guard Key Components
The knee shield
Part of the success of his z guard is because of the knee he uses in between him and his opponents. With one leg hooking his opponent’s leg, he has a solid connection. His other knee keeps his opponents from putting their weight on him. With that knee, his opponents are not able to wear him down with their weight. Just by using some forward pressure, he keeps himself safe. Such a small detail, yet so very important.
The truly beautiful aspect of Faria’s z guard is that he has power sweeps at his disposal from the position. In some matches, Bernardo pulls z guard, so that he can sweep then get right on top. Unlike standard half guard, z guard gives you space to work, without being able to get crossfaced by the opponent on top. One sweep that is particularly effective from z guard that Bernardo uses, uses an underhook and the opponent’s lapel. In the video below, you can see him use the sweep over and over, sometimes with variation.
Going to deep half
When Bernardo has a tough time getting the underhook, usually because of the opponent attempting a knee slice pass, he easily able to transfer to the deep half guard position. The sequence of z guard to deep half to a sweep is relatively smooth, and once again, Faria is able to get on top of his opponent without wasting too much energy. The transfer is natural and now the ability to use deep half sweeps are a real possibility.
Bernardo Faria is a true master of guards. His closed guard, his deep half guard, and his z guard are world class. Having a energy efficient, high percentage game like Faria’s game is one that you need to have. He has some awesome instructional DVD’s out, with his High Percentage Submissions DVD set being one of my favorites. It is one you should check out too.