BJJ Fanatics Gift Guide: Bernardo Faria
In this installment of the BJJ Fanatics Gift Guide, we want to explore the work of one of the most respected BJJ athletes and instructors in the history of the sport, Bernardo Faria. Known worldwide for being one of the most approachable and expert instructors out there today, this Alliance black belt who spent a number of years as the head instructor at the illustrious Marcelo Garcia Academy in Manhattan consistently has seminars booked all over the world. Bernardo has also built on his reputation as both a fierce competitor having won the coveted IBJJF World Championships an incredible 5 times. One of the key distinguishing factors in Bernardo's teaching is his ability to break his techniques into easy to digest lessons that can be immediately put into practice by EVERY practitioner, regardless of skill level and athleticism. His instruction is one of the most transferable of any BJJ black belt out there today. This means that regardless of your current skill or experience level, you are guaranteed to take away something that can be applied immediately to your game.
For more about Bernardo's life and career, check out the fighter page at BJJ Fanatics here.
Bernardo Faria's Closed Guard
The closed guard is one of the first positions we are exposed to the first few weeks of our jiu jitsu training in some shape or form. It can also be one of the positions that we mistakenly rush through or think we've mastered well before we really have. Bernardo Faria's teaching style can remind us that there are many nuances that, once learned will open up new pathways to success.
The closed guard is a crucial position to build a high level of competency because from a self defense perspective, it is one of the most crucial positions from which we can control an attackers posture and maintain a good distance to prevent strikes, or even tie up their limbs to prevent them from doing further damage. From a competitive BJJ perspective, the closed guard is sometimes a forgotten position that people eagerly run from in favor of fancier techniques. The practitioners that spend the quality time necessary to perfect closed guard controlling techniques and submissions will often meet opponents who have not spent that quality time and will thereby find themselves in a much superior position from which to defeat their opponents.
In the video below, Bernardo shows one of the positions for which he is most famous for, the omoplata. His "old school" omoplata requires no special flexibility or athleticism to achieve. Once you've sampled this technique, check out Bernardo's full closed guard course here at BJJ Fanatics, available in DVD and On Demand formats.
Bernardo Faria's Half Guard
As good as Bernardo Faria's classic closed guard is, it is nowhere on the level of his half guard. The half guard is easily his most successful and effective positions, having used it against a who's who of BJJ competitors like Xande Ribeiro and Rafael Lovato, Jr, just to name a few of the world-class athletes that have been unable to stop this powerful position.
A strong half guard game can make it very easy for you to withstand an amazing amount of pressure from your opponents. A strong half guard game, like the one personified by Bernardo Faria also means that you are able to stay incredibly mobile getting underneath your opponents and being able to sweep and reverse them from all angles. By making strong top players unsure and unstable you will easily be able to turn the tables on them at will.
In the video below, Bernardo shows his variation of the 'taking out the trash' sweep from half guard. Once you see how easy he makes half guard look, you will want to check out his "Battle Tested Half Guard" series, available at this link in On Demand format.
Bernardo Faria's Pressure Passing
Passing a good BJJ player's guard can be one of the most difficult skills to learn. There are so many moving parts and problems to address, that it can sometimes be too much to manage. Not only do I have to move my own legs and hips around my opponent's hips, using balance, flexibility, dexterity, I must also effectively stop my opponent from using their legs, hips, arms, and grips from trying to stop me from accomplishing my pass. The idea of pressure passing involves maximizing the control of an opponent's hips, limbs and body with an incredible pressure that neutralizes their ability to slow your pass. It is a style of passing that creates a virtual steamroller effect that can almost generate a submission in itself from the opponent who is withstanding the incredible pressure.
In the video below, Bernardo highlights all of the key principles that form the foundation of his pressure passing system. On these principles, the majority of the techniques from his "Battle Tested Pressure Passing" system are derived. He shares the system with you in this combination DVD and On Demand 4 volume set available here from BJJ Fanatics.
Bernardo Faria's Submissions
Bernardo is just not a positional player. He is also well known for his submissions. In order to demonstrate the power of his omoplata, he once caught everyone in attendance (over 25 people) in the same technique using his omoplata system. If you want to have the same ability, you can start here with his newest submission series focused on the omoplata available here.
In the video below, Bernardo shares a unique "twist" (see what we did there?) on the side mount armbar attack. If you'd like the full array of Bernardo Faria's submission game that helped him get to the top of the world championship podium not once, but 5 times, check out "Submissions from Everywhere" here.
Bernardo Faria's Escapes
Having great positional and submission escapes is not only a great defensive skill that we all can get better at, it is also from great defenses that the best offensive plays get launched. When you have solid escapes, you become much more calm, knowing that if you end up in a bad spot, you will be able to get out of there with no problem. This allows you to open up your game and present a much more dangerous and formidable opponent to those you train with or compete against.
In the video below, Bernardo shows a great escape from the ultra frustrating North/South position. In his unique style, he takes one of the hardest positions to deal with and easily works his way out. You will no doubt want to take advantage of his knowledge and teaching style by checking out his 4 volume "Escapes from Everywhere" series available here at BJJ Fanatics!
In closing, Bernardo Faria will go down in history as one of the top competitors in BJJ ever. He has also followed the lead of one of his mentors, Marcelo Garcia in becoming an amazing teacher who is willing to share all elements of his game in a way that is incredibly accessible for practitioners of all levels.
Check out BJJ Fanatics today and get yourself a piece or maybe all of Bernardo's game!