Gi Or No Gi - That Is The Question...
Gi Or No Gi? What Should We Focus More?
Bernardo Faria is widely considered one of the most dominant super heavy weight fighters in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has won some of Jiu Jitsu most prestigious tournaments. For many years he has been the IBJJF World Champion. Certainly this is a testament to the high level of his technique. Yet one of the beautiful things about Bernardo’s Jiu Jitsu is the simplicity of many of his techniques. 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. He often states that he is not athletic or flexible. He just works hard and plays a simple game. Yet no one has had an answer for this simplistic yet effective game.
Bernardo has utilized his simple Jiu Jitsu game to dominate some of the world’s best grapplers. As a black belt he won IBJJF World Champion (2010, 2013, 2015), IBJJF Open Class World Champion 2015, IBJJF Pro League Champion 2014, IBJJF Pan-American Champion 2010, 2015, IBJJF Pan-American Open Class Champion 2010, 2016, CBJJ Brazilian Nationals Champion 2010, IBJJF Pro Cup Champion 2011, IBJJF European Champion 2010, 2011, 2012, IBJJF World Championships Runner Up 2011 (weight and open class), 2017, IBJJF World Championships 3rd place 2009 and IBJJF European Championships Open Weight Runner Up 2012.
Faria was drawn to Jiu Jitsu after being on the losing end of some play fights. At the young age of 14, with only a year’s worth of training, he knew Jiu Jitsu is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. From white to black belt, Bernardo was a student of Ricardo Marques. After he graduated from college, Faria’s coach encouraged him to move to Sao Paulo and train under the great Fabio Gurgel. At Gurgel’s academy, Bernardo had both exceptional instruction and team mates. Some of his training partners were Bruno Malficine, Michael Langhi, Sergio Morales, and Leo Nogueira. His time at Gurgel’s certainly paid off. He won many black belt world championships, Pan Americans and European competitions. In 2013, Bernardo moved to America to train and teach at the great Marcelo Garcia’s Academy. After his move to New York City, Faria continued to cement his legacy as one of the greatest super heavy weights to compete. He won more world championships. At Marcelo’s Bernardo also found his love and skill for teaching. He passionately communicated technique in a way that was beneficial to everyone from white to black belt. In 2017, Faria moved to Boston, subsequently retired from competition and opened a Jiu Jitsu academy.
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It is also important to note that Bernardo is an excellent example of what a human being should be. He is extremely kind hearted and always has a smile. He is always learning and his passion for Jiu Jitsu is contagious. Not only is he one of the best instructors and competitors in our beloved art of Jiu Jitsu, he is also one of kindest and gracious human beings that you will meet.
In this video Bernardo Faria explores gi versus no gi training. He starts by saying that to be a complete grappler we should do both. However, he also states that training gi will add value to your no gi game. He cites ADCC as evidence of this. Certainly the ADCC is the most prestigious tournament for no gi grappling. Faria argues that the majority of guys who win this no gi tournament spend some time training in the gi. He argues that the gi give you more tools that help your no gi game. Bernardo states that the ideal gi to no gi ratio is 70/30 or 60/40. At Marcelo’s school they train 50/50, which Faria thinks is also an excellent ratio.
This video is a wonderful example of Bernardo’s ability to deliver value to even novice grapplers. Like all of Bernardo’s videos, there are a lot of great insights. His simplistic yet effective approach to Jiu Jitsu is a wonderful resource to anyone who makes a careful study of them. Certainly, the Jiu Jitsu community is lucky to have Bernardo Faria.