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Mount Maintenance Tips With Bernardo Faria

Mount Maintenance Tips With Bernardo Faria


One of the most dominant positions in all of Jiu Jitsu, and even in any type of a fight is top mount.  There is nothing more powerful as the person on top in that situation than the ability to control your opponent with your legs and hips while freeing up your hands to deliver incredibly painful strikes anywhere on your opponent you would like.  

As the person on the bottom in the mount position, well, there is nothing more terrifying, especially in a self defense situation.  While it’s never fun to be submitted, at least on the mats you know you have the out of tapping, with the added benefit of knowing that your opponent is not allowed to throw strikes.  

In other video breakdowns we will take a look at how to escape this awful position, but for now we are going to actually focus on the opposite, how do we maintain mount and keep the opponent from escaping so that we are able to get to work and get our submission to end the match with a victory?

How to not lose the  mount in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by Bernardo Faria a 5 time Black Belt world champion and all around phenomenal athlete is here to show us some tips and tricks on how we can maintain control in the mount and dominate our opponent from his latest instructional (not yet available at the time of this article) Mount Attacks.  Bernardo divulges to us that his latest video instructional is broken down into 3 parts.

Part 1: How to maintain mount, how to control the opponent and counter their escape attempts. 

Part 2: How to attack from the mount including transitions etc. 

Part 3: How do you get to the mount in the first place. 

Without developing all three of these areas, you will struggle to be successful with the mount positions because each of the three parts is important and necessary to have a strong mount game.  Let’s check it out and see what we can learn from one of the best in the world.  


Starting out, we are going to look at how to deal with the opponent attempting the elbow escape.  Bernardo is starting out in top mount position with his training partner on bottom keeping both arms tight to their body and their hands in the middle of their chest.  

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The first thing Bernardo’s training partner is going to do in order to attempt the elbow escape is to get on his side.  Bernardo shuts this down by modifying his base and basing out with one hand while reaching in front of his training partner’s face and grabbing the lapel behind the training partner’s head. Once he has the lapel grip behind his training partner’s head he simply extends his arm and forces him to look the other direction. 

This can be done as a drill because what generally will happen in a match is the opponent will try to elbow escape and when it get’s shut down using this method, because of the force on their neck to look the other direction, they are already in position to do the same elbow escape but on the other side.  It’s a good idea to get comfortable with switching back and forth shutting down this escape on each side several times in drilling so that when it happens in competition it is a natural reaction for you to simply adjust, switch sides and continue on.  

Obviously this method of mount retention would require the opponent have a Gi on, or a jacket of some sort in the case of a street fight situation.  That being said, we need an option for No Gi, or a naked attacker in a street fight situation. You just never know when you may get attacked by a naked person these days, it’s best to be prepared for everything.  

The No Gi variation of this is quite simple, and honestly, it looks to be more painful.  I mean, seriously, does this guy look like he is having fun? 


In this variation, rather than grabbing the lapel Bernardo is reaching deep under the opponent’s head ensuring his bicep is against their face and his shoulder is pressuring in.  As he reaches deep, he is looking to grab near the opponent’s arm pit, or as close as possible. As you can see in the picture above, the further Bernardo reaches the more pressure is applied to the opponent’s face.  

The only other variation of this technique is rather than adjusting his base by bringing his knee closer to the opponent’s head, he is going to adjust the opposite direction this time and actually lower his hips into his partner to increase control.  He doesn’t show doing this however if you are struggling with control here you could experiment with grape vines on the opponent’s leg or legs to further reduce mobility, the only issue there is it may relieve some of the pressure on their face.  

What I enjoy most about these techniques, and a lot of Bernardo’s techniques is that they are not complicated, and he breaks them down into incredibly easy to remember, and easy to execute steps.  Generally speaking, the majority of his techniques do not require you to be a certain size or have a certain amount of muscle to dominate the opponent. Athleticism and strength are simply overshadowed by superior technique.  

If you are looking to take your game to the next level, going above and beyond what you are learning at your academy, but also looking to keep it simple in the process, you need to check out any of Bernardo’s video instructionals, he has many.  Whether you want to work on passing, retaining guard or attacking he has an instructional for you. You can expect his instructionals to be just like the video we looked at today, easy to follow and effective instruction that is sure to take your game to new levels.  If you truly study the techniques and implement them into your game, you will be dominating on the mats in no time at all and wondering how you ever survived with out these gold nuggets of information from one of the best in the world.

Bernardo Faria is one of the most accomplished competitors and AMBASSADORS of Jiu-Jitsu. His instructional Foundations of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will lay the groundwork for you like NO OTHER. Get in early on your Jiu-Jitsu journey to reach your FULL POTENTIAL!!



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