The Faria Sweep
I like the Faria Sweep; I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because—despite being in my 40s—the move is close enough to a wedgie to make me giggle like a 10 year old?
It also has the advantage of working really well. The more mature part of my brain likes that about it.
For those who aren’t familiar with the Faria sweep, it’s a gi-based sweep from the half guard that was invented by Bernardo Faria.
Bernardo Faria has insight into the half guard that only he can describe. Click Learn More!
Bernardo works a lot with half guard and advocates half guard as a good strategy for older grapplers (I did mention I’m in my 40s, right?)
I also like Masahiro Iwasaki’s instructional video on the half guard because it shows Bernardo’s willingness to learn someone else’s version of his namesake technique. Talk about a guy who has his own ego under control! Plus, it’s a reminder that our job as jiujiteros is to create our own games, and that’s exactly what Iwasaki does.
In the video, Masahiro Iwasaki is demonstrating his take on the Faria Sweep on Bernardo, and there are a few interesting differences.
Iwasaki is, of course, a great half guard player in his own right. So, let’s take a look at how he approaches the Faria Sweep.
First off, let’s look at the set up: Iwasaki starts in the deep half guard—on his back and facing upward and almost outward from his opponent, legs locked in a figure 4 around Bernardo’s leg.
As usual with the Faria Sweep, Iwasaki pulls his opponent’s lapel out of Bernardo’s belt and places the tail end of the lapel in the hand behind his opponent’s back, passing it over Bernardo’s thigh.
Then something interesting happens, Iwasaki allows his opponent to get the underhook and uses that underhook to his advantage.
Iwasaki locks down his opponent’s arm, essentially trapping Bernardo with his own underhook. Iwasaki then slips his underhooked hand under Bernardo’s thigh and takes the tail of Bernardo’s lapel in that hand.
Once he grabs Bernardo’s lapel, he has trapped both Bernardo’s arm and leg, using only one of his arms.
After that, it’s a simple matter for Iwasaki to grab Bernardo’s belt with his free hand, bridge, and complete the sweep.
Being able to control two of your opponent’s limbs with only one of your is an obvious, huge advantage. And finding those opportunities is the heart of what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is all about, and for that reason, both Bernardo Faria and Masahiro Iwasaki’s half guard instructional DVDs are worth a look!
In The No-Gi Half Guard instructional Bernardo covers everything from pulling half guard to transitioning from half guard to x-guard, and everything in between. A large section is dedicated to trouble shooting some of the problems you will face along the way to becoming a half guard beast like 5x World Champ Bernardo Faria!