What Does This Legendary World Champion Think Should Be A Beginner's Focus In Jiu Jitsu?
What Every Beginner Should Focus In BJJ
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.
Explore the fundamentals of Jiu Jitsu to expand your understanding of the gentle art.
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 what he thinks every beginner should focus on in Jiu Jitsu. Often times we want to use advanced techniques as a beginner. However, Faria states that at least for the first year we should focus on the fundamentals. He uses an interesting phrase, “addicted to the basics.” Closed guard should be the focus: posture, passing, and sweeps. Escapes from side control are another important item Faria mentions. Even things that we believe that we have mastered like hip escapes should be revisited. Bernardo states that if we understand the fundamentals, advanced moves will subsequently become easy.
This video is a wonderful example of Bernardo’s ability to deliver value to even novice grapplers. Like all of Bernardo’s videos, there is 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.