BJJ world champion Bernardo Faria talks training at Alliance SP, half guard, and his friends in Poland


Bernardo Faria is a World Jiu-Jitsu champion from the Alliance Jiu-Jitsu academy who holds an extensive competitive resume with titles at the world’ top tournaments such as the European Open, Pan American and Brazilian Champion. Bernardo Faria is a black belt under Ricardo Marques who moved to the Alliance team in 2009.

1. Hi Bernardo, can you please guide us through your journey in Jiu-Jitsu?

Winning the gold at the Pans 2012

I started to train BJJ in 2001 when I was 14 years old. I started with my ex-teacher Ricardo Marques in my hometown,Juiz de Fora. I got all my belts from my ex-teacher Ricardo, and in the end of 2008 I got my Black Belt from Ricardo and I finished my college (Business and Administration College), so me and Ricardo decided that it would be better for my BJJ career to move to a big team for me to get more oportunites and tough trainings, so I went in January of 2009 to Alliance in Sao Paulo to be student of Fabio Gurgel.2. When did you know that you wanted to dedicate your life to Jiu-Jitsu?

I saw that when I was 16 years, and I saw that I loved BJJ and that I would like to live and work for this.

3. What are the main differences between training at Alliance SP and the training at your original team?

At Alliance SP you have Fabio Gurge on your side all the time , and he is a great coach, manager, athlete and friend, so I’m sure that I have the best suport to follow my dreams in the sport, and Alliance is very nice too because we have many very very good training partners too. So, its very nice to train right there.

4. How does your week schedule look like when you are preparing for a important tournament? (how many bjj training sessions, how much drilling, strength and conditionning etc..)

Bernardo with his mentor Fabio Gurgel
I normally train 2x BJJ training per day, strength & conditioning 2 or 3 times a week, and some more drilling trainings andsometimes some Judo training too. So, I train 3 times a day normally, sometimes, 4 times a day, and when Im very very tired only 2 times a day, it depends on how Im feeling.5. Can you guide us through your way of eating (nutrition) when you are preparing for a competition, and do you have to cut much weight?

Actually I dont need to cut weight, now Im with 100 kg with gi, and my division goes until 100,5 kg with gi, so im 500 grams under my division and im eating as much as I want. I dont use to do some kind of diet, I just try to always eat healthy things, without fat. This is the way I do.

6. At what weight do you perform better, super pesado or pesado?

Now, Im feeling better at Super Pesado, because I’m stronger and heavy but with the same conditioning of Pesado, so im feeling very good.

7. Who is your mentor in BJJ, and what are the lessons that you have learned from them?

Bernardo with his parents and 2 brothers
My mentors are my ex-teacher Ricardo Marques, who is one of my best friends today, and Fabio Gurgel because as I saidbefore, he was a great athlete and today he is one of the best coachs of BJJ and a great manager too, having the best BJJ Team of the World, so I admire a lot him.8. What competitions do you plan on doing in 2012?

I will try to compete all year in all the main tournaments, like Europeans, Pan Ams, World Pro, Brazilian Nationals, Worlds and Worlds No-gi, and all tournaments that pays a good money, so these are my focus in the year.

9.You are famous for you deadly sweeps from deep half guard. How much do you focus on that position in training, and what are other weapons in your game?

I train a lot half guard, and I think this is one of my best position because I do it since 2003 when I was blue belt Juvenile, so during these many years I improved a lot my half guard. But at training I always try to train a lot other games, like closed guard, x-guard, butterfly guard, because I think is very important to be always improving your game with diferent situations. I like a lot my omoplata, a position that I use a lot in all tournaments. I also like my way to pass guard, because it is one position that who is on top fells very comfortabe and who is under fells very very bad…

10. How was your trip to Poland in 2011, where you won the world pro Polish trials? (please tell us about your Polish friends, the seminars you did, visiting Poland, etc..)

Bernardo with his Polish friends
I’ve already been  4 times to Poland, 3 times to make seminars and 1 time to compete in Warsaw the trials for World Pro.For seminars, I visited one time Poznan and 2 times one litle town that the name is Piensk. I really liked a lot Poland, because everybody is very friendly and everybody loves BJJ and fights, so I enjoyed a lot right there and Im happy to know that I have many friends right there.11. Bernardo, all the best for 2012, and we look forward to seeing you becoming once again world champion!

Thanks a lot my friend, was a pleasure to answer this interview for you guys, and congrats about the web-site, it is very nice to see the BJJ growing in all of the World. I hope come back to Poland soon to meet the Polish BJJ guys… seee youuu, take care,