Bernardo Faria has won numerous championships and medals in numerous competitions. Among his top achievements are: World Champion in 2010, 2013, and 2015; 2014 IBJJF Pro League Champion; and 2016 Pan American Champion in the absolute division.
But how exactly does a top competitor like him train himself and his students.
The Jiu-Jitsu Times’ Mark Mullen sat down with Professor Faria to get some answers.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: When do you find the time to do your own technical training and rolling? What do you like most about spending your time at the academy? Is teaching jiu-jitsu your dream job?
Bernardo Faria: I do my own technical training and rolling together with everyone. It is the same class.
The only difference when I am training for tournaments is that I try to train with the toughest guys that are on the mats. All of them in a row so I don’t rest. That is my way to push myself really hard. I go with Mateus, I go with Marcelo, I go with John, I go with Manche, I go with Marcos, I go with Mateus again maybe I go with Marcelo again and that’s the way.
That is how I believe that you can push yourself really hard in the same class as everyone.
Maybe the guy who is 40 years old and is just there for fun, he is going to train one round and then he is going to rest one round. He is going to pick one blue belt and go slow, and he is right. He is not there to try and kill one lion per day.
For us that are competing, we should try to do that. So I always try to go as hard possible when it is the competition season.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: Prof. Bernardo, which classes do you teach on the schedule at the gym? How do you like to run your classes? Do you push the students hard or do you go for a more relaxed style? Do you do much physical conditioning in your classes? Are your classes different than the other instructors? How does the training in your class change when a competition approaches?
Bernardo Faria: My classes are pretty much what I learned from my teachers. What I learned from Ricardo Marques my first teacher. What I learned from Fabio Gurgel. What I learned from Marcelo.
I do a warm up, probably like 10-15 minutes. Then I teach two or three techniques and then we roll. I am not that type of teacher who pushes the students really hard. I believe that whoever wants to train hard is going to train hard.
Even the warm up, I do a warm up really to warm up. Is not really to go very hard with the students. I believe that the name of the warm up says “warm up,” then you have the techniques, and then you have the roll. I believe that the roll is the time that whoever wants to train really hard is going to train really hard. Whoever goes there and just train for a hobby and train relaxed is going to train relaxed. So I run relaxed classes.
But when I am competing, I do the sparring very, very hard. I always try to pick the toughest guys on the mat. This is what I suggest to the students. If you do as a professional, when it is the time for sparring, go as hard as you can and do extra rounds. When the time is over, do a little more. I believe that worked for me really well.
Anyone can do my class. It can be an old guy like 50 years old who is there for a hobby and not professional. He can easily do the warm up and he can learn the techniques. He can roll on his rhythm.
If there is a young guy over there who is trying to win the Worlds or something. He is going to do the warm up, he is going to do the techniques, and during the sparring he is going to go as hard as he can and trying to get as tired as possible. That is the way that I think.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: What is your typical day like?
Bernardo Faria: My day, normally when I train for the tournaments I do two trainings per day. It can be two jiu-jitsu trainings, or maybe jiu-jitsu and conditioning, or maybe wrestling and jiu-jitsu.
Now that I am off season and I am coming back from a chest injury I try to do one training per day. I do jiu-jitsu or wrestling or physical conditioning and jiu-jitsu. That is how I try to do it.
I love teaching jiu-jitsu. Sometimes it is tough when you are training hard and teaching.
It can be a little too much on the mats and too much on your body. But in general, I really love teaching jiu-jitsu. I really enjoy it.
It is hard to say if it is a dream job because I have a lot of dreams. But I really love teaching. I love the jiu-jitsu journey. Everything, every aspect. I love teaching seminars, I love teaching class, I love competing, I love talking about it, I love studying jiu-jitsu. I love all of the aspects of jiu-jitsu.