Today’s guest is the BJJ legend that is Bernardo Faria!
It is a huge honour for me to feature Bernardo Rocha de Faria,
who is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor and instructor.
His bio is amazing. A four-time World Jiu-Jitsu Champion,
European Champion, Pan-American Champion and Brazilian National
Champion and now he runs a juggernaut of a BJJ learning platform
known as BJJ Fanatics, where you can find an instructional that
will help you improve your BJJ game in all areas from training,
game styles, mindset and so much more.
He has become a living legend in the sport. In February and
March 2013, Faria was ranked first in the IBJJF World Ranking of
all divisions, and was chosen as the best jiu jitsu athlete of
2015. Faria received his black belt from instructor Ricardo Marques
in 2008, and moved to the Alliance Jiu Jitsu Sao Paulo team to
train with mestre Fábio Gurgel in 2009. In June 2022 Faria was
inducted in the IBJJF Hall of Fame.
Bernardo Faria currently runs his own Jiu Jitsu academy in
Bedford, Massachusetts. He is a member of Alliance Jiu Jitsu team
and Marcelo Garcia Association.
I am a massive fan of his YouTube channel, "BJJ Fanatics", where
he regularly posts techniques alongside other elite Jiu Jitsu
practitioners and MMA fighters such as Dean Lister, John Danaher
and Gordon Ryan.
Here are some key points that I would advise you to concentrate
Getting to the top is usually just the start of you really
working towards becoming an expert so you should enjoy the journey
rather than the destination.
Bernardo went outside the traditional roles that his family
expected them to take on as a career, he went for the career he
wanted in life. Stop following the path that others have picked for
you, it is your life, follow the path that you want in life. Regret
is a horrible thing when you live a life for others.
Bernardo picked some techniques that he could become a
specialist in to win most of his matches. Instead of trying to
learn everything in BJJ, he become a god in using certain moves to
win. Invest your energies on become highly skilled in some areas,
become a specialist over a generalist, and once you have locked in
these key areas, then look to expand your skill set, rather than be
pretty good at most, become legendary at some.
Bernardo trains against all potential partners and learns how
to overcome their methods to learn how to then go to his preferred
methods, rather than just drill a method. He learnt how to use his
skills in real time against resisting opponents, rather than just
drilling the mechanics of the move. This way he learned how to
apply the move against his opponent regardless of the situation and
could manoeuvre the opponent into the situation he needed to apply
Bernardo used his small wins to build his confidence each day,
so he could figure out how to be confident in competing and
believing he could win tournaments. Like everyone else Bernardo has
to fight his negative self-talk, so he learnt to focus on his wins
to grow his confidence and using loses as a learning curve rather
than a weakness.
Bernardo used incremental improvements to become a better
Bernardo likes to utilise a routine in his training, to use his
work ethic to continually grow, develop his skills and uses it as a
restart, regardless of his win or loss, he centers himself by
following his training routine so he is always in the moment,
rather than living in the past.
Bernardo states he owes a lot to his parents support. You are
the average of the five people you spend the most time around.
Choose wisely. Pick the people that support you, inspire you and
push you to become a better person.
Bernardo continually pushes himself, despite being a legend, he
wants to learn, to see new things, try and learn as he trains
rather than resting on his laurels.
To become the best, Bernardo had to travel, to move away and
attend the elite academies etc. You may need to sacrifice and leave
your current location, to achieve the dream that you want in life.
To achieve your dreams, you may need to use short-term sacrifice to
find the resources that you will need to achieve your dream.
Sadness will not pay your bills. Every day is a new
Bernardo likes to approach decisions using an analytical
mindset and remove emotions.
Bernardo always wants to do his best every day. It is a good
way to look at your performance, you know truthfully if you gave
your best performance, and if not, what do you need to do to fix?
If you did and still lost, how can you get better for next time?
Where can you improve?
Bernardo continually tests new options, recovery methods,
training methods etc, to see what changes will help his overall
performance in his end goal. He likens this to AB testing like you
would see in business, engineering etc. How can you trial new
methods into your own training to see how it benefits your overall
Online courses are a great tool but must be utilized along with
actual real-life training. Use the online courses to deep dive into
the subjects and skills you are using during rolls etc.
Bernardo uses psychological tricks to let him become focused in
his rolls or competitions. He would list the things he was grateful
in his life, training, progress etc, to focus on the positive
aspects of his training, and then use each small win to boost his
confidence as he went on.
"Instead of feeling pressure about it, I would try and feel
happy about it".
"You can choose if you feel pressure or
"Everybody is the same on the mat" there is no
differences regardless of race, age, etc.
The lessons you learn from BJJ can be used to help you through
Self-improvement advice is just that advice! You don't need to
do what everyone else is doing, you can find the routine and habits
that will hep you the most. Keep experimenting and trying new
things, to see what works and what happens.
BJJ is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. There
are gyms all over the world. Do not settle, you can find the right
gym for you, the best coach, the type of classes you need to
attend, the type of opponents - those who are fighting to compete
or those who just want to get fit and learn something new and
everything in between.
About the Podcast
The Next Level Guy Show, a podcast where I interview experts to learn the hacks and tips to better our own lives. The website URL is https://www.nextlevelguy.com/ and previous guests have included Gary Vaynerchuk, Tom Bilyeu, Diamond Dallas Page, Mark Bell, Aubrey Marcus, Jay Morton, Jay Cutler, Josh Barnett, Mark Beaumont, Forrest Galante among others.