Bernardo Faria had a dream-like 2015 world championship, one year ago.
He submitted all but one of his opponents on his way to a double gold campaign and his first black belt open class title.
One year later, the champion is working hard to keep his place on top of the Jiu-Jitsu food chain with his teammates and students at Marcelo Garcia’s academy, in New York City.
He took some time to talk exclusively with the GRACIEMAG.com
GRACIEMAG.COM: Compared to the 2015 Worlds, how prepare are you to the 2016 Worlds? How are you going to arrive in Long Beach in terms of technique and physical conditioning?
Bernardo Faria: I tried to do practically the same thing I did before the 2015 Worlds. I have 10 training sessions per week, divided in seven Jiu-Jitsu sessions, two physical conditioning sessions and one wrestling session. I feel great. Ten days before the 2015 Pan, I injured one of my ribs and that’s why I competed only in the open class. Now, I am 100% recovered and feeling great. I am also very happy. The fact that I already won the open class once gives me a good baggage and add to my confidence going in. I feel less of a pressure that comes with never having won the open class. In fact I wanted the tournament to come sooner. There’s still two weeks to go and that’s when it gets dangerous, once you are already ready to go, but you cannot stop training and that’s when you can get hurt.
GRACIEMAG.COM: For the first time in your career, you’ll compete at the Worlds as the reigning black belt open class champion. How is your mindset to compete in the pyramid?
I felt more pressure before I won last year. I don’t see the fact that I am the current champion as more pressure, but rather as a motivation. I feel more relaxed now. I’ll be there with the same desire to win I always have. I don’t know for how long I’ll be able to compete as I don’t know for how long I’ll be able to take this competitor’s life, but until I stop I will give my best. So that in the future, when I look back, I’ll be able to see that I gave my best to conquer all I could conquer. So it’s a motivation to win a second time. I may win and I may loose, so it’s all a big motivation for me.
GRACIEMAG.COM: The 2016 Worlds could be one of the most stacked of the recent times. The open class alone could gather names like yourself, Buchecha, Pena, Trans, Lo, Keenan, Erberth, Mahamed, Galvão, Barral, etc. How do you plan to beat all of those tough guys and keep your title?
Honestly, I don’t think a lot about the opponents. There are at least 15 very tough guys, but even if you go all the way to become the open class champion, you are not going to compete against all of them. You’ll fight three, four or five tops. So, at this moment I am thinking about myself, about my training and the techniques I still struggle with. Whenever I see someone doing a position I think I could have trouble with, I work on that. I’ll think about the opponents when the open class bracket comes out, and even then I’ll worry with one opponent at at time. I’ll take one step at a time. In every competition, my mindset is humble in a way that I know I could be finished in my first match, but confident in a way that I know I could win it all. I’m always humble and confident at the same time.
Don’t forget to register for the 2016 World championship.
The deadline is May 24.
Click here to sign up know.