In Judo there is the concept of ‘Tokui Waza’, which means your “favorite” or “best” technique. This is the technique, or techniques, which you are most comfortable with and use when the chips are down.
In Bernardo Faria’s case, his Tokui Waza has to be the over-under guard pass. This pressure-based technique has resulted in a boatload of gold medals for Bernardo, most recently a gold in both his weight division and the absolute division at the 2015 BJJ Mundials.
In the extensive interview I did with Bernardo he talked about how he has been using the over-under pass since he was a yellow belt. Which means he has an incredible amount of experience with it, and has answers for almost every problem a resisting opponent will throw at him.
If you watch him compete you’ll notice that he really only goes for this one guard pass regardless of the type of guard he encounters. He has developed ways to get into the starting position he needs for this pass (one arm under the leg, one arm over) against closed guard, open guard, spider guard, de la Riva guard, butterfly guard, and every other possible position.
(Incidentally Bernardo’s signature deep half guard sweep – coming up into a single leg – ends up with him in the perfect arm position to go directly into the over-under pass as well. So it really does all tie together.)
Here’s an example of how he sets up and executes his signature guard pass against the closed guard. Enjoy!