My Favourite Spider Guard Variation and Triangle Choke Setup

The Spider Guard is a very diverse position.  Normally you start with the Double Feet on Biceps variation, but after that there are a TON of variations (including the Leg Lasso, de la Spider, Reverse de la Spider, Spider X, Collar-Spider, and Collar-Sleeve variations).

Of all these Spider Guard Variations the Collar-Spider is probably my very favourite.

We’ll go into more detail about it in a second, but basically you’ve got one grip on his sleeve and one grip on his opposite lapel.  One of your feet is on the biceps of the arm you’re controlling, and the other foot can be in any number of different positions. (more…)

What are the Collar-Sleeve, Collar-Spider and Reverse de la Riva Positions?

Today we’re going to talk about the fourth brand new instructional app in the Spider Guard Masterclass series, and cover a few new positions in the process…

The app is called Spider Guard Masterclass Volume 4: Next Level Spider Guard, Part 2, and it focuses on three powerful variations of Spider Guard:

  1. The Collar-Sleeve position,
  2. The Spider-Collar position, and
  3. The Reverse de la Riva position. (more…)

What are the Leg Lasso and Spider X Variations of Spider Guard?

We’ve been talking a lot about the instructional apps in the Spider Guard Masterclass series

And today we’re going to take a look at the third app in this series.  It’s called Spider Guard Masterclass Volume 3: Next Level Spider Guard, and it focuses on the Leg Lasso and Spider X variations of Spider Guard.

This app covers a LOT of the techniques used by the top competitors in the world when they deploy the Spider Guard! (more…)

Spinning Triangle Choke from Leg Lasso Spider Guard

The first time I saw this triangle choke setup was about 15 years ago when I was still working as a field biologist. At the time I was on a contract 3,000 miles away from home, and living out of a motel.

To stay in shape I went for runs and lifted weights on alternate days, but once a week I would drive for 2 hours each way (4 hours in the car total) to go to the nearest BJJ school.

Training there kept my head in the game, allowed me to blow off a little steam, and learn some cool new jiu-jitsu. (more…)

Powerful Options and Variations for the Berimbolo

The Berimbolo is an incredibly powerful technique in modern BJJ. It’s both a way of finalising a sweep and completely bypassing your opponent’s guard with a single technique.

Imagine not only being able to easily sweep your opponent from your open guard, but NOT having to fight your way past his guard.  Instead you directly teleport to a dominant, match-ending position such as mount or rear mount, bypassing his legs altogether.

Well, that’s the power of the Berimbolo, and you can’t really do modern BJJ without an understanding of this technique.  (more…)

Double Feet on Biceps Spider Guard

If you’ve ever been shown Spider Guard by your instructor then chances are it was the double feet on biceps variation. This is the classic form of Spider Guard first developed in the eighties, which has continued to change and evolve and as a consequence is still very effective today.

But it can seem like a complicated position, and if you’ve ever had problems with it then there might just be some help on the horizon.

Today we’re releasing the Double Feet on Biceps Spider Guard instructional app for iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle devices.  And it’s one of the most immediately applicable instructional apps I’ve ever seen.

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Understanding Spider Guard - the Critical Fundamentals

Today is the release date for the first of the five brand new Spider Guard instructional apps from Grapplearts.com.

The name of this app is ”Understanding Spider Guard, The Critical Fundamentals.” This may sound like a boring topic but I promise you that it’s anything but!!  It’s super-useful, super-applicable, and super-important information. (more…)

Black Belt Blindness, And Other Dangers....


A black belt is just a 2 inch wide piece of cloth, not a license to pontificate upon matters about which you are utterly ignorant.

It’s also doesn’t give you the right to have people’s unquestioning obedience.

To get a legitimate black belt in BJJ requires more time, effort, and investment than a black belt in almost any other martial art.  If someone has spent the blood, sweat and tears required to reach this rank, then likely their skill level in jiu-jitsu is quite high.

But that’s it.  That’s where the expertise stops. (more…)

A Spider Guard Triangle Choke Setup for No Gi

A lot of people think that Spider Guard is only applicable to BJJ with the gi.  They’re kinda right, but they’re also mostly wrong.

You see, it’s more complicated than “no gi equals no Spider Guard…”

First of all, if you get good at something as intricate and technical as Spider Guard then it develops your sensitivity, leg dexterity, coordination, strategic and tactical thinking like crazy.  It’s the ultimate attribute development tool for the guard. (more…)

Perspectives on BJJ Drilling - An Interview with SBG's Steve Whittier

Steve Whittier from SBG East Coast is a cool guy. He manages to combine both thoughtful analyses and controversial opinions into one eloquent package.

In this interview we talked about lots of different BJJ and MMA related topics, but the main emphasis and recurring theme was functional drilling and the efficacy of different types of BJJ training methods but we also covered self defense vs. sport Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ for people over 40.

You can listen to this interview several different ways… (more…)

How To Do the Twister the Easiest Way

The Twister is a flashy and hellishly effective submission made famous by Eddie Bravo.

It’s now illegal in IBJJF competition, but it shows up sometimes in submission grappling and you’re even starting to see it in MMA!

If you catch your training partners in it – carefully and gently of course – then you get major bragging rights and some instant ‘mat cred.’ (more…)

Grapplearts BJJ & Submission Grappling T-Shirts

A lot of people ask me about Grapplearts shirts. And while I’m happy to create them I don’t want to stock tons and tons of T-Shirt inventory in a cacophony of sizes and colours.

That’s why I tend to do shirts in limited edition campaigns: I put a design out there, and if we get enough interest in a in it then we go out and get the shirts printed up, ship them out, and then close down the offer.

But sometimes we make previous T Shirt designs available if enough people keep on voting for them.

Click here to see previous designs, vote to bring them back, and/or see any current T-Shirt campaigns in progress! (more…)

Kimura Armlock Grips Explained!

The Kimura, much like any other technique, is usually taught as a series of steps.

First do this…  Then move your hand here… Then adjust your body this way… Then finish by doing this other thing.

It can be a lot to remember, but it’s always easier to remember all the steps and adjustments if you understand WHY you’re doing them.

When I first learned about the Kimura armlock attack I got lots of contradictory, conflicting advice about applying this submission.  This was most notable when it came to the grip for the Kimura: some people told me that I absolutely had to control my opponent’s wrist with all 5 fingers together, but other people said it was OK to grab with your fingers on the opposite side of the wrist from your thumb.
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37 Powerful BJJ Submissions for Grapplers

Have you ever wondered what the most popular and powerful BJJ submissions in BJJ are?  Here’s our list of the top 37 submissions taught in BJJ academies all over the world.

WARNING: not all of these techniques are legal in IBJJF competition, or allowed at all schools.  But it’s still better to be familiar with these illegal techniques just in case someone tries to use them on you. And many of these illegal BJJ moves still have a ton of validity for MMA applications or self defense situations, so they are well worth learning! (more…)

A Sneaky Rolling Judo Choke!

In BJJ it’s often what you don’t see coming that kills you. Which is why it’s important to have a couple of surprise attacks in your arsenal.

Today’s video is from the Non-Stop Jiu-Jitsu instructional set that I did with BJJ world champion Brandon Mullins. It’s a rolling entry from Judo that takes you directly into one of the most powerful chokes in the entire jiu-jitsu repertoire: the Bow and Arrow choke.  It’s an example of the borders between Judo and jiu-jitsu becoming very fuzzy…  (more…)

World Championship Guard Passing with Leandro Lo

In BJJ it’s what you don’t know that hurts you. If you get caught in a position that you don’t have an answer to, that you don’t understand, then life on the mat just got exponentially more difficult.

This problem is most pronounced for the guard. It can be really difficult to keep up with the changing technology. One year it’s the X Guard, taking the world by storm, then it’s the 50/50 guard, and then it’s the worm guard…

You don’t necessarily need to add each of these new guard positions to your own personal repertoire, but you DO need to know how to shut them down. You need good answers for each of these positions. (more…)

BJJ Beginner Tips Interview and Podcast

In this Grapplearts interview I talk to BJJ Black Belt Ritchie Yip, focusing on tips that BJJ beginners need to know.  But sometimes the conversation goes a little off track!

You can follow/consume/download/watch this awesome and informative interview several different ways…

  1. You can watch the Youtube video below
  2. You can download the mp3 file by right clicking here and selecting ‘Save As’
  3. You can subscribe to the Grapplearts Radio Podcast in iTunes by clicking here (more…)

The Three Ways to Escape ANY Submission...

Jiu-jitsu has hundreds of submissions including chokes, cranks, armlocks, wristlocks, kneebars, footlocks, crushes, and many other ways to make people tap out.

But if you’re caught in a submission – any submission – there are only three ways to get out.  This relates to the timing of the defense: before, during or after.

Let’s go through them, one by one… (more…)

Three and a Half Techniques to Escape from a Tight Closed Guard Overhook

Just the other day I shared four counters to a pesky deep cross-collar grip from closed guard.

Well, the cross-collar grip isn’t the only way your opponent might try to destroy your posture…

There’s another posture-breaking grip that can be just as bad, and unlike the cross-collar this one can be used in BJJ, MMA and submission grappling.  Gi and no gi.   (more…)

How to Counter the Cross Lapel Grip from Closed Guard

Your opponent sneaking his hand deep on your lapel is always a bad situation.

Once he has this grip on you from his closed guard he can use it to break your posture forward, which kills your ability to pass the guard and is very tiring to fight against…

…or he can use it to attack you with cross-collar chokes (which have ended a LOT of matches)…

…or he uses your frantic reactions the threat of the grip to set up any number of armlocks, sweeps and other attacks. (more…)

The Three Most Important Pull-Up Variations for BJJ (Plus 16 Additional Variations)

There’s a ton of pulling in BJJ.

Regardless of whether you’re finishing an X choke, pulling your arm out of an almost-applied armbar, or breaking someone’s posture from guard, it’s all made a lot easier if you have a decent grip and good pulling power

Which makes pull-ups one of the most important exercises you can do for your jiu-jitsu.

But there are a lot of variations of the pull-up, and sometimes people are confused as to which variation they should do. (more…)

Top Secret Sentry Removal Technique

If you’re new to the martial arts then you might not get the humour of this, but believe me, there are many jackasses out there with their own versions of this information. The difference is that their tongues aren’t firmly planted in the side of their cheeks.

Anyway, this particular technique was far too deadly to put into Non-Stop Jiu-Jitsu – putting such information into the wrong hands would be completely irresponsible.

So we put it onto Youtube instead… (more…)