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…)
If you grapple then you have to use the omoplata. After all, it’s one of the ‘big five’ attacks from the guard (armbar, kimura, triangle, guillotine and omoplata).
Much of the time the omoplata ends up functioning as a sweep – your opponent rolls out of it to escape, you follow him, and get to the top. That’s not a problem – you’re now on top after all – but wouldn’t it have been nice to get the submission instead?
Let me introduce you to a variation of the omoplata called ‘The Rack’. (more…)
This is the easiest move in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
It’s a move that you can learn today and use tomorrow (especially if you’ve been drilling your triangle choke details that we covered in another recent blog post).
Hint: it’s from the Double Biceps Spider Guard.
Check out the video below – Elliott reminds me of a trapdoor spider exploding out of it’s lair when he slams it on. Then give the move a try and let me know what you think in the comments below! (more…)
Today’s video clip is about a rarely-discussed but absolutely essential aspect of the Spider Guard.
It’s the secret sauce of the Spider Guard. And it comes down to pressure…
Pressure is one of those things that can be hard to see if you don’t know what you’re looking for. But there’s no mistaking pressure when you feel it! (more…)
Some techniques just require a bit more tweaking than others…
For example, when I was a whitebelt the armbar was fairly easy to learn. The triangle choke, on the other hand, was relatively easy to apply, but hard to finish, (which was very frustrating).
It took a lot of experimentation, coaching and adjusting before I was able to successfully choke out even cooperating, non-resisting partners with the triangle. (more…)
After almost 6 months of planning, filming and editing Spider Guard Masterclass is now ready for release!
I’m biased of course, but I think that this is an absolutely amazing project. It’s an A to Z reference guide for the Spider Guard, which is arguably the most dominant form of open guard in modern BJJ.
Checking out this instructional is also risk free: if you don’t absolutely love it, then I’ll buy it back from you anytime in the first year!
OK, this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen…
I recently did an interview with Elliott Bayev on how to build BJJ gameplans. While we were talking Elliott dropped some hints about the Spider Guard project that we’ve been working on together…
One of the things that Elliott did for this project was to create an in-depth mindmap showing his entire Spider Guard gameplan. And you can get that gameplan completely for free right now. (more…)
Here’s a really cool video interview I did with my friend, BJJ blackbelt, renowned coach, and fierce competitor Elliott Bayev.
This interview is special because we break down the steps of building a BJJ gameplan. We go right from the basic BJJ self defense gameplan, and build up to the intricate strategies used by world class competitors.
There are tons of immediately useful takeaways here.
Along the way we also discuss self defense, the role of competition, and the evolution of new techniques and positions in BJJ.
This should really help you formulate your own gameplans.
I often hear from people distraught about some area of their jiu-jitsu lagging behind.
It might be their sweeps from the closed guard, their submissions from side mount, their escapes from rear mount, or their butterfly guard passes, but in that that one specific area they’re just not as good at as they should be.
Here’s the thing though: there will ALWAYS be areas where you are lagging behind! (more…)
The omoplata armlock is one of the heavy hitters in the jiu-jitsu arsenal. It’s a very effective submission in its own right, but it also sets up many other submissions and can be used to sweep an opponent.
Here’s a 3 1/2 minute video breakdown of a high percentage omoplata entry from Spider Guard. (more…)
Here’s some seriously advanced stuff for you: renowned black belt competitor Joao Miyao breaking down the Ninja Armlock from Berimbolo.
There’s never been a better time to get better at BJJ.
A sixteenth century samurai who wanted to improve his duelling skills had relatively limited options. If he put up with enough hazing and character testing then, maybe, his sensei would eventually decide to teach him some good stuff. And hopefully he would have learned some things by watching, or participating in, the occasional sword fight. (more…)
My friend Ostap Manastyrski and I recently shot a video about the evolving trend in the competitive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world that involves playing with the lapels of your opponent.
People are now doing spider guard on the lapels, attacking with omoplata-style movements against the lapels, and developing all kinds of new gi-based tricks and strategies to manipulate and off balance their opponents from the bottom.
As we say in the video, we’re not sure if this is a good thing or not. But like it or not, it IS a very real trend, so if you compete you need to be aware that it’s going on… (more…)
What is the Spider Guard?
The Spider Guard is a form of Open Guard where you grip your opponent’s wrists or sleeves and have at least one foot controlling at least one of his arms. Typically the sole of your foot will be placed against his biceps, or your leg will spiral around his elbow with your toes hiding underneath his upper arm.
Are you confused about the definition of the Open Guard? You are NOT alone. In fact, when I started BJJ someone tried to explain the different variations of the Open Guard to me and I think his explanation left me more confused than I had been originally.
So, what is the Open Guard? (more…)
Passing the guard of a skilled opponent is one of the hardest things to do in BJJ.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at high level BJJ and submission grappling competition like the Mundials or ADCC. (more…)
By Stephan Kesting and Elliott Bayev
Principal Photography by Keith Haist
Originally Published in Ultimate Grappling Magazine (more…)
I’ve recently featured a fair bit of content from various guest authors. And that’s a good thing, because different perspectives are critical to your improvement; after all, no single person can show you everything you need to know about grappling. (more…)
Heres’s a really cool resource for you, something that I’ve received a TON of positive feedback on. It’s a free, downloadable book that breaks down the many different variations of the Guard position with detailed descriptions and lots of pretty pictures! And you can grab it super easily, for free… (more…)
Physical attributes are things like balance, neck strength, limb length, explosiveness, leg flexibility, and percent body fat. Your physical attributes are the foundation of what you can do with your body, and are influenced by genetics, training, age and injuries. (more…)
Grip fighting is very, very important in grappling. Getting your preferred grip and preventing your opponent from getting his grip is a key component of setting up throws with the gi, takedowns without the gi, sinking chokes, passing the guard, sweeping your opponent from the guard, and so on.