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.
All those attributes will have direct carry-over when you take off the gi for some submission grappling training (this is one reason why so many Abu Dhabi champions – competing in No Gi – came up through the BJJ ranks training with the gi).
Another way in which developing the Spider Guard helps is that most of the concepts and principles have direct carry-over to any other form of grappling. This is true regardless of whether you’re talking about BJJ, MMA, Sambo, Judo, or no gi submission grappling, and regardless of whether you’re wearing a gi, rash guard and board shorts, or nothing but old-school speedos.
A concept transcends the specifics of whether you’re wearing a gi or not. Concepts are universal.
This sounds all touchy-feely, but I’ve got a really cool and concise example for you.
Here’s a video of my friend Elliott Bayev teaching how to use a common gi-based Closed Guard and Spider Guard triangle choke setup in no gi.
The key to this setup is the concept of Push-Pull. And this concept can be applied regardless of whether you’re wearing a gi or not.
Watch the video below to see exactly what I mean by this. Then go choke someone out with it for me!