TONS of top BJJ practioners use the spider guard as their primary form of guard from the bottom. This position has won many BJJ tournaments, from local competitions to the Mundials.
And although you’d think that these champions would be completely lost in no gi submission grappling competitions like ADCC that’s usually just not the case. Even though there aren’t any sleeves or collars to hold onto in no gi these guys usually do OK. Or even win the entire competition (as has happened many times before).
Part of the reason for the success of spider guard specialists is that this sort of game tends to develop high levels of leg dexterity, as well as a very intellectual, strategic approach to the BJJ guard game.
And so when the gi comes off the same dexterity that served you well in spider guard helps you with the forms of guard that work better in No Gi.
But it also goes further than that…
You see, concepts trump techniques every time. And in the video below Elliott Bayev and I go into detail about how something called ‘the push-pull concept’ in spider guard can be translated to no gi grappling.
The same type of tension you use in spider guard to make your opponent feel like he’s a helpless scarecrow can be generated in no gi. It’s hard to control the wrists though, so the trick is knowing where to grip and where to put your feet.
Plus in the same (short) video there’s also a pretty sweet triangle choke setup that your opponent probably won’t see coming!