Spider Guard

Leg Lasso Spider Guard Pass

How to pass leg lasso spider guard with Rob Biernacki

If you've ever been caught in the leg lasso position by someone with a good spider guard then you'll know exactly how a fly feels when it gets caught in the web of a big, old, nasty spider... Basically, in a correctly executed leg lasso spider guard you're in deep trouble! Your arms are both trapped so you won't be able to make effective grips.  Because of the tremendous leverage of the … [Read more...]

How to Train BJJ with an Injured Neck

How to train BJJ with a sore neck

Necks are delicate things.  Seven small stacked cervical vertebrae protecting all the nerves in your spinal cord and held together with a multitude of flimsy ligaments and muscles. Yet in BJJ we stress the neck continuously.  We attack it with chokes, crucifixes, and cranks.  We stack our opponents, turn their heads with crossfaces, and scissor his head with our legs.  We also use our head and … [Read more...]

Pre-planning the Tap and Climbing Everest…

How climbing Mount Everest applies to BJJ

We'll get to the Mount Everest part later, but first let me tell you a story about the other day when I was sparring with a black belt training partner... My partner was using the spider guard, a position he's spent quite a bit of time developing in the last year.  I got sloppy for a second and he slammed on a triangle choke from the double biceps spider guard position (using a variation of … [Read more...]

Finger Pain in BJJ and What to Do About It

Hand and finger pain in BJJ

"My Fingers Hurt..." I get a lot of emails, tweets and messages from BJJ practitioners about fingers hurting all the time. For example, I asked a question about BJJ hand pain on Twitter got a ton of responses (click here to see them on Twitter), including a disconcerting number of white belts who had this problem. So it's a real problem, and not only for people who've been doing the sport a … [Read more...]

How to Stop the Leg Shuck Pass

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The leg shuck pass has become a very popular, very powerful way to pass the guard. This pass is applied from the feet against many types of open guard. It involves an angle change, hipping in, and pushing your opponent's leg out of position. If all goes well then you end up in a very good position on your opponent's side. You should definitely be familiar with the leg shuck, especially if … [Read more...]

Does the Spider Guard Translate At All to No Gi?

No gi Spider Guard

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 … [Read more...]

How to Tape Your Fingers for BJJ

How and why to tape you fingers in BJJ

Some BJJ players - including myself - train and compete with their hands au naturel. But BJJ can be rough on the hands and fingers, especially grip-dependent positions like Spider Guard and de la Riva, and some competitors have so much tape covering their fingers that they look like mummies shambling out from beneath an Egyptian pyramid. In the video below BJJ black belt Rob Biernacki and I … [Read more...]

Your Open Guard Options vs. Standing Opponents

Two types of guard vs standing opponents

If you end up on the bottom with your opponent standing up and detached from you then be prepared for a very frantic and dangerous scramble.  Unhindered by your grips and hooks he can deploy his favourite Open Guard passes on you without having to feel endangered by your own attacks. And if he's an athletic guy then the situation is even worse.  He'll be able to use his speed and explosiveness … [Read more...]

How to Pass the Leg Lasso in Spider Guard


Passing the guard of a good Spider Guard player is one of the most difficult, most frustrating aspects of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. And one of the very worst variations of Spider Guard to deal with is the 'Leg Lasso.'  This is when your opponent wraps his leg around your arm and buries his foot under your armpit. (If you can't visualise the Leg Lasso from this description then watch the video - … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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

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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.  And in the process we're going to talk about some very powerful open guard positions... The app is called Spider Guard Masterclass Volume 4: Next Level Spider Guard, Part 2, and it focuses on three powerful variations of Spider … [Read more...]

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

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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 … [Read more...]

Spinning Triangle Choke from Leg Lasso Spider Guard

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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 … [Read more...]

Powerful Options and Variations for the Berimbolo

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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 … [Read more...]

Double Feet on Biceps Spider Guard

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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 … [Read more...]

Understanding Spider Guard – the Critical Fundamentals

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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. … [Read 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 … [Read more...]

A Super-Powerful Omoplata Finish


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 … [Read more...]

The Easiest Move in Jiu-Jitsu

Double Biceps Spider Guard

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 … [Read more...]

The Key to Dominating from the Spider Guard


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! … [Read more...]