Grapplers Graveyard

Spider Guard Position

spider guard bjj

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art that focuses on ground fighting and submission grappling. One important position in BJJ is the Spider Guard. This article will help you understand the Spider Guard and how to use it effectively. Whether you’re new to BJJ or have some experience, learning the Spider Guard can make you a better grappler.

Introduction to the Spider Guard

What is the Spider Guard?

The Spider Guard is a position in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu where you use your feet to control your opponent’s arms while holding their sleeves. This makes it hard for them to move or attack you. The Spider Guard is very flexible and lets you do many different moves like sweeps and submissions.spider guard

History and Evolution of the Spider Guard

The Spider Guard has changed a lot over time. It started as a way to defend yourself but has become more advanced thanks to many BJJ experts. Famous fighters like Rafael Lovato Jr. have helped make the Spider Guard a key part of modern BJJ.

Fundamentals of the Spider Guard

Basic Principles

The main idea of the Spider Guard is to control your opponent’s posture and movement. By placing your feet on their arms and holding their sleeves, you stop them from moving forward or attacking. Key points include keeping your legs tight, using your grips to control their posture, and always adjusting your position.

Key Concepts and Terminology

Knowing the terms used in the Spider Guard is important. Here are some key terms:

  • Hooks: Where you place your feet on your opponent’s arms.

  • Grips: How you hold your opponent’s sleeves.

  • Tension: The pressure you keep with your legs to control your opponent.

  • Sweeps: Moves to off-balance and flip your opponent.

  • Submissions: Moves to make your opponent give up, like chokes and armbars.

Setting Up the Spider Guard

Grips and Hand Placement

To start the Spider Guard, you need to grip your opponent’s sleeves. This helps you control their arms and stop them from escaping. Make sure your grips are strong but not too tight, so you can move easily.

Foot Placement and Body Positioning

After gripping the sleeves, place your feet on your opponent’s arms. This stops them from moving their upper body. Your body should be at an angle, with one leg straight and the other bent. This helps you control your opponent and gives you more options for attacks.

Entries to the Spider Guard

Classic Entry Techniques

A simple way to enter the Spider Guard is from the closed guard. Grip your opponent’s sleeves, open your guard, and place your feet on their arms. This is a basic but effective way to start the Spider Guard.

Advanced Entry Techniques

For more experienced fighters, there are many ways to enter the Spider Guard. You can move from other guard positions like the De La Riva Guard or the Butterfly Guard. These advanced entries need good timing and skill.

Maintaining the Spider Guard

Common Movements

To keep the Spider Guard, you need to move a lot. Common moves include switching your legs, lifting your hips, and rolling your shoulders. These moves help you keep control and stop your opponent from passing your guard.

Retention Drills

Practice is key to keeping the Spider Guard. Retention drills help you remember the moves and react quickly. For example, you can practice with a partner who tries to pass your guard while you work on keeping the position.

Attacks from the Spider Guard


The Spider Guard lets you do many sweeps to flip your opponent. Common sweeps include the Balloon Sweep, the Scissor Sweep, and the Spider Sweep. These moves use your grips and leg position to off-balance your opponent.


You can also do many submissions from the Spider Guard. Popular submissions include the Triangle Choke, the Armbar, and the Omoplata. These moves use the control you have in the Spider Guard to finish your opponent.

Defending Against the Spider Guard

Common Counters

To defend against the Spider Guard, you need good posture, pressure, and technique. Common counters include breaking your opponent’s grips, using knee slides to pass the guard, and pressure passing. Knowing these counters helps you defend and improve your guard passing.

Defensive Strategies

Good defensive strategies include keeping a strong posture, controlling your opponent’s legs, and breaking their grips. Stay calm and use precise moves to neutralize the Spider Guard and create chances to pass or attack.

Transitioning from the Spider Guard

Moving to Other Guards

The Spider Guard is very flexible and lets you move to other guard positions easily. Common transitions include moving to the De La Riva Guard, the Lasso Guard, and the X-Guard. These transitions give you more options for control and attacks.

Transitioning to Submissions

You can also move directly to submissions from the Spider Guard. Moves like the Triangle Choke and the Armbar can be done with small adjustments, making the Spider Guard a great position for finishing your opponent.

Training Tips for the Spider Guard

Drills and Exercises

To get good at the Spider Guard, practice specific drills and exercises. These drills help you learn the key moves, grips, and positions. Examples include partner drills, solo drills, and positional sparring.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When training the Spider Guard, avoid common mistakes like using too much strength, not gripping properly, and not keeping tension in your legs. Focus on technique to make your Spider Guard more effective.

Advanced Techniques in the Spider Guard

Inverted Spider Guard

The Inverted Spider Guard is a more advanced version where you flip your body to create new angles and attacks. This move needs good flexibility and control, so it’s best for experienced fighters.

Lasso Guard Integration

Combining the Lasso Guard with the Spider Guard makes a powerful hybrid position. The Lasso Guard involves wrapping your leg around your opponent’s arm, adding more control and options for sweeps and submissions.

Spider Guard in Competition

Notable Competitors

Many top BJJ fighters use the Spider Guard in competitions. Fighters like Rafael Lovato Jr. and Braulio Estima have shown how effective the Spider Guard can be. Studying their techniques can help you improve your own game.

Competition Strategies

Using the Spider Guard in competition needs a good strategy with both offensive and defensive moves. Understand the rules, study your opponents, and make a game plan that uses the strengths of the Spider Guard.

Spider Guard for Self-Defense

Practical Applications

The Spider Guard is not just for sport BJJ; it can also be used for self-defense. The control and positioning help you neutralize an attacker and create chances to escape or submit them.

Real-World Scenarios

In real-world self-defense, the Spider Guard can help you control and subdue an attacker. By gripping strong and using your legs to control their movement, you can create openings for strikes, submissions, or escapes. Practice these scenarios to be ready for real situations.


What is the Spider Guard?

The Spider Guard is a position in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu where you use your feet to control your opponent’s arms while gripping their sleeves.

How do you enter the Spider Guard?

To enter the Spider Guard, start from the closed guard, grip your opponent’s sleeves, open your guard, and place your feet on their arms.

What are the best attacks from the Spider Guard?

The best attacks from the Spider Guard include sweeps like the Balloon Sweep and submissions like the Triangle Choke and Armbar.

How do you defend against the Spider Guard?

Defending against the Spider Guard involves breaking your opponent’s grips, keeping a strong posture, and using pressure-passing techniques.

Can the Spider Guard be used in No-Gi?

While the Spider Guard is mainly a gi-based position, some moves can be adapted for No-Gi grappling.

What are the common mistakes in the Spider Guard?

Common mistakes in the Spider Guard include using too much strength, not gripping properly, and not keeping tension in your legs.


The Spider Guard is an important and flexible position in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that offers many chances for control, sweeps, and submissions. By learning the key principles, moves, and strategies of the Spider Guard, you can improve your grappling skills and become a better BJJ fighter. Whether you’re training for competition or self-defense, mastering the Spider Guard is a valuable skill.


  • Cameron

    Cameron is the Founder of Grapplers Graveyard. He is an athlete, a life-long learner, and a combat sports enthusiast. His goal is to build websites that help people become smarter, healthier, and happier.

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