Smashing Spider Guard with Pressure Passing
We all have those training partners in our BJJ classes that give us endless trouble with their dexterity, flexibility and creative guard games. Training with an opponent with a great open guard can feel like you are trapped in quicksand or fighting against an octopus as they use their arms, grips and legs to work to unbalance and sweep you. Let's talk a little bit about the power of the spider guard, then shift gears and look at how you can get your pressure back and pressure these spider guard players into submission.
The spider guard is one of the most creative versions of open guard that can give your opponent's and training partners absolute fits. By controlling both sleeves with your grips and alternatively using pushing and pulling pressure from your feet placed in the biceps, you essentially create a "puppet on strings" effective from the bottom. By attaching yourself with your grips on their sleeves, they cannot control your upper body with a strong cross face control. By keeping upward pressure with the feet on the biceps, you absolutely shut down their ability to put pressure on you.
The spider guard is a fantastic guard against the larger opponent for these reasons. In the video below, we see Ana Cordeiro effectively using spider guard to control the much larger and stronger, Gabi Garcia's strength and ability to apply pressure.
To learn more about the power of the spider guard, check out the BJJ Fanatics article discussing the essentials of this dangerous guard here. The more you are aware, the better you will be able to apply techniques to put a stop to it.
Now that we've seen a little bit of the power of the spider guard, let's shift gears and talk about how in the world we can maintain pressure and and pass this complex guard. In the video below, 5 time World Champion and arguably one of the greatest pressure passers in the BJJ game today, shows how to address not only the spider guard, but the spider guard with the addition of a lasso grip control on one side. Two of the most difficult gripping elements to face combined into one guard, but Bernardo makes short work of it with his simple to apply techniques.
Key elements to this technique that can be applied to many positions besides this:
Address One Grip at a Time
In this technique, he addresses the spider guard first with an effective stretching of the opponent's leg to stress their flexibility and grip, allowing him to simply bump the heel with his own knee and free himself from the grip. Then he goes on to address the lasso grip.
Keep Pressure ConsistentThroughout this pass, Bernardo never allows his partner to relax. The pressure is on from start to finish. The key to Bernardo's pressure passing style is to never relent and make the opponent carrying the maximum pressure at all times.
Considered one of the best guard passers in competitive BJJ history, 5X World Champion Bernardo Faria is ready to share the secrets that put him on the podium time and time again, in his new 4 DVD "Battle Tested Pressure Passing" instructional series, available here from BJJ Fanatics.
Check also our course Pressure Passing Mastery Against Modern Guards by Lucas Pinheiro.