Passing The Spider Guard

Spider Guard Escape

The Mendes brothers are amazing practitioners of BJJ. One of their biggest assets is their ability to break down the small details of their game and passing it on to others. I feel much of their game is very practical and high percentage when it comes to positional dominance and submissions. Although their game incorporates a number of steps, when broken down the movements are quite simplistic and revolve around basic principles of posture, balance, distance and leverage. I feel this is a very effective counter to the Spider Guard. Lets review the break down!


  1. Maintaining your center of gravity. Establish strong grips, Lower your hips, keep your elbows tight and move back. Don’ts : don’t remain static in spider guard lock down positions. Don’t move forward and help opponent finish the sweep. Don’t put your knees on the mat.
  2. Choose a side, release the grip from gi of the leg and circle your hand under (only under) the calve and establish an inside leg position. Extend the arm to gain a grip of the Gi pants at the calve. Purpose of circling arm is to release your opponents grip from your sleeve and establish your dominate inner leg grip on opponent controlling his leg.
  3. Retain grip on other arm
  4. Side step to the side of the other arm that has the outside grip.
  5. Execute the leg drag on the leg with the outside grip.
  6. Walk yourself toward the hips of the opponent establishing a mermaid position. Do not attempt side control from leg drag. Not high percentage success. Rather establish a mermaid position.
  7. Switch grip! Grip in the inside of the leg switches to a tight elbow heavy collar grip. This grip is accompanied with strong shoulder pressure to secure the position. The grip keeps opponent from pushing away. The shoulder and head pressure keeps opponents back pinned to the mat.
  8. Paints grip is released to make a cross face grip for side control. Details: cross face grip is to the shoulder of opponent, NOT collar. It is a stronger grip and controls the opponent’s head.
  9. Side control: knee closes to the head never sprawls out. Remains tight to head as other leg is tight to body. Important detail is to remain on your toes, this increases the forward/pining pressure to help secure and control opponent.
  10. Cross face arm: position the elbow of that arm tight to thigh and drop hips low to the mat to increase shoulder pressure and prevent cross face arm to be moved by opponent in defense.

This is a very effective spider guard pass that allows you to gain a positional advantage on your opponent. If you follow the Mendes brother’s BJJ game you will see how they can transition to a number of other positions such as a back take from the passing position. It is very dynamic and point focused if you are looking to compete. Give this pass a try and let us know what you think!


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Let me know what you think! If you tried it out what is your success rate?


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