Mostly when I get stuck into the Spider Guard - me in standing position.


  1. I grab the legs;
  2. Move my creases of elbows/biceps inward;
  3. I take a step back [along with step 1 and 2];
  4. Move his legs away or push them to the ground;
  5. Finally go to his side.

After step 3 the opponent's legs lose contact.

Drill: I also drill them as described with a fast pace.

Problem: I fail when the opponent is really good at Spider Guard, especially when the opponent doesn't stretch out his legs too much. Opponents do this to bring me closer to them. So the actions described above are difficult to perform.

  • You might want to try just backing away from them if they do this, once their back comes off the ground it makes using the legs much more difficult for them.
    – berimbolo
    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:55

5 Answers 5


I've been working this recently as I've had a number of issues getting past spider.

These two I've had some success with, but still feeling a bit clumsy with it.


  • opponent takes spider
  • crouch a bit, move side to side
  • you look for an opening where you can put your knee on the inside of the leg closest to the mat
  • pin it with the knee, strip the grip
  • swap to inside grip on other leg ( actually as soon as you can anywhere in the process)
  • pass with knee over or knee through


  • opponent takes spider
  • with their most extended leg, pull up on leg and put your knee into back of their thigh on the inside, keep pulling up on their leg, getting really close with your hip.
  • now bring your, leg / other side of your hip around their other leg
  • and then push their leg to the side

NOTE: it sucks trying to write techniques down.


I am no expert at passing spider guard, but I have some limited success with these two tricks:

  1. Get into combat base (kneeling on one knee) and strip his foot off my arm using the knee that is up. In general, the knee is a solid tool for blocking the movement of his leg in order to strip the spider hook on that side.
  2. Getting two inside-pant grips on the opponent, then at the right time, abandon one of those grips in order to grip the end of the opponent's trousers on the side opposite of my gripping hand (e.g. my right hand goes from gripping the inside of his left pant leg at the thigh to gripping the end of his right pant leg). I use this two-on-one grip to shove his leg to that side of my body. Often my other grip transitions to the outside of their pant leg, or just pushes on their thigh. I believe this kind of leg drag is fairly common.

You could also consider moving straight to mount from the leg drag position you describe. If you are able to grip and control his knees, then establishing a low mount by encircling his legs with yours can work. Then you climb upwards to standard mount.

  • What are your thoughts on the escape I described?
    – Tassisto
    Feb 6, 2014 at 12:40
  • That's a good escape, but sometimes it just won't work cause the guy has a mega death grip or just good. The more options you have the better, there is never one answer.
    – Funky
    Feb 6, 2014 at 12:42
  • 1
    @BadaBoom I agree with Funky. The leg drag you describe is fine but nothing works all the time and the spider guard is an effective weapon. Feb 6, 2014 at 12:45
  • 1
    The leg drag works better vs de la riva than vs spiderguard; in spiderguard your opponent can easily switch to either side; in de la riva he's set himself up for a specific angle that you have to counter and exploit. The leg drag you described is amazing for passing de la riva though. It's just very hard to get in spider guard from my experience. Feb 17, 2014 at 9:12

Look at what your opponent is trying to do with spider guard: Controlling the distance. He wants you in his sweet spot, which is somewhere between his legs extended and his legs bunched up.

So, you now have one of two goals, depending on what kind of passes you like.

  1. either stretch him out (Get stronger grips on his gi-pants, get your elbows together by your stomach as you crouch and back off, then you can pummel his feet out and do an X-pass or bullfighter type pass -very high success passes. As you back off from his spiderguard, it will be harder for him to maintain grips on your sleeves, so you can get superior grips on his pants.

  2. or squash his legs up. (Again get stronger grips on his gi pants. push his legs in from the squat position. Drive his knees into his nose, or pass depending on how the situation develops)

I know your frustration, one of my main grappling partners plays spider like a beast and transitions so easily from spider to de la riva and back again. It can get very annoying. I prefer method 1.


The main thing to do is to keep good posture and not do anything silly (pretty much applies for all of BJJ). Sometimes it feels impossible to eascape from Spider guard as the guy can be that good, so don't feel too bad What I normally do is walk backwards which will move the guy forward taking his head off the floor, at this point he is only relying on his abs to hold him there. Once you get here just turn your arm in then the other to break the grips then bingo you're out.

Or, if the guy is really good then you need to change your grip to go to the inside of his thigh, both hands help. If you can achieve this then you've broken down some of his grip.

You can also grab his cloth on his legs as this will neutralise his grip a little.

Also, this is a little risky but you can put your feet either side of him (at risk or being swept) but make sure your hips are ready and you have a good grip on him as he will sweep you by grabbing your ankles. If you can get to this position and get the grips just put your hips in.

There is no straight answer as it depends on the guy.


Back away, with spider guard I always back away, the further back you go the harder it is for them to maintain good control with their legs.

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