In Greg’s absence, Conan taught class at Lincoln BJJ last night, and while I was not thrilled about the fact that we started out by practicing throwing (and a sacrifice throw, no less!), I was very happy when after that we worked on spider guard. Even before Tinguinha came around last weekend, I’ve totally been into spider guard lately. Since it is a form of guard, I guess that’s to be expected, but I really think spider guard is tailor-made for me. It also seems as though I’ve been getting a lot better at it, and Tinguinha remarked on how smooth I was with it.
I’ve noticed that some of the guys complain about their fingers hurting when they do it, but back when we were still at the dojo, Greg taught me that it’s not about trying to move your partners around with the grips, but just flowing with them, so it doesn’t make my fingers hurt, and I’m not using strength, therefore it doesn’t wear me out. Most of the subs that I’ve gotten since I’ve been at LBJJC have been from spider guard.
At the seminar last weekend, Tinguinha told us about how spider guard came to be. He said that he started training BJJ when he was eleven, and he never went to the kid’s class, he just joined in with the adults. He was constantly getting smashed on the bottom, so at first he figured out how to keep people off of him by using his legs to block them, and then later on, he started using the sleeve grips for more control. As time went by, he developed it from more of a defensive position into one that he could use offensively, to great effect. Sometimes in Jiu-Jitsu, I feel like a little kid compared to my teammates, so I suppose it makes sense that I find spider guard to be effective.
In class last night, we practiced one of the spider guard sweeps from the seminar, and then we did one that I had not learned before. As soon as Conan demonstrated it, I told Mike that I recognized it because Greg has used it on me. Mike said “Greg’s used it on everyone!” I really liked that particular sweep, and I seemed to be getting the hang of it. At one point Mike and I noticed that the bigger guys were having a little trouble with it, and we rejoiced in the fact that we weren’t!
Mike even complimented me when we were doing positional grappling, and he started out in my spider guard. He did eventually pass (when I unsuccessfully went for an omoplata), but he remarked that trying to pass my guard was very frustrating . Anytime that I can frustrate Mike for even one second, you know it was a good day! The more I understand about spider guard, the more techniques that I can hit from there, the more excited I get. It’s like a whole new path is opening up for me, and I can’t wait to see where it leads.