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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

13 August 2015

13/08/2015 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Knee Shield & Spider Half Guard

Class #659
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Bruno Matias, Leuven, Belgium, 13/08/2015

The next gi session was with another Brazilian black belt, Bruno Matias (presumably from Checkmat, going by his patches). He had called his session 'half spider guard', which sounded intriguing. He started off with something I could recognise, the knee shield back roll sweep. That's also known as the Shaolin sweep, I'm told.

I have trouble with it, as I always end up going off to the side, mainly because I'm worried about crunching either their neck or my neck. The other tricky part is getting their weight properly distributed on your legs, so that it isn't a strain to roll them over your head. One day it will feel smooth and easy, but not yet. ;)

For the next one, they have stepped up one of their legs. The hand on your lower leg side is going to reach in to the leg that is up, on your knee shield side. Bring your hand in front of the shin, then use that as an anchor point to help you swivel through. Grab their trouser leg as you swivel through. Continue swivelling until you pop out behind them, grabbing the other leg with your other hand.

Adjust your grips, in order to enable you to go into a back take. Also adjust your legs, so they are hooking inside. From here, you could try kicking out the back of their knees, like on the standard de la Riva back take I taught a while ago. However, I'd be worried about their ankles given they may be sat on them at this point, plus it feels like they have a strong base to resist that push from here. I preferred the other option Bruno showed, where you come up onto your knees and take the back that way.

The final technique was a complex armbar from spider guard, or rather, the half spider guard referenced in the class title. Start in knee shield, grab their sleeve on the same side as your knee shield. Push your foot into their hip to create some distance. Switch your grip on their sleeve to your other hand, then bring your non-knee shield side leg over the top of their trapped arm, threading your leg through underneath (maintain your grip on the arm).

Your free hand grips their same side trouser leg. Spin on your shoulders (keep your head off the ground), pulling firmly on the sleeve and trouser grips you established. That should set up your armbar, though you'll probably have to wriggle your hips forward. Your sleeve grips will give you some control, hopefully providing enough time to solidify the armbar position.


My last class of the day would be less intricate, but more painful, as it was the dreaded art of takedowns (well taught by a friendly Irishman, but I hate takedowns ;D ).

Pictures courtesy of Vara from BJJ Globetrotters

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