Tommi Pulkkanen has just released his latest instructional on Techniqly, Spaghetti Spider, and as one of the most flexible and dynamic guard-players in Europe, he’s a fantastic person to learn Spider guard from. This will actually be his second release through Techniqly as he already has another instructional available on the site, Spaghetti De La Riva. Pulkkanen is a Finnish black belt who competes at the highest levels of gi competition and even represented Europe in exciting style at Polaris Squads 2. Spaghetti Spider features both simple and more advanced techniques, all done from several different variations of the traditional Spider guard position:
Pulkkanen starts out by explaining his core approach to spider guard and how he separates the guard into two primary positions, double-sleeve control and spider guard. He explains how to transition between these positions and also gives a short demonstration of how that works in practice, before moving onto submission options. As he explains, the Triangle choke is the main attack that you would use from either of these positions so Pulkkanen spends quite a while going through the real fine details of setting up and finishing the choke.
Pulkkanen also goes through attacking a straight Armbar followed by an Omoplata and the way he breaks down the attack is genuinely fantastic. He shows how to maintain complete control the entire way through the attack and that kind of detail is something that isn’t taught too often. He also shows some options to sweep your opponent from Spider guard too, going through both the overhead sweep and the scissor sweep in just as much detail as the previous attacks.
Pulkkanen moves onto the more advanced techniques from Spider guard but still breaks them down in just as much as detail as the simpler attacks. His two variations of the Triangle choke from a shin-to-shin sweeping movement in particular are something that you really don’t see very often but work beautifully to set up the attack. He then starts to show options from the Lasso, explaining how to transition into that grip and how to use the position to sweep your opponent in a variety of different ways.
Throughout all of the sweeps that Pulkkanen shows, he always makes sure to go through how to consolidate top position and ensure that your opponent isn’t able to create a scramble by shutting down their hips. Pulkkanen also moves on to showing De La Arm control towards the end of the instructional, a position that isn’t seen all that often but is still a strong controlling variation of Spider guard. Once he’s there, he explains how to apply a straight Armbar and how to sweep your opponent if they defend the initial submission attempt.
Conclusion: A Fantastic Resource for Everyone
Spaghetti Spider is a fantastic instructional as it offers something for everyone, similar to Ben Dyson’s Necktie and Front Headlock instructional, also available from Techniqly. The initial breakdown of how to control your opponent from Spider guard and how to ensure that you’re able to retain guard from that position will be invaluable to people just starting out, but also serve as a nice reminder of the fundamentals of the position for anyone more experienced.
The real value for the more experienced competitor comes in the latter half however, as Pulkkanen’s shin-to-shin setups for the Triangle choke are excellent little details that can be utilized essentially from day one. The De La Arm control will take quite a bit more troubleshooting and practice to be able to maintain the position but once the skill is there, the two attacks that he shows are incredibly effective and will certainly make a strong addition to any gi grappler looking to improve their open guard.
Tommi Pulkkanen – Spaghetti Spider is currently available to purchase on Techniqly, click here to find out more.
Or to take a look at our other instructional reviews, click here.