We did a lot of spider guard drills tonight. Even though it’s important to know spider guard, if for no other reason than to be able to defend against it, I’m not a huge fan of spider guard for several reasons. For one thing, it puts a lot of stress on the fingers. That’s because, in order to play spider guard, you must maintain a grip on each of the persons sleeve cuffs with the tips of your fingers, while pushing out on each of his biceps with your feet. Nobody likes being controlled in this way, so they will often jerk their arms around to get you to let go, which is what puts so much stress on the fingers. The other reason I don’t like it is that it can put unnecessary strain on the lower back of the person who is being put in the spider guard for drilling purposes. Fortunately, I think I have found a way to save my back during drilling, which is to make sure my knees are bent at all times, while I’m on top. This does relieve pressure on the lower back, but can really burn in the thighs after a while. Positional sparring was next. I got paired up with several really tough blue belts for this portion of the class. There was really no way around this, since I was the only white belt in class tonight. I felt like I held my own, but it was very tiring. Blue belts don’t allow you to let your guard down for a single second. It has really forced me to work on improving on my submission defense. It is now much more difficult to catch me in many of the submissions that had been giving me trouble over the last year or more, including the Ezekiel choke, the closed guard arm bar, and the bow and arrow choke.