Game-Changing De La Riva Guard Techniques for Total Control

In the intricate world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), guard positions play a pivotal role, offering a strategic stronghold for both defense and offense. Among these guard positions, the De La Riva Guard is a versatile and dynamic option that has become a staple in modern BJJ.

This article delves into the art of mastering the De La Riva Guard, exploring its techniques, setups, transitions, and its significance in elevating your BJJ game.

Establishing the De La Riva Hook and Control: Begin by entangling your opponent’s leg with your own, using your foot to secure the hook behind your knee. This grip creates a pivotal point of control that allows you to dictate your opponent’s movements.

Gripping Strategies for Effective De La Riva Control: Collar and sleeve grips are essential for maintaining control and preventing your opponent from countering your De La Riva attacks. By gripping strategically, you can manipulate their posture and reactions, creating opportunities for sweeps and submissions.

Using the De La Riva Hook to Control Distance and Create Angles: The De La Riva hook allows you to control your opponent’s posture and distance. By manipulating their knee and hip movements, you can disrupt their base and create angles for attacks.

Variations of De La Riva Hooks and Their Applications: Explore variations of the De La Riva hook, such as the Reverse De La Riva and Deep De La Riva. Each variation offers unique angles of attack and control, allowing you to adapt your strategy based on your opponent’s movements.

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Setups and Entries

Setting Up De La Riva Guard from Open Guard Positions: Transition smoothly from an open guard position to De La Riva by strategically placing your foot in the correct position. This setup lets you surprise your opponent and catch them off-guard with your control.

Utilizing Collar and Sleeve Grips to Initiate De La Riva Guard: Collar and sleeve grips are the foundation for entering the De La Riva Guard. You can manipulate your opponent’s posture and create openings for your De La Riva hook by controlling your opponent’s upper body.

Using De La Riva Entries as a Response to Opponent’s Movement: Reacting to your opponent’s movements is a crucial aspect of BJJ. Use your opponent’s attempts to pass or engage to your advantage by seamlessly transitioning into the De La Riva Guard and maintaining control.

Connecting De La Riva Guard Setups with Other Guard Transitions: The De La Riva Guard can serve as a gateway to other guard positions, such as the X-guard or single-leg X-guard. Master the art of transitioning between guards to keep your opponent guessing and maintain control throughout the match.

Submissions and Attacks

Applying Submissions Directly from De La Riva Guard: While sweeps are a primary focus, the De La Riva Guard also offers submission opportunities. Explore submission options such as the triangle choke, armbar, and ankle lock to catch your opponent off-guard.

Triangle Choke Setups and Variations: Leverage your De La Riva control to set up the triangle choke. Proper grip control and understanding of angles are essential for cinching in this effective submission.

Implementing the Berimbolo and Back Take Opportunities: The Berimbolo is a unique and dynamic De La Riva Guard technique. Mastering this move opens up back take opportunities, providing an advantageous position.

Armbar Options from De La Riva Guard Control: Capitalize on your opponent’s reactions to your De La Riva attacks by transitioning into armbar setups. Proper grip management and timing are crucial for securing this submission.

Common Mistakes

Overcommitting to De La Riva Sweeps and Losing Control: A common pitfall is becoming overly focused on sweeps and losing control of the position. Prioritize maintaining your De La Riva hooks and grips to secure your base and prevent counterattacks.

Neglecting Grip Maintenance, Leading to Opponents Breaking Grips: Grip maintenance is crucial for De La Riva Guard control. Neglecting your grips allows opponents to break free, compromising your position. Regularly adjust and reinforce your grips to maintain control and momentum.

Failing to Adapt to Opponent’s Reactions and Adjustments: BJJ is an ever-evolving chess match. Failing to adapt to your opponent’s movements and adjustments can leave you vulnerable. Remain adaptable, anticipate their reactions, and use their movements to your advantage.


The De La Riva Guard stands as a testament to the dynamic and strategic nature of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. You unlock a world of control, offensive potential, and adaptability by mastering its techniques, setups, and transitions. Through diligent practice, focused drills, and the integration of De La Riva Guard into your overall BJJ game plan, you can elevate your skills and confidently navigate the intricacies of this guard position.

As you embark on this journey of mastery, remember that the De La Riva Guard is not just a position—it’s a gateway to a deeper understanding of movement, leverage, and strategy. With consistent effort and a keen focus on refining your techniques, you can unravel the mysteries of the De La Riva Guard and add a powerful tool to your BJJ arsenal.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is the De La Riva Guard in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

A1: The De La Riva Guard is a guard position where you use one leg to control your opponent’s arm and the other foot to hook behind their knee. This configuration allows you to create angles, disrupt balance, and execute various techniques.

Q2: Why is the De La Riva Guard important in modern BJJ?

A2: The De La Riva Guard offers a versatile and adaptable platform for offense and defense. It enables practitioners to control distance, launch sweeps, and set up submissions, making it an essential component of a well-rounded BJJ skill set.

Q3: Can beginners learn and utilize the De La Riva Guard?

A3: Absolutely. While mastering the De La Riva Guard may take time, beginners can learn and implement its fundamental techniques, setups, and transitions. Starting with basic concepts and gradually building on them allows practitioners of all levels to benefit from the guard’s effectiveness.

Q4: What are the key benefits of mastering the De La Riva Guard?

A4: Mastering the De La Riva Guard provides several benefits, including:

  • Enhanced control over your opponent’s movements and posture.
  • Increased offensive options through sweeps, submissions, and transitions.
  • Improved adaptability to different situations and opponents.
  • Development of a deeper understanding of leverage and movement.

Q5: How can I effectively set up the De La Riva Guard?

A5: Setting up the De La Riva Guard involves strategic foot placement and grip control. You can initiate the guard from open guard positions or use collar and sleeve grips to establish control and create opportunities for the De La Riva hook.

Q6: Are there standard sweeps associated with the De La Riva Guard?

A6: Yes, the De La Riva Guard offers a range of sweeps, including basic sweeps like the De La Riva hook sweep and more advanced options like the berimbolo. These sweeps capitalize on off-balancing your opponent to transition to the top position.

Q7: Can I transition between De La Riva Guard and other guard positions?

A7: Absolutely. The De La Riva Guard can connect seamlessly to other positions, such as X-guard or single-leg X-guard. Smooth transitions between guards allow you to maintain control and create a dynamic offensive flow.

Q8: How can I incorporate De La Riva Guard into live rolling and competitions?

A8: Incorporating De La Riva Guard in live rolling involves strategically controlling the match’s pace and creating opportunities for sweeps and submissions. De La Riva Guard can provide tactical advantages in competitions by surprising opponents and dictating engagement.

Q9: What common mistakes should I avoid when using the De La Riva Guard?

A9: Two common mistakes are overcommitting to sweeps at the expense of control and neglecting grip maintenance. Failing to adapt to your opponent’s reactions and adjustments can also leave you vulnerable. Focus on balance, control, and adaptability.

Q10: How can I improve my De La Riva Guard skills?

A10: To improve your De La Riva Guard skills, dedicate time to solo drills for movement and grip control. Practice with a partner to refine techniques and reactions and incorporate specific sparring scenarios focused on the De La Riva application. Consistent practice and a willingness to learn will lead to mastery.

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