Grapplers Graveyard

De La Riva Guard (Breakdown)

de la riva guard bjj

De La Riva Guard, often called DLR, is a key move in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). It started in the mid-1980s and has become a flexible and powerful tool used by fighters all over the world. Named after the famous Ricardo De La Riva, this guard is used by many world champions. This article explores the history, basics, and uses of the De La Riva Guard, offering a complete guide for martial arts fans from beginners to advanced fighters.

Introduction to the De La Riva Guard

What is the De La Riva Guard?

The De La Riva Guard is a type of open guard in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu where you use your legs to control and move your opponent. This guard is known for one leg hooking around the opponent’s leg from the outside. This hook helps to unbalance the opponent and opens up chances for sweeps and submissions. The De La Riva Guard is not just for defense; it is a dynamic tool that allows for many attacks and transitions.

Importance in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The De La Riva Guard is very important in BJJ. Its flexibility and effectiveness have made it a must-know move in both gi and no-gi competitions. By mastering this guard, you can better control and dominate your opponents, making it a key skill for anyone serious about improving in BJJ.

Historical Background

Origins of the De La Riva Guard

The De La Riva Guard started in the mid-1980s. Ricardo De La Riva, a student of the famous Carlson Gracie, began trying new ways to control and attack from the guard position. While similar moves were seen in other grappling arts like judo, De La Riva made this guard popular in BJJ.

Ricardo De La Riva: The Innovator

Ricardo De La Riva’s impact on BJJ is huge. His new approach to the guard position changed the sport and inspired many fighters to try new techniques. De La Riva’s success in competitions, including wins over top opponents, made him a legend in BJJ history.

Evolution Over the Decades

Since it began, the De La Riva Guard has kept evolving. Fighters have created many variations, each adding new elements to the move. From the Reverse De La Riva to the Berimbolo, this guard has become a starting point for some of the most advanced and creative techniques in modern BJJ.

Mechanics of the De La Riva Guard

Basic Positioning

To do the De La Riva Guard, start by lying on your back with one leg hooking around the opponent’s leg from the outside. Use the other leg to control the opponent’s hip or thigh, and grip their sleeves, collar, or belt. This position gives you a strong base to control the opponent’s movements and set up attacks.

Key Grips and Hooks

The De La Riva Guard works well if you use the right grips and hooks. The outside hook, made by wrapping your leg around the opponent’s leg, is key for keeping control and unbalancing the opponent. Gripping the opponent’s sleeves, collar, or belt gives you leverage and control, helping you to do sweeps and transitions accurately.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

The De La Riva Guard is powerful but needs to be done right to work well. Common mistakes include not keeping good grips, letting the opponent break the hook, and not keeping your hips mobile. By focusing on these key points and practicing a lot, you can avoid these mistakes and make your De La Riva Guard more effective.

Variations of the De La Riva Guard

Reverse De La Riva

The Reverse De La Riva is a variation where you hook the opponent’s leg from the inside instead of the outside. This variation offers different attack angles and can be very effective against opponents who are good at countering the traditional De La Riva Guard.

Berimbolo

The Berimbolo is a very advanced move that often starts from the De La Riva Guard. It involves inverting and rolling under the opponent to take their back or sweep them. This move is a favorite among top competitors.

Inverted De La Riva

The Inverted De La Riva involves inverting your body while keeping the De La Riva hook. This variation allows for unique attack angles and can surprise opponents. It needs a lot of flexibility and control but can be a game-changer in competitions.

Applications in Competition

Offensive Strategies

The De La Riva Guard offers many offensive strategies. From sweeps to submissions, you can use this guard to keep your opponents on the defensive. Moves like the De La Riva sweep, triangle choke, and omoplata are just a few examples of what you can do with this guard.

Defensive Maneuvers

Besides its offensive uses, the De La Riva Guard is also a strong defensive tool. By keeping control and unbalancing the opponent, you can stop their attacks and create chances to counter.

Transitioning to Other Guards

One of the best things about the De La Riva Guard is that you can easily switch to other guard positions. Whether moving to the Spider Guard, X-Guard, or Closed Guard, the De La Riva Guard gives you a flexible base for smooth transitions and continuous attacks.

Training the De La Riva Guard

Drills and Exercises

Training the De La Riva Guard needs a mix of technique drills and live sparring. Drills like the De La Riva sweep drill, grip fighting exercises, and positional sparring can help you develop the skills and muscle memory needed to do the guard well.

Sparring Tips

When sparring, focus on keeping good grips and hooks while staying mobile and adaptable. Work on switching between different variations of the De La Riva Guard and combining it with other guard techniques to keep your opponents guessing.

Conditioning for Guard Players

Conditioning is very important for training the De La Riva Guard. Core strength, flexibility, and endurance all help make this guard work better. Adding exercises like planks, leg raises, and mobility drills to your training can improve your overall performance.

Notable Practitioners

World Champions Using De La Riva

Many world champions have used the De La Riva Guard to win in competitions. Notable fighters include Marcelo Garcia, Rafael Mendes, and the Miyao brothers, all of whom have shown how effective this guard is at the highest levels of the sport.

Influential Coaches and Instructors

Besides world champions, several top coaches and instructors have helped make the De La Riva Guard popular. People like Ricardo De La Riva himself, as well as modern instructors like John Danaher and Andre Galvao, have helped spread and improve this technique.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Breaking the Guard

One common challenge is opponents breaking the De La Riva Guard. To stop this, keep strong grips and hooks while staying mobile and adjusting your position as needed. Practicing guard retention drills can also help you keep the guard.

Countering Passes

Another challenge is stopping guard passes. By using moves like the De La Riva sweep, switching to other guards, and keeping constant pressure on the opponent, you can stop pass attempts and regain control.

Maintaining Control

Keeping control in the De La Riva Guard needs good technique, timing, and adaptability. Focus on keeping your hooks and grips tight, staying aware of the opponent’s movements, and adjusting your position as needed to keep control.

Advanced Techniques

Sweeps and Submissions

Advanced fighters can try many sweeps and submissions from the De La Riva Guard. Moves like the balloon sweep, De La Riva to X-Guard transition, and various leg locks can add new elements to your game and keep your opponents on their toes.

Combining with Other Guards

Combining the De La Riva Guard with other guard techniques can create a dynamic and unpredictable game. You can switch between the De La Riva, Spider Guard, and X-Guard, among others, to create continuous attacks and keep control.

Flow Drills

Flow drills are a great way to develop smoothness and adaptability in the De La Riva Guard. By practicing sequences of moves and transitions, you can improve your ability to react to different situations and keep a continuous flow of attacks.

The Future of the De La Riva Guard

Emerging Trends

The De La Riva Guard keeps evolving, with new techniques and variations coming up regularly. Fighters are always trying new things, pushing the limits of what is possible with this guard.

Innovations in Technique

New techniques, like using lapel grips and new entries into the guard, are adding new elements to the De La Riva Guard. These innovations help keep the guard relevant and effective in modern BJJ.

Influence on Modern BJJ

The impact of the De La Riva Guard on modern BJJ is huge. It has become a basic technique that is taught and used by fighters at all levels, and its influence on the sport will continue for years to come.

FAQs

What is the De La Riva Guard?

The De La Riva Guard is a type of open guard in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu where you use your legs to control and move your opponent, with one leg hooking around the opponent’s leg from the outside.

How do you execute a basic De La Riva Guard?

To do a basic De La Riva Guard, lie on your back with one leg hooking around the opponent’s leg from the outside, use the other leg to control the opponent’s hip or thigh, and grip their sleeves, collar, or belt.

What are the benefits of using the De La Riva Guard?

The benefits of using the De La Riva Guard include better control over the opponent, many offensive and defensive options, and the ability to switch easily to other guard positions.

Who are some notable practitioners of the De La Riva Guard?

Notable practitioners of the De La Riva Guard include Marcelo Garcia, Rafael Mendes, the Miyao brothers, and Ricardo De La Riva himself.

How can beginners start learning the De La Riva Guard?

Beginners can start learning the De La Riva Guard by practicing basic positioning, grips, and hooks, and adding drills and exercises to their training routine. Working with a good instructor can also provide valuable guidance and feedback.

What are common mistakes to avoid when using the De La Riva Guard?

Common mistakes to avoid when using the De La Riva Guard include not keeping good grips, letting the opponent break the hook, and not keeping your hips mobile. Practicing a lot and focusing on key points can help avoid these mistakes.

Conclusion

The De La Riva Guard is a powerful and flexible tool in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, offering many offensive and defensive options. By understanding its history, basics, and uses, you can improve your skills and effectiveness on the mat. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced fighter, mastering the De La Riva Guard can raise your game and provide a strong base for continued growth and success in BJJ.

  • Cameron

    Cameron is the Founder of Grapplers Graveyard. He is an athlete, a life-long learner, and a combat sports enthusiast. His goal is to build websites that help people become smarter, healthier, and happier.

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