Attacking From Reverse De La Riva

Attacking From Reverse De La Riva

Ever since Ricardo De La Riva came up with the De La Riva guard, it changed guard game forever. Since it was developed, there have been numerous versions of DLR guard created. 

One of the most proven effective has been the reverse De La Riva guard. There are many sweep and submission options from RDLR.  

In this guide, we take a look at one of the most popular open guard positions – the Reverse De La Riva. We’ll start with how the guard was created and detail various attacks from the guard. Then we’ll give you some key details for doing reverse De La Riva and how to defend it. 

Reverse de la riva guard

How Was Reverse De La Riva Created

The reverse De La Riva was created off defenses to the normal DLR guard. Many defenses for the original DLR involve taking the opponent’s inside leg and trapping it between your legs.  

So as DLR was countered, people started developing reverse De La Riva to counter the counter. It is a mirror image of the original guard, where you hook inside your opponent’s leg and control it. 

From there, you can go into the type of control you prefer from controlling the collar, lapel, or ankle. Here is RDLR expert Espen Mathiesen explaining the position further. 

Reverse De La Riva Knee Cut Counter Sweep

RDLR can come into play when your opponent is attempting a knee cut pass. This puts them in position for this basic counter sweep.  

To prevent them from passing make sure your toes are hooked around their leg and you’re controlling their ankle. These two details will stop them from easily passing your guard. 

You are also going to need to connect your outside foot to your opponent’s shoulder to control the distance. The next step for this sweep is taking a cross collar grip and pulling the opponent across your body. 

Doing this brings their leg closer for you to take an underhook. Now with their leg controlled, make space with your legs and do a technical stand up. 

You can either drive them forward to complete the sweep or pull out their base leg with your hand or foot.

Kiss Of The Dragon Sweep From RDLR

The kiss of the dragon sweep may be the signature move from RDLR. It looks complicated, but it’s very easy to pull off. 

From reverse De La Riva, start the position by framing rather than the normal ankle control. Starting in the normal control, while your opponent is kneeled down gives them access to your collar and neck. 

Use your frames to push your opponent and force them to defend by standing up. This gives you the space you need to invert under your opponent. 

Underhook your opponent’s leg and go right into a berimbolo inversion. Invert upside down where both of your legs hook the legs of your opponent. 

Then let go of your underhook and grab their belt and pull them down. Completing the sweep and establishing back control.  

Reverse De La Riva Sweep With Collar Grip

These two RDLR sweeps come off the same near collar grip. You use this collar to push and pull your opponent. 

The first sweep starts with you using your collar grip to pull your opponent to the side. After you pull your opponent to the side, sit-up and hook their leg as you come up to your feet. Keeping your collar grip. 

Turn your body and pull your opponent to the ground to complete the first sweep. 

For the second sweep, this is for when your opponent reacts differently with the collar pull. They base their hand out and then move back to the center. 

When they move back to the center, you use their momentum to push them down as your sit-up. Cobrinha Charles breaks down these sweeps in this video.  

Key Details To Remember

The Reverse De La Riva is very effective, but you cannot forget one detail or the guard falls apart. Here are the key details to remember when playing RDLR. 

  • Inside Hook: Remember that you need to hook the inside of your opponent’s leg. Otherwise, you just have an easily passable open guard. 
  • Opponent’s Body Positioning: Pay close attention to the body positioning of your opponent. Each sweep will only work if your opponent is in a specific position in your guard. 
  • Control Their Ankle: Just like with normal DLR, you have to control your opponent’s ankle. Doing this keeps them in place and makes it harder for them to move.
  • Foot Connection: Your outside foot needs to stay connected to your opponent’s body. Doing this allows you to keep the distance and set up your attacks. 
  • Hook Your Toes: Be sure to hook your toes on your opponent’s leg. This is especially important when your opponent has their knee on the ground attempting a pass. 
  • Shift Opponent’s Weight: In order to do any attack from this guard, you need to move and shift your opponent’s weight. Just like other guards in Jiu Jitsu, you need to push and pull them to see where their balance is weak. 

How To Defend The Reverse De La Riva 

  • Remove The DLR Hook: Once you’re in RDLR, the first thing you need to address is the De La Riva hook. Control/grab below the knee, then extend your leg and push the opponent’s hook leg down. 
  • Break The Collar Grip: If your opponent has a collar grip with their guard, you must break or they’ll control your posture. 
  • Use Your Other Knee: For some reason if you can’t use your hand to break the DLR hook, you can use your outside knee. Base your outside hand on the mat and bring your outside knee on top of your opponent’s leg. Put pressure downward to break your opponent’s hook. 

For a visual, here is John Danaher demonstrating how to defend against RDLR.

Final Thoughts

Reverse De La Riva is a powerful Jiu Jitsu guard that provides optimal control over your opponent and sweep options.  

If you love playing traditional De La Riva guard, then you should also use reverse De La Riva guard. They play well off of each other and you can go back and forth between each to keep your opponent guessing.