De La Riva Guard: A Powerful Way to Enhance Your BJJ Game

Are you looking for a great guard to help build an unstoppable BJJ system? The De La Riva Guard (DLR), a type of open guard used by several top Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors, should be learned in that case. This is because it allows access to the opponent’s back and other extraordinary attacks to finish a fight.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about the Brazilian jiu-jitsu De La Riva guard. It will demonstrate how to correctly play the DLR guard type and some great sweeps and attacks. Keep your eyes peeled!

De La Riva Guard Explained

The De La Riva Guard is famous in Brazilian jiu-jitsu position, particularly when wearing a gi. Ricardo De La Riva, who was training under Carlson Gracie, invented it in the early 1980s in Brazil.

Otherwise, Ricardo, who was young and skinny, used the De La Riva guard effectively against notorious guard passers. So, how exactly does the De La Riva guard work?

A DLR Guard player hooks one of his legs on the side of his opponent near the knee. Then he’ll attack with his free leg, throwing off the opponent’s base.

Source: JonThomasBJJ

De La Riva Guard Basics

A robust De La Riva guard requires proper leg and body positioning and good grips.

  • Leg Positioning

A DLR guard will quickly pass if the legs are not correctly positioned. One of your legs is hooking the opponent’s knee, playing a passive role of maintaining a safe distance and preventing the opponent from passing effortlessly.

Moreover, your other leg unbalances the opponent’s base and breaks his attack attempts. For example, it can be placed close to the far opponent’s knee, behind the ankle, on the near side hip, the opponent’s elbow, shoulder, and so on.

  • Gripping Methods

A DLR guard will be brittle without the proper grips because proper leg positioning is insufficient. The De La Riva guard grips work to control or unbalance your opponent.

For example, gripping the opponent’s leg, ankle, or pants within the hooked opponent’s leg aids in maintaining the opponent and keeping a reasonable distance.

Otherwise, grabbing the opponent’s collar does help break the opponent’s posture and disrupt his balance, which is very beneficial for sweeping.

  • Body Positioning

Body position is also essential in developing an unbreakable De LA Riva guard. This means that having good leg positioning and grips will accomplish nothing if your body is in the wrong position.

A good body position aids in adjusting your attacking angle and preventing your guard from being passed.

As a result, while in the DLR guard, your body should never face the opponent; instead, it should be declined to the opponent where you have the hook. This strengthens your DLR hook and gives you a slight advantage over your opponent.

In the following video, Stephan Kesting teaches you everything you need to know about the De LA Riva guard basics and how to set up it correctly.

Source: Stephan Kesting

De La Riva Guard Attacks

The De La Riva guard is an excellent position that offers several attack options. For example, you can attack the opponent’s back, etc.

  • De La Riva Back Take

The ability to back take the opponent is well-known when playing the De La Riva guard. As you may be aware, the back take or back control is unquestionably the most dominant grappling position, with competitors vying for it.

The video below shows you how to take your opponent’s back from an essential DLR guard.

Source: MMA Leech

  • DLR Triangle Choke

The triangle choke is one of the most compelling submissions in jiu-jitsu and other martial arts. This submission is possible from various positions, including the DLR Guard.

The trick here is to go for a side sweep from the DLR guard and then catch a triangle choke on the opponent when he puts his hand on the mat to avoid the sweep.

The video below explains everything you need to know about the triangle choke from the De La Riva guard.

Source: Knight Jiu-Jitsu

  • DLR armbar

The armbar is yet another great submission from the DLR guard. Begin by gripping the sleeve of a standing opponent and extending his arm. Then, using one of your legs, push near the opponent’s hip to disrupt his balance, isolate the arm, and finish the armbar submission.

There are several scenarios for getting an armbar from the De La Riva guard. The video below will walk you through each step of getting an excellent armbar submission from this position.

Source: Knight Jiu-Jitsu

  • DLR Ankle Lock

The ankle lock is one of the best leglocks techniques that can be done from the De La Riva guard. Numerous DLR players, including multiple-time world champion Caio Terra, have successfully executed this attack.

In the following video, you’ll learn how to get an ankle lock from a DLR guard.

Source: Stephan Kesting

De La Riva Guard Sweeps

The De La Riva guard offers many effective sweeps to reverse the game in your favor; the following are some of the best.

  • Balloon Sweep

The Balloon sweep is one of the De La Riva guard’s basic sweeps. It is an excellent choice that is highly effective against a standing opponent.

To perform such an impressive sweep, you must first enter a DLR guard and then grip both opponent’s sleeves. Then, when you see your opponent standing over, bring your feet close to the opponent’s hip and push and roll out over your shoulders.

The balloon sweep from the DLR guard is explained in detail in the video below. Have a good time!

Source: Gracie Barra Dana Point Martial Arts

  • Side Sweep

The side sweep is another great sweep that can be performed from the De La Riva guard. Begin by placing your free foot on a standing opponent’s hip while maintaining your DLR guard.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

The waiter sweep is another incredible sweep from the De La Riva guard.

Source: Atos Jiu-Jitsu HQ

De La Riva Guard Pass

Passing a De La Riva Guard is one of the most critical skill sets that BJJ blue belts and above ranks should develop. Hopefully, there are several effective DLR guard passing techniques.

The knee cut, shin slide, leg drag, reverse leg drag, leg trap, folding pass, side knee smash, stack pass, and kick the grip off ankle are some of the best techniques to pass a DLR guard. To discover more about these guard passes, see the video below.

Source: JonThomasBJJ

De La Riva Guard No Gi

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics 

De La Riva Guard System

Source: JonThomasBJJ

De La Riva Guard in MMA

Source: Howcast


Because of phenomenal grapplers like the Mendes brothers and the Miyao brothers, the De La Riva guard has become one of the most effective guards in BJJ tournaments.

Furthermore, DLR guard players have access to various sweeps and submissions to defeat opponents, making them better defense and attack grapplers.

Otherwise, when combined with the X-guard and other savage bottom positions, the De La Riva guard can become even more dangerous.

Learning how to play the DLR guard correctly will help you develop an excellent jiu-jitsu game.

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