The de la riva guard is a position used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by a grappler on their back. The position was initially created by the Brazilian Ricardo De la Riva many years ago. Although this guard is relatively complex compared to other guards, it is still one of the most popular open guards used in Jiu Jitsu today.
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The de la riva guard can be played in many different ways and used both gi and no go. With the gi, the guard player can utilize many different grips on the sleeves and lapels. Common variations of the de la riva guard include a spider de la riva guard, a lapel de la riva guard, and even de la riva-X guard.
Without the gi, this position is difficult to use due to the lack of grips. Instead, it is mostly used for distance control, which the de la guard is great at doing. In no-gi, distance control is key for having a good guard.
There are numerous different sweeps and submissions one can use when playing from de la riva guard. The most common techniques used are back takes.
There are two kinds of back takes from de la riva guard. The first, and the easier of the two, is against a standing opponent. The second is a berimbolo, which is an advanced technique only few have mastered and used effectively in competition.
Sometimes though, the back takes fail, and other options must be considered. One thing you can transition to off of failed back take is a sweep to the leg drag. To see this, watch the following video:
What is kind of cool about this technique is that although it is not technically a berimbolo, it functions very similar to it. If you notice how the guard player positions his body in the above video compared to his partner, it very much resembles the same position one would be in if they were attacking a berimbolo.
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