The open guard is one of the most beautiful and complex tools we utilize in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When you think about it, open guard is actually just an umbrella term for a huge amount of positions that all vary from each other in very intricate ways. The open guard also has many layers, ranging from spider guard to butterfly guard and so on.
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One of the best positions to use in open guard is the de la riva guard, named after the legendary Ricardo De La Riva. This widely used guard takes advantage of the guard player’s every limb to work synergistically to control, destabilize, and attack the top player. This is why so many high level grapplers become masters of the de la riva guard.
There are different styles of attacks from de la riva guard and they can be divided into proactive and reactive attacks. It is usually better to be proactive when playing guard, but many grapplers have great success with being reactive as well. There are also different styles of sweeps from de la riva guard, include trips, off balances, and takedown finishes.
The first technique many grapplers learn from de la riva guard is the sit up sweep. This is when the guard player kicks the top player’s far leg away, sits up, and finishes the sweep as a technical stand up or a single leg. This technique is a fundamental one all grapplers should learn. What if the sweep part of this technique fails though? Fortunately there is a great way of overcoming this by making a minor adjustment.
In the following video by BJJ Fanatics, you will see a transition to a different kind of sweep from the basic sit up sweep that is highly effective. See below:
It may be a little difficult to see in this video, but what the guard player is doing after sitting up and switching the hand is placing his shin in front of the top player’s shin. This will allow you to elevate that leg in a butterfly sweep fashion as you roll over for the finish. Another option you have is if the top player frees their arm is transitioning to single leg-X for leg locks or other sweeps.
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