The Reverse de la Riva Guard is a variation of the regular de la Riva Guard, but with your inside leg entangling your opponent’s lead leg instead of your outside leg.
This picture should make it a little clearer what the difference is…
Why Use the Reverse de la Riva?
Most of the time players use both the regular and the reverse de la Riva positions, because they complement each other.
For example, one of the most popular guard passes against the regular de la Riva guard is the knee cut pass. So if you’re a de la Riva player you’re going to be encountering it on a fairly regular basis.
But the Reverse de la Riva blocks and shuts down the knee cut pass, making it an essential complementary position to the regular de la Riva.
But it’s NOT just a blocking position. You can definitely attack from here as well!
In fact there are some pretty fancy attacks, including the famous ‘Kiss of the Dragon’ backtake (that you can see at about 6:30 in the video on this Reverse de la Riva tutorial here).
But not every technique from this position is so fancy!
Some attacks are downright simple. So simple that you smack your forehead and go, ‘Doh! Why didn’t I think of that?‘
The arm drag from Reverse de la Riva is one of those simple and obvious attacks that not many people think of.
Gripfighting in the Reverse de la Riva
Good players will always try to mess with your feet if they’re in your Reverse de la Riva, either to set up a guard pass or maybe dive on your foot for some kind of rolling toehold.
So you definitely DON’T want to give people control over your feet in this position.
Gripfighting and off balancing are the answers to freeing your feet in the Reverse de la Riva.
The arm drag is a gripfighting tactic that not only gets his hand off your foot but it also merges very well into offence!
It sets up a whole bunch of different attacks including back takes, front headlocks, chokes and sweeps.
It’s one of those beautiful examples where gripfighting leads directly into a super-powerful attack.
Armdrag Attack from Reverse de la Riva Breakdown
The video below is an excerpt from The No Gi de la Riva Guard Formula gives you a detailed breakdown of the arm drag AND an entire series of followup attacks.
If you are looking to improve your open guard then it’s definitely something you want to take a look at…
P.S. If you find value in the knee cut defense video then it might interest you to know that it’s from The No Gi de la Riva Formula instructional that’s available online and as a DVD set on Grapplearts.
It’s packed with many more immediately actionable techniques and tidbits.
If you think that this instructional might have some value for you then go to this page on Grapplearts for more info.