The de la Riva guard is a super-powerful position in modern jiu-jitsu, and many competitors use it as their primary open guard option, especially when they need to control a standing opponent.
But this position is very grip dependent. Different grips open up different attacks.
Want to dump him on his face with the ball and chain sweep? Better get your hands on that far sleeve! Want to scoot behind him and take his back? Then control his near sleeve. Want to spin underneath him and hit him with a berimbolo? Well, that move is easiest using a same-side-lapel or belt grip.
If you’re interested in the basics of the de la Riva then I’ve got two videos on this topic for you today…
The first important video is an outline of the basic grips from the de la Riva guard and the attacks you can do from each of them…
The takeaway here is your de la Riva grips determine both your attacks and how he’s going to try and pass your guard. So learning the various grips and their implications is absolutely critical.
Now of course some opponents are going to go absolutely berserk in their efforts to break your grips. They will fight, fight, fight to get your hands off of them. And if they are very strong, very skilled at grip-breaking, or both then it can make your de la Riva guard difficult to maintain.
So what do you do if your grips have been stripped? Should you take your toys and go home?
Not so quick… Fortunately there’s a fairly simple answer to get back in the de la Riva game when you’re temporarily gripless.
This brings us to the second video, which I shot with BJJ world champion Brandon ‘Wolverine’ Mullins.
(Watch right to the end for some cool footage of Brandon pulling this off in competition.)
So before you worry about your de la Riva sweeps, submissions and even guard retention first look to getting a grip on… well… your grips!
Hope you found this useful, and good luck with your training!
P.S. If you want to learn more about the de la Riva guard, from the basics right through to some of the higher-level strategies, then I would recommend Brandon Mullins for more information. His Non-Stop de la Riva guard is really good, and it’s available as a stand-alone app for phones and tablets, and also as part of his Non-Stop Jiu-Jitsu DVD set here.