Espen Mathiesen Shares the Key Concepts of a World-Class Reverse De La Riva Guard

Reverse De La Riva is one of the most popular and dynamic guards in modern jiu-jitsu. In a new video, elite black belt Espen Mathiesen gives an overview of the general principles of the reverse De La Riva guard.

As Mathiesen describes in the video below, the key to an effective reverse De La Riva guard is recognizing what position the top player is in and adapting the guard accordingly. The top player can be in one of three positions: with one knee on the ground, in a crouch, or standing. The guard player adapts his reverse De La Riva approach depending on the position of the top player.

Mathiesen was an IBJJF European and Pans champion as a brown belt and has continued to compete at an elite level as a black belt. He holds notable wins over Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa, Edwin Najmi, and Michael Liera.

Mathiesen is known for his advanced De La Riva, reverse De La Riva, and berimbolo and back-taking game. He most recently competed as a member of Team Europe at Polaris Squads 2, where he grappled Team UK’s Bradley Hill and Jamie Paxman to draws.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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