In today’s jiu-jitsu, the De La Riva guard is everywhere. It is the starting point for popular techniques like the berimbolo and its a strong starting point for back takes, sweeps, and advanced leg entanglements. The De La Riva guard has evolved a great deal over the past few decades, but it all started with the position’s namesake, Ricardo De La Riva. Check out the video below for an excerpt from De La Riva’s new instructional available on BJJ Fanatics.
What we see above is De La Riva demonstrating a pair of sweeps that, although they appear to be relatively simple, are undeniably effective. Rather than inverting underneath for a berimbolo or performing a movement that requires serious mobility and athleticism, these classic De La Riva sweeps take advantage of the basic positioning of the top man. By simply pushing on the top player’s chest or rolling to the side to lift his leg, De La Riva is able to secure sweeps with minimal effort.
Ricardo De La Riva was awarded his black belt by Carlson Gracie in 1986. A featherweight competitor, De La Riva developed his guard system to prevent larger opponents from smashing him. Since then, countless jiu-jitsu players and top competitors have used the De La Riva guard and its various offshoots to huge success. In particular, top berimbolo players like Mikey Musumeci, Joao and Paulo Miyao have used the De La Riva guard, which innately creates a pathway to the back, to find success at the absolute highest levels of the sport. And even outside of elite competitors, nearly all jiu-jitsu players learn some form of the De La Riva guard and the sweeps that are available from that position.