Reverse de la Riva Single Leg

Reverse de la Riva single leg!


The reverse de la Riva guard can feel tenuous and impractical the first time you find yourself there, yet with practice it can become a very difficult guard to pass and one with many options for attack.

The reverse DLR has been featured on The Jiu Jitsu Laboratory before (Part I, Part II), but this entry will expand on one of the most powerful techniques from the position, the single leg takedown. Many points from the bottom are scored by using the guard to set up takedown techniques at the highest levels of Jiu Jitsu competition. This is one such option that is used by several competitors, although it is utilized with the greatest proficiency by Japanese-Brazilian Roberto Satoshi.

Satoshi is a recent black-belt who made major waves at brown belt by winning his weight at the 2011 European Championships and taking bronze in the absolute, among other accomplishments.To begin our study of the single leg from reverse DLR check out Satoshi’s excellent performance against Jordon Schultz during the finals of the Europeans.


Roberto Satoshi vs. Jordon Schultz – 2011 European Jiu Jitsu Championships Lightweight Final



As you can see, the reverse DLR can form the backbone of an aggressive sweeping guard game. Of the many options from the position the single leg is one of the most intuitive since the lead leg is already isolated. Still, there are several details that can help make this a go-to sweep in anyone’s arsenal.

  1. The reverse DLR hook threads from the inside like a half-guard hook, but pressures upwards with the instep tight against your opponent’s thigh. The upward, circular pressure of the inside hook inspires one of the positions many aliases, the spiral guard.
  2. When performing the reverse DLR make sure to grab the ankle of the lead leg to prevent the knee slice guard pass. The free, outside leg can push on the hip to create space. Be aware that your opponent will attempt to control this leg to set up guard passes and leg locks. Always be active with your hooks in this position. Your free arm will also be acting to keep your opponent’s weight from crushing downwards.
  3. To begin the single leg it’s important to extend the opponent’s leg past 90 degrees by straightening your inside hook. Here, Satoshi also gets a deep inside hook with his arm, grabbing his pants to facilitate the deepest angle he can. This is the point where the reverse DLR player can continue to angle inwards to take the back or turn out for the single.
  4. If you decide to attempt the single, whip the outside leg downwards to develop the momentum needed to pull your body up to get a good grip on your opponent’s leg with your free arm. The hand the was gripping the ankle is now free to push off the mat.
  5. As you swing up, drop your inside hook to the ankle to ensure that your opponent doesn’t free their leg. As your other leg hits the mat, push up with your hand and foot with your inside hook tight against the ankle.
  6. As you begin to stand, keep your head inside and rotate to bring your opponent’s weight towards their missing post.
  7. Use chest pressure to apply downwards force to finish the sweep.
  8. Establish your posture and begin to pass your opponent’s guard.


Click for full size image


Ricardo de la Riva – reverse de la Riva single leg


“David Koresh Jr.” (Bullshido member) – reverse de la Riva knee tap single


To further explore the reverse DLR single leg it’s good to check out some of the web-based instructional material. Any time you can get the guy the guard is named after showing you how to perform a certain technique it is always worthwhile. Meanwhile, the second video has made the rounds on the internet and is good explanation of the key points of the sweep.

Another variation that I noticed from Roberto Satoshi was the use of the arm-drag to transition between the reverse DLR and the single leg sweep against Samuel Kinoshita at the 2010 Rickson Gracie Cup in Japan. Set up the same way as the above-described sweep, this variation uses the opponent’s attempt to prevent the sweep against them.

As the opponent attempts to stop Satoshi from rising up for the single he leaves his arm available for an arm drag. With the arm isolated, Satoshi is able to pull the opponent down, gaining an angle to hit the single. He uses his inside hook to pull the opponent’s trapped leg towards him, using his free arm to latch onto the leg and come up onto the single leg.


Click for full size image


The single leg takedown is a very high percentage maneuver that can be set up with speed and precision from the reverse de la Riva guard. Any time you can use your guard work to isolate your opponent’s leg and come up in a takedown position is advantageous for competition, particularly if you don’t yet feel comfortable using your wrestling to set up a shot. The use of the guard to set up takedowns in increasing in prevalence in major competitions, as is the use of the reverse de la Riva guard.

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Filed under Jiu Jitsu Technique

8 responses to “Reverse de la Riva Single Leg

  1. niiiiiice. I’ll be leaving those images up for a few days.

  2. Pato

    and one more example of the technique in another match

  3. Bookmarked!
    I play a lot of half and deep half, but have never really looked into the reverse DLR. I can see how these will fit into my game nicely – can’t wait to try them out!

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