de la Riva Guard – Part II


Last week I was caught comparing the de la Riva guard to everyone’s favorite show about the degradation of American institutions in Baltimore, Maryland, The Wire. We looked at the sitting DLR guard as a starting point to using the position.

To stretch a metaphor, the sitting guard would be season 1 of The Wire – competent and necessary with a hint of the awesomeness to follow. We’ve also covered the reverse DLR guard (part I, part II), which effectively acts as season 2 – completely different from the other seasons, but you need it to put the rest in context. We also examined inverted DLR sweeps - the season 5 of the DLR/Wire. Over the top fun that is a bit too much for most people.

This entry will be about the interface between these styles of DLR guard – mainly dealing with near-inverted sweeping styles that take advantage of reactions to the previously-described sweeps. And this is where our metaphor breaks down, since I’m not really sure what season of The Wire to which that would be analogous – maybe season 3? It does tie everything else together.


Cobrinha – Inverted de la Riva Omoplata Sweep


The first attack we’ll look at is by Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles, who is one of the first Jiu Jitsu competitors to develop the inverted DLR guard. This is a beautiful sweep that can be used when you are attempting to invert, but can’t quite make it. Maybe your opponent steps or leans forward to prevent you from rolling underneath them, or maybe you’ve gone to that particular well too many times and want to try something new.

Regardless, swinging back creates an angle that allows you to insert your leg over and through the back of your opponent’s near arm. I’ve seen this done with the foot shallow and near the head, like Cobrinha – but also with is deep to the opposite shoulder. Try it both ways and see which allows you to put the most force on your opponent’s shoulder when you flair your knee.


Robson Moura – Inverted de la Riva Omoplata Sweep to Armbar


The finish of this sweep can be tricky. At the end of the video Cobrinha includes a video of a completed inverted DLR roll-over sweep. However, if your opponent blocks that sweep, pulling them forward puts you in a weird tangle of grips. At our gym we have been working on blocking the hips first then working our way to side control, instead of jumping right to head control as shown in the first video.

Alternatively, it’s apparently possible to maintain control of the trapped arm to finish with an easy armbar. Easy for Robson Moura, maybe but I’ve never come close to hitting this. However, by drilling it like a maniac I’m sure I’d be able to work it into my arsenal.


Cobrinha – de la Riva Swing Sweep and Tomoe Nage Sweep


Also called a roll-over sweep, the swing sweep allows you another out if you attempt to swing for the inverted position and are blocked. Simply swing back, kicking out your opponent’s base as you come forward. Similar to the knee push sweep from last week, this sweep ends with your opponent’s knees smashed together. Here, Cobrinha chooses to get head and arm control and knee slide to side control – although you can also swing around to take the back as well.

The Tomoe Nage is an effective counter to your opponent’s counter to the last type of sweep. When you attempt a knee push or swing sweep, your opponent can push into you to prevent being dumped on his shoulder. When this occurs he gives you the momentum needed for the Tomo Nage. This is another beautiful sweep, which feels effortless when your opponent gives you the proper reaction.


Tony Passos – de la Riva Tomoe Nage


There are many variations of the Tomoe Nage sweep from DLR. Since I like to perform the knee push sweep with a far sleeve and near collar, this is the same grip that I use for the Tomoe Nage. Notice, however, that Cobrinha is using an near sleeve and near collar cross grip. This grip pulls the near shoulder down harder, and creates a perpendicular angle that can facilitate the sweep. It also means that your opponent has greater control of their far arm to post and break your grips.

Tony Passos uses a double sleeve grip, which allows you to flip your opponent to either side depending on where he is distributing his weight. Passos shows how he pushes back the arm on the same side as the DLR hook to flip his opponent over his shoulder. This variation is one that my main training partner, Matt, uses against me far too often.

Another benefit of this sweep is that when your opponent does block it, they will have to open up and post an limb out, creating an easy opening for an omoplata or armlock counter.


Robson Moura – De la Riva Tomoe Nage Sweep Variation


Since we’ve covered attacks that originate when an inversion attempt is blocked and also Tomoe Nage sweeps – we can now combine the two. Above, Robson Moura demonstrates a Tomoe Nage variation that you can use when your opponent sits and leans back to prevent your inversion. As they do so, block their post by pushing their near arm forward, kicking your outside DLR hook up and popping your hips up. Your opponent may roll all the way to their back, allowing you to come up on top, or stop on their side as Moura shows. If the latter occurs, swing your leg back and enter their half-guard. Keep your grips so it’s easy to get the guard pass.

With all of the possible options from the DLR guard, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. What seems to help is picking a limited series of 2-3 techniques that are linked by your opponent’s attempts to counter your sweeps. Also, keep your eyes open for the most high-percentage back-take from the DLR guard – which will be covered soon at The Jiu Jitsu Laboratory.


Previously on The Jiu Jitsu Laboratory:

de la Riva Guard – Part I

de la Riva Guard – Inverted Sweeps

de la Riva Guard – Berimbolo Sweep

Reverse de la Riva Guard – Part I 

Reverse de la Riva Guard – Part II


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1 Comment

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One response to “de la Riva Guard – Part II

  1. Andrew Foster

    I love the Wire! I didn’t like Seaon 2 at all when it first aired, but looking back, it stands well in cintext with the rest of the series. Surprisingly, even though Stringer was my favorite character along with Omar, Season 4 was my favorite. I thought I would hate it since I knew Stringer would be gone, and that the show jumped the shark. Boy was I wrong.

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