Breaking Down the de la Riva Guard

Breaking Down the de la Riva Guard

As most of you know, Masterskya employs a scientific approach to understanding techniques. Every month has a new curriculum, and each week focusses on a set of techniques that get broken down day-by-day. We’re focusing on the de la Riva Guard this week, which is a very exciting position (and a personal favorite of mine).

Alex Ecklin — Masterskya’s founder, leader, and head instructor — has provided some deep key insight into the position.

When you are playing bottom, it is important for the guard player to be able to use their legs as if they are arms. The legs are much stronger than the arms, so it is more efficient to use them to push, pull, and move around your opponent. Many beginners focus on using their arms, just to end up tired out. DLR and reverse DLR enable the guard player to use their legs as hooks and anchors. This lets the guard player control the opponent/partner before manipulating their balance and stability. Thus setting up submissions and sweeps.

As a guard player, all limbs must be working at all times, if one leg or arm is dead, your guard is vulnerable. DLR and reverse DLR help keep the legs active.

For the half guard top, it is one of the most common positions to pass from. It is one of the few places the guard passer has many opportunities to pass the guard.

There are many passes, and if you can achieve these three positions your chances of passing are very high:

  • head control with correct shoulder pressure
  • chest to chest using your hip to control their hip
  • underhooks

We also have some video footage to share with you all. This first video features a younger Van Allen Flores at The World MMA Expo in New York City back in 2009.

At approximately the 00:20 and 00:45 second marks we can see the de la Riva being expertly employed.

The below video is particularly awesome. Why? Because it is from the man himself: Ricardo de la Riva. He is, literally, a living legend. And here he is breaking down his namesake.

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." -Walt Whitman, Song of Myself. "There may be no greater pleasure on Earth than going to sleep without having to wake up at a specific time." -Andrew Fanelli, 2012 Facebook Status.

1 Comment

  1. Hey Andrew,

    Really enjoying the blog. Good work!


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