Basic Deep De La Riva Guard: a BJJ Sweeps Tutorial

Deep DLR guard

De la Riva guard has been a feature of sport Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, no-gi submission grappling, and even mixed martial arts (to a more limited extent) for decades now. Originally created by the late, great Carlson Gracie (who called it "Jello guard"), the position underwent an early explosion in popularity in the 1990s when Ricardo de la Riva used the guard to win numerous sport BJJ matches, including one notable match over Royler Gracie. From there, Mario Sperry, Murilo Bustamante, and others brought the guard to the forefront of the sport BJJ game.

Nearly a decade and a half later, there's a new crop of innovators with de la Riva guard, including Samuel Braga (who first used the berimbolo in black belt world championship competition as far back as 2006), Rafael Mendes, and Joao and Paulo Miyao. Before you can berimbolo, though, you may want to learn of a few somewhat more fundamental sweeps. Here are three such sweeps that can be used in a simple, logical sequence. Note: if you've never used any De La Riva guard before, you might want to check out this very basic DLR tutorial.


Technique #1

We're going to start this sequence from the closed guard. Start by controlling both sleeves, and as your opponent opens your guard, put your right foot on their hip. Your left leg is going to weave through their lead (right) leg and then all the way through to their opposite hip. Now you have very good control. From here, go ahead and step on your foot - this allows you an extra measure of control during the turn that is coming up, and (for me) it reinforces my inside knee just a bit.

From here, try using your opponent's sleeves like a steering wheel, turning the top arm (controlled by your left hand) to the right, while turning the bottom arm (your right hand) to the left. This will strongly off-balance your opponent forward and to his left (your right). You may want to drop your right foot to his or her knee at this point, helping to block movement.

Feeding off of the initial reaction you're likely to get, you can often use this response to off-balance your opponent to the other side (your left). In either case, you're going to have a pretty good chance to start passing their guard as you come up on top.

Technique #2: DLR hook sweep

This second technique starts out exactly the same way as the first one, but instead of planting your foot on their hip initially, you're going to put your right foot in as a hook. This hook will prove extremely useful in a variety of situations, and this first sweep is the simplest one.

After trying to push my opponent forward (as in the previous sweep), when he reacts back, I just take him in that direction, blocking his far leg with my "deep" hook, and elevating with the other hook. This is an extremely simple, efficient sweep. You pretty much fall right into the pass, too.

Technique #2: DLR/X against standing

If you've got technique #2 down, this one will be a snap. As you once again control both sleeves and establish your deep hook by planting your right foot to step on their hip, and then shooting your left leg all the way through, your opponent stands up, trying to spoil your de la Riva guard party. Boo!

You can actually shoot your deep hook in after your opponent stands up, as shown in the video. Either way, once you have both hooks in place, try once again off balancing your opponent forward. Once you get the reaction (typically, upward posture), keep your deep hook where it is, but let your shallow (front) hook slide down to the back of your opponent's heel. Trip, sweep, and enjoy!

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Practice and enjoy!

If you've enjoyed the de la Riva stuff, you might also enjoy our Deep Half Guard Tutorial as well. Passing the Guard with the Kimura is one of our most popular tutorials, and there are numerous leglock modules worth a look. Regardless of what your game is, make sure to set aside time to not only learn how the techniques work, but to drill them on a willing participant. Drills allow you to get the muscle memory you need in order to really hit the moves in competition or during rolling at the gym! As always, we welcome feedback. Just let us know if you enjoyed this stuff, or if you have any requests or other feedback.

About the author
Andrew Smith teaches gi and no-gi seminars across the country. Check out his schedule of upcoming seminars and bio here. If you're interested in booking Andrew for a seminar, email him here.

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goatfury profile image

goatfury 20 months ago from Richmond, VA

I used a variation of one of these at least half a dozen times last week!

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