Countering the De La Riva with a Quick Toe Hold
Threaten Their Guard With A Submission OF Your Own!
Undefended, the de la riva guard can be one of the most dangerous positions a guard player can use to attack a standing opponent. There are numerous sweeps, back takes, and submissions that many grapplers are unaware of. The main technique used from this guard is a transition to a crab ride for a back take. This technique is very effective and used at the highest levels effectively.
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In quickly examining the positional nature of the de la riva guard, you will notice that the non-de la riva hook leg is usually free, and even if it is not, it can easily be made free. This is probably one of the biggest problems of the de la riva guard and is used to start defending the position.
Because one leg is usually free and undefended, this means that one can start attacking that leg with numerous submissions. The most common submission to attack here is the toe hold. Unfortunately, or fortunately for some, many people don’t know how to properly execute this submission, exposing themselves.
In the following video, Professor Tom DeBlass shows the proper and effective way to quickly execute this technique against your opponents.
The main problem people have with this technique is not actually the break but getting the necessary control to prevent the guard player from rolling out or quickly defending the submission. Also, one thing I noticed when I was attacking this submission a lot is that is very helpful to bend the defender’s leg while you are finish the toe hold as it will provide more leverage for a break.
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One common mistake people make when trying to get this toe hold is that after getting the correct grip to finish the submission, they fall to their butt trying to get the proper leverage. To defend this, the guard player has to simply straighten their leg and stand up, giving them the superior position.
It is important to main the top position when attacking this submission in case it does not work, which is often because this submission is hard to finish, you can transition quickly. If you can’t get the finish from the top position, the defender’s movements will usually be enough to allow you to transition to other positions to pass or submit from.
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