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De La Riva Guard Pass Sequence with Kristian Woodmansee
Take a moment and think back to a simpler time, when you were just starting jiu jitsu and all you knew was the closed guard. Ah life seemed to be so easy, all you had to do was keep your opponent wrapped up long enough to control their posture and try to catch them in some sort of closed guard submission or maybe a sweep if they started to get away from you. Maybe this idyllic scenario didn't really last much more than your first class or so, but it's nice to remember the good old days.
In reality, since day one, you know that the opponent or training partner's number one goal if you have them in closed guard is to get themselves out. The reality of having your guard broken open and the difficulty that opponent's can give us trying to regain that position is a harsh reality that has to be faced sooner than later.
One of the first positions that has developed over the last 30 years or so of BJJ's development, has been the De La Riva guard. It is considered by some to be the 'mother of open guards' as it was one of the first to become popularized and is now seen as a standard or fundamental open guard that must be understood and addressed from both the guard player's and guard passer's perspectives.
As someone who was a smaller grappler in comparison to his teammates, the legendary creator of the De La Riva guard, Ricardo De La Riva found himself being smashed and having his closed guard opened, so he began playing a guard in which one leg was wrapped outside and over the opponent's thigh, hooking underneath their posterior creating a tight clamp with tremendous power to move and debase the opponent. The guard player's remaining leg was used to hook and manipulate the free leg of the opponent. This creates a strong feeling of being unbalanced and requires the opponent to address this destabilization or face the possibility of being swept.
The position has developed greatly since the 1980's when Ricardo De La Riva first pioneered it and many current and future stars have added different angles, grips, and inversions to the the recipe to create a growing system of De La Riva based guards, sweeps and even submissions.
One of the best practitioners of this guard is Atos black belt Kristian Woodmansee. Known as "The Dream Killer" by his fans and opponents, this Andre Galvao black belt has become one of the most creative practitioners of all things De La Riva.
Check out his breakdown of a De La Riva Guard Pass sequence below:
In this pass sequence, starting when the opponent has you locked in a variation of De La Riva known as Reverse De La Riva, which has the thigh locked from the inside out instead of the outside in like classic De La Riva. In addition, the extra problem of the knee shield is presenting.
Kristian quickly shows an easy way to dispatch that knee shield and bring your elbow that was outside of the shield quickly into position on the inside by pulling on the bottom leg of the opponent lifting their hips momentarily off of the ground and adjusting the elbow into the inside.
From there, he demonstrates three variations with the first being when the opponent does not react and you are able to kick out reminiscent of an X pass style position. In the second variation, Kristian shows how to adjust if their inside hook remains "sticky" on your leg. Instead of fighting, simply bring it forward for a pass reminiscent of a classic knee slice. Lastly, let's say that the first and second option are not available, in the final example, Kristian squares up with his opponent and pulls their bottom knee through and between his legs, shooting his outside knee to the ground pinning their thigh. From there he staples their top arm to their side momentarily to allow him to step over and escape to the other side allowing him to establish control from the opposite side.
Never worked De La Riva Guard? Do you find yourself stuck in your training partner's or opponent's De La Riva too much? Learn directly from Atos prodigy Kristian Woodmansee who will show you all of his secrets to developing both a solid De La Riva Guard and an impossible to stop, De La Riva Guard passing game. You will find it all here in his "AP De La Riva Guard" instructional at the special price of $39 today (normally $77)!!!