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Inverting and the Reverse De La Riva Guard…
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Inverting and the Reverse De La Riva Guard…

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The Perfect Pairing With Lachlan Giles.

When we begin to consider learning to invert in our BJJ practice, it may seem a bit intimidating. WE have these thoughts of gong upside down, not being able to manage the movement with our flexibility, and ultimately failing or injuring ourselves. Inversion is a skill, just like any other skill in BJJ. It can’t be mastered without practice. Inverting may not require as much flexibility as you think. Its more about positioning your body. Sure, it helps to be flexible, but I’ve certainly seen inflexible BJJ players invert and make it look just as smooth as a practitioner half their size. 

My first experiences learning to invert were during the height of the berimbolo craze. It was a foreign movement to me, but an essential aspect of the berimbolo. I dint realize at the time just how frequently the movement could be used in other aspects of my training, so I began to delve in a little deeper. I found countless drills to help me understand the movements better and I ended up making inversion a part of my game. 

One of the best positions to learn how to invert from is the reverse De la Riva guard. The RDLR offers the perfect platform to learn how to invert. Learning how to invert without a partner first, takes a bit more time and can be a bit of a struggle. I always feel it’s best to use a wall or in this case a body to anchor yourself to. This can help us slowly understand the process of inverting and assist us in making it a part of our game.

The reverse De La Riva guard is a great position to implement as an option. From the RDLR there are many possibilities where transitions, reversals, leg entries, and submissions are concerned. Its also a phenomenal tool for guard retention. With all these powers combined it would serve you well to learn a little bit about the RDLR. 

In this video, Lachlan Giles shows us how to pair inversion with the RDLR guard. He shares some drills and some technique with us to help us better understand inversion and also gets us familiar with some of the great utilities of the RDLR guard. Check this out!

 

The Drill - 

Setting up in the RDLR guard, Giles weaves his leg around his partners thigh. Remember that to really feel the effectiveness of the RDLR guard, your partner will need to be squatting down, mimicking passing pressure. IF your partner is upright, the position just doesn’t fit. Make sure the passer is giving you the correct structure to get set up. 

To get started with inverting, Giles takes right hand and weaves in between his hips and his partners bottom foot. This will anchor him and keep his body in good position through movement. As he begins to roll to his side toward the middle of his partner’s legs, he keeps his lower back from touching the floor and aims to stay on his shoulders. As he passes through the middle, he takes his original RDLR hook out from in between his partner’s legs and replaces it with the opposite leg. As he completes the transition, he is now on the opposite side and can begin to perform the movement again. 

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As you can see here, Giles is not putting himself in an uncomfortable position that requires him to be overly flexible. Try this movement first a few times and get a baseline reading on how it feels to just simply keep your lower back off of the ground. 

Getting Underneath – 

Giles now gets in to some technique and demonstrates how we can put inversion to work in the RDLR. IF we want to actually use inversion there’s a few bases we need to cover so that we don’t get shut down before we even begin. There are a few points of contact that Giles needs to put in place before he begins. The RDLR hook is of course first, but he also needs to frame the far side of his partner’s body. In this instance he uses a thumb down grip. In addition, he’ll also need to post briefly on his partners body with his free leg and make sure that the leg does not get controlled by his partner. Now, these points of connection are important, but Giles is clear that this isn’t a place to hang out and relax. There is an element of timing here that must be observed and there is a window where we must make our move. 

As Giles begins to invert, he rotates underneath, leading with his knee and using the grip on the collar to help pull himself through, popping out the backside. Now securing the ankle and using his knee to push his partner forward, Giles causes his partner to collapse and creates opportunity for himself to advance. BE sure that as you spin underneath your partner, you keep your knee tucked below the level of your partner’s hips. This will keep you safe from leg attacks such as the toe hold and the knee bar. Don’t leave that leg flapping in the breeze!

As Giles arrives behind his partner, he has some options that will depend heavily on the position of his partner’s body. If they are standing more upright and Giles doesn’t feel he can force them forward and come up, hell simply transition his hooks tot eh underside of the legs. Once here, Giles will secure the belt, pulling down on his partner’s hips and then lifting up and extending with his hooks to push his partner out and away to a seated position. Here, he can lock a seat belt grip ad begin to get to work! 

If his partner is favoring a more forward stance, Giles keeps control of the feet and begins to sit up. When he arrives at a seated position, he then hugs the waist and again waits for a response. If his partner stays put, Giles hip escapes, tucks a shin and begins to get up, to pursue the back.

Leandro Lo Variation – 

AS mentioned before, a great time to implement the RDLR and work the inversion is when the passer is responding to a traditional De La Riva guard. In most cases, the passer will want to step over your free foot and sit on it to combat the De La Riva guard. As this occurs, the top player basically puts them selves in to your revers De La Riva. I didn’t confuse you, did I? 

So, in this variation as the passer responds and steps over, Giles uses the momentum of the movement against his partner by crossing his feet and kicking his partner forward. This causes the passer to post on the mat, which negates any upper body controls they may be looking to acquire and also creates a very clear path for inversion. The result is the same, with Giles ending up behind his partner, with the positioning be slightly different and the additional opportunity of possibly picking up a single leg. 

With inversion being the centerpiece of all of these different concepts, there’s a great deal to learn here. Giles starts with a very entry level option and works his way through a series of RDLR options. As you can see these two ideas go hand in hand.

Don’t buy in to the stigma of inverting! Try it for yourself. Grab a trusted training partner and get to work on some of these ideas. You may find inversion is easier than you think and it could become a staple in your game! Good luck!

Lachlan Giles ran through FIVE consecutive opponents at the first ever Kinetic Team Submission event. He did that with his HIGH LEVEL Half Guard. The Half Guard Anthology is a compilation of Lachlan's very BEST techniques. Get over 10+ Hours of Top Notch Technique with Lachlan Giles!

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