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John Danaher’s Brilliant Reverse De La Riva Pass

John Danaher’s Brilliant Reverse De La Riva Pass



The reverse De La Riva guard is one of the most highly implemented guards in the modern age of BJJ. This incredibly versatile position offers much in the way of off balancing, transitioning, attacking, and it is famous for stopping the guard pass. It provides layers of protection between the guard passer and the floor and keeps many passers at bay, making it a solid choice for any bottom player.

For the leg lockers in the crowd, the RDLR has definitely become a favorite hub to launch attacks and transition to dangerous leg entanglements. All in all you could say the RDLR is a pretty tough position to navigate as a guard passer. But, John Danaher has plenty to say about the subject and in his newest release, Passing the Guard, he reveals not only the key to unlocking the RDLR but also a whole entire host of today's most common and relied upon guard configurations. 

If you’re a Danaher fan and frequently reference his instructionals, then you know he is one of the most revered, talented, and through instructors on the planet. You’ll find answers in his material that you never knew you had questions for and his insights are among some of the most important in the sport. 

Passing the guard is no different. Danaher has assembled a collection of the most high percentage passing procedures in the game, coupled with brilliant ideas on how to approach all different kinds of guards and genus tactics to increase your passing abilities in a hurry.

So, back to this pesky reverse De La Riva guard. Does Danaher have an answer for this one? You bet. This is simple, direct, and something you can add to the passing arsenal tonight. You only need about 4 minutes to recruit game changing details to your passing game! Have a look!


After a brief overview of the position itself, Danaher begins his instruction. If you didn't catch his very first bit of advice, it's worth rewinding. Danaher recommends that we free the head as our first course of action when passing the guard. This is something you may not think about enough but it makes a ton of sense. With our head below our hips our posture is controlled to a certain degree. Freeing the head will allow you to regain some of this critical posture so you can begin to get to work. Keep this in mind.Hopefully you also caught the instruction on how to release the grip. The direction of the thumb. Great stuff.


After Danaher releases his lapel from his partner’s grasp, the next order of business is to claim the inside space. Before he can do this he must release his partner’s instep from the backside of his thigh. Acquiring an open hand grip or a grip on the pants, Danaher then straightens his leg, causing the RDLR hook to detach. Using his opposite side elbow to block out the other leg, Danaher now settles into a perfect knee slice style passing position and can begin to proceed. 

Of course there will be times when we are not able to use our hand against the leg to achieve the inside position. In this instance, Danaher will use his leg instead. From the same position, Danher now posts his hand on the mat so he can make his leg light. He uses his knee on top of his partners RDLR hook to create a wedge and again release the instep from his inner thigh. Here, he can now travel to the inside, claiming the space and setting up another fantastic passing position. 

The moral of the story here is definitely getting the inside position and removing that RDLR instep from the back of the thigh. This is so simple it hurts. If you've been doing back flips and circus acts to shed the RDLR hook, this should be of great use to you and it's something that you can immediately put into practice. 

The revere's De La Riva guard can be an exceptionally tough guard to pass but it doesn't have to put a complete halt to your progress. This is a great jumping off point for dealing with this modern guard and Danaher has plenty more to show you! 

Passing the Guard: BJJ Fundamentals - Go Further Faster by John Danaher

Passing the Guard with John Danaher is available now at the BJJ Fanatics online store. 



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