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Using the Knee Cut and Leg Drag Against De La Riva

Using the Knee Cut and Leg Drag Against De La Riva


We all have those guys in our academies that love to play that pesky De La Riva guard, some of them even try and berimbolo us.  This can be a nuisance to many of us.  How can we beat the De La Riva Guard?  Well, there are several ways that you can pass the DLR guard, today; we are going to discuss two very high percentage options to passing the DLR guard.

The first is the most traditional pass, the knee slice; the second is a newer approach that is quickly becoming one of the best passes, the Leg Drag.  Both of these passes are extremely high percentage against the De La Riva guard and even if they don’t work, they can be used to avoid the position from the get go.  

Knee Slice VS De La Riva

We all know the knee cut or knee slice pass.  It is one of the first passes that we become accustomed to and learn to utilize.  This pass although simple on the surface can actually be a high level and complex pass.  It is one of the best options for passing so many guards including the topic of this article, De La Riva.  How can we use the knee slice against the De La riva Guard? 

Great question! You have to go through some steps and you cannot just try and force the knee slice.  The first thing you have to do is get into a one in and one out passing position.  This means that one of your legs is in between your opponent’s legs and the other is on the outside.  Let’s assume your opponent has a DLR hook on your right leg, you would want to step over their right leg with your left leg therefore putting you into your one in and one out position.  This is the first step.

Once you are in this position you want to grip the knee that is not a DLR hook and have your other hand on their collar.  Now that you are in this position, have good posture so you are difficult to move and you can initiate a knee slice.  Check out this video below showing a step by step breakdown of what we just discussed on using the knee slice against the De La Riva Guard.


Leg Drag VS De La Riva Guard

The leg drag is quickly becoming one of the most used passes at the highest levels of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, made popular by the 6x Black Belt World Champion, Rafael Mendes, the leg drag is one of the best passes against the De La Riva guard.  The leg drag will completely immobilize your opponent’s hip movement, it is one of the best ways to pass a flexible and long persons guard. Check out our article “Leg Drag as a Position” to learn more on the finishing details on this pass.

When using the leg drag against the de la riva, you want to focus 100% of your attention on the leg that is not the DLR hook.  This leg is the one you need to ultimately control and drag across your hip.  So if they have a DLR hook on you right leg, you have to control their right leg and drag it across your body, than pass.  Check out this drill below showing how to knee slice and leg drag against the DLR guard.

If you want to learn how to pass the De La Riva almost effortlessly, check out Atos competitor, Kristian Woodmansee’s AP De La Riva Guard DVD.  Kristian is a master of De La Riva guard and can teach you the intricacies of playing and passing this guard.


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