De La Riva Sweep (Generic)

De La Riva Sweep (Generic)

The purpose of a De La Riva sweep is to move your opponent’s weight and body distribution to make them fall by losing their balance. Usually, a De La Riva starts from an open guard, building a frame (that is, legs, feet, arms, and hands creating a solid distance between you and the opponent)


The origins of De La Riva Guard date back to the 1980s, when this position that’s now widely used in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu began being developed. The most widely acknowledged story about the origin of this move starts with the martial art and sport of judo. One of the Judo practitioners caught a glimpse of its effectiveness in combat, then returned to Japan and shared his experience with others he trained with. That’s when it entered mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

How to perform a De La Riva sweep

  • Step 1. When performing any of the guards, details are essential. First, we need to make sure we can position our hip behind our opponent’s foot; if their foot passes our hip line, it will be difficult to weave our leg around theirs. Also, you need to align your body in the same line as your opponent’s shoulder. Check the next step for the grips.
  • Step 2. The typical leg thread, a grip on their Achilles, and a cross grip on their lapel. One important thing is that your other foot needs to be placed on your opponent’s hip bone, not on their leg.
  • Step 3. Once all your grips are secure, you’ll need to start working on “braking their frame.” Our purpose is to pull down the lapel simultaneously as your knee turns inside, in one motion shortening the distance between these two while pulling towards you.
  • Step 4. Lastly, you’ll need to punch your opponent’s shoulder towards your anchor, that is, the hold of your opponent’s Achilles, scoring a sweep on your opponent.

De La Riva Sweep, like any sweep, puts you in a significant advantage against your opponent, easily a better position like full mount, side control, etc. Jiu-Jitsu, like many suggest, is like a chess game, one move at a time until you hit a successful submission, transferring an open guard or De La Riva guard. Applying a sweep to a dominant position or directly to a submission attack is the science of any good match. Some practitioners don’t use it as often; when your main game is with a Gi against No-Gi players.