Reverse De La Riva + Trapdoor Kneebar

5.00(4 Ratings)


When your training partners slide their knees aggressively against your groin, the fantasies you have of an impenetrable guard really seem to slowly slip away. 

It’s in that moment that you may begin questioning the life choices that led you to that situation. The class you didn’t attend, the instructional you didn’t watch, the white belt you didn’t pick to roll with instead of this monster guard passer….

Even though you may have established the reverse de la riva on your opponent, you failed to attack asap and now you’re stuck feeling the wrath of the knee cut among other non enjoyable things. 

Luckily, James Puopolo has a different take on the reverse de la riva. It’s not just an attacking position, it’s time to wipe your tears and begin defending from here too. 

James Puopolo


James Puopolo is widely regarded as one of the top North American submission grapplers of his generation, consistently seen on the podium of major tournaments such as Worlds & Pans.

His instructional features high level detail on the reverse de la riva and how to fully use it to your advantage including his successful and most used submission, the trap door kneebar. 

Target Audience

  • If you hate getting knee sliced, this is for you.
  • Confused on how to use the reverse de la riva to defend your guard, you won’t be confused after watching this instructional.
  • For those who struggle to transition from one guard to the next
  • The grappler who isn’t confident in defending their guard
  • For those who are not able to react quickly enough to counter their opponents attacks

Topics for this course

23 Lessons


Counters, Transitions & Attacks


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About the instructors

5.00 (4 ratings)

1 Courses

Student Ratings & Reviews


Total 4 Ratings

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Finally a reverse de la riva variant that everyone can play. No flexibility needed and still effective. Very simple and quick to implement.

A great alternative to the classical RDLR with a powerful kneebar at the heart of it. An instructional for tall people, inflexible people, or those who intimately know how much knee reconstructions suck.

This course is very specific and concise with no filler or unnecessary chat. James runs through the techniques precisely and explains them really well. I was really struggling with people stuffing my foot when trying to play de la riva but having studied and tried to integrate these techniques and methodology I am way more confident when they do so. The passing counters in particular are really effective as well as the modified butterfly grips.

Thanks and please have James back for more instructionals!

I’ve recently noted a big gap in my game when I am in bottom headquarters position. I needed some options from there, and a lot of RDLR stuff seems to suit smaller guys and didn’t resonate with me. Prof. Puopolo is a bigger/tall guy, so this really interested me. This instructional provides a different take on RDLR and bottom headquarters that is straightforward and has been proven at the highest levels of competition. I look forward to continuing studying this and implementing it into my game. I highly recommend checking this out if, like me, you feel like you don’t have options from the bottom headquarters position.

James Puopolo Reverse De La Riva Jiu Jitsu X Featured Image
All Levels

What Will I Learn?

  • Defending your guard from the reverse de la riva
  • Countering your opponents’ attacks from the reverse de la riva
  • Sweeps from the reverse de la riva
  • How to reinforce the reverse de la riva
  • Submissions including the trap door kneebar
  • Transitioning from the reverse de la riva to various other guards

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