The Underworld: Underhook De La Riva System

5.00(15 Ratings)


Is your de la riva less deadly than a white belt’s x guard? Two common modern guards played in jiu jitsu today are the de la Riva guard and the x guard. These 2 guards give the guard player (you) infinite pathways to submissions, sweeps, backtakes, and more. But nothing great ever came easy. Rome wasn’t built without a plan, and your open guard will never become truly dangerous without one either. Wait, did we just give you a plan?

Enter the underhook de la riva. The underhook de la riva system is a mega-hub for several loops of many different positional exchanges of different guards. It is an extremely powerful offensive guard playing position that will easily allow you to get to your opponent’s back and submit them using the techniques you will learn from Margot inside this course. WARNING! High percentage techniques.

Destroy your opponent’s weight distribution, stance, & weight shift. If you can understand these 3 things, it will make it easier to sweep your partner. 90% of the time, sweeping your partner isn’t about forcing the technique, it’s about where their weight is now, and where you want it to go so you can follow up on top.

What’s included in my ticket to the underworld? Everything will start from the underhook de la riva position, from there, Margot Ciccarelli, a certified underworld veteran takes you through everything you need to know to destroy any guard passer attempting to pass your guard. Inside, you will learn the Jenga pit stop, submissions from the Jenga pit stop, modern ways to transition to the back from x guard, crab ride to the back, re-inforcing your underhook de la riva using the lapel, and much, much more.

Not sure where to begin? Follow this course’s flowchart HERE.

Target Audience

  • For those who want to destroy their opponent's base
  • For those who have a weak De La Riva guard
  • For those who struggle to efficiently sweep, take the back or submit their opponent from guard

Topics for this course

35 Lessons


Front Side Underhook De La Riva

Back Side Underhook De La Riva

Lapel Underhook De La Riva

About the instructors

Jiu Jitsu is a “combative art - a live canvas if you will, but the paintbrush is the player and the canvas is the mat.” - Margot Ciccarelli


Margot Ciccarelli, black belt under Murilo Santana, is widely recognized in jiu jitsu for her innovative style and focus on body movement and spatial awareness. She has an extensive background in a variety of martial arts and other activities including: Chinese Kickboxing, Wing Chun Kungfu, powerlifting, hip hop dancing, and circus skills, among others. 


This explorative approach to athleticism, and even competition, also oozes into the way she teaches. Of her Pass Key course, one online student wrote: “I really like the sense of freedom in this course. Take the concepts/fundamentals and pass guards using body movement mechanics instead of a rigid, step by step approach.”


Free Yourself from Rigid Technique Systems that Don’t Always Work for You or for Your Goals


With multiple championships and tournament wins under her belt, Margot is often preparing for her next competitive endeavor. Over time, she’s learned that allowing competition results to determine her validity as an athlete did not work for her. It wasn’t why she got into martial arts and it wasn’t why she loved jiu jitsu. 


In an article for Hyperfly she explained:


For those who compete or feel obligated to compete, we often get caught up in how we perform in our rolls, whether we are progressing fast enough, whether we are ‘good’ enough for our belt or even for our next belt. 


So I say when you think those things or feel that way, remember that the journey is so much more than that, and your purpose in the art should be more multifaceted than just winning, and medals.


As a teacher, one of her main goals is to make jiu jitsu accessible to more people. Pursuing this, she understands that she can’t teach with only a competitor in mind. Or with only a hobbyist in mind. Or with only a long-time practitioner in mind. Or with only a beginner in mind. To do any one of those things would mean ignoring the individual goals and needs of a large portion of her students. 


She genuinely believes “everybody can find something they love in jiu jitsu without having to make sacrifices that they may not want or need to make.” 


This is why her in-person instruction, as well as her courses here on Jiu Jitsu X, are generally a combination of straight-forward technique breakdowns as well as mindset explanations. 


Develop a Mindset that Allows You to Flow in Any Scenario


Another student of Margot’s The Underworld course said: “Her teaching style is clear, succinct and really tries to help the learner understand the structural mechanics of the position, which in turn has helped me with the overall pathways of movement from the position. What does this mean? It means rather than following a paint by numbers style approach to learning/deploying techniques, you can implement a game plan for every scenario you find yourself in.” 


Margot’s own exploration of jiu jitsu is just as much conceptual as it is physical, and this shines through in her teaching too.


Each of her several courses here on Jiu Jitsu X include concepts as well as techniques. These concept portions allow students to move past simply replicating movements, and into a headspace where they are able to explore what works for them. 


Some examples of these mindset concepts in each course include: 

Benefit from a Nomadic Perspective


You may not be able to travel and train with a multitude of people from all over the world. Most of us don’t have the opportunity. However, Margot is nomadic by nature and infuses her worldly experiences into nearly everything she does, including teaching jiu jitsu. 


She was born in and grew up in London until, at the age of 19, she moved to Hawaii for a work opportunity. She then returned to London and spent a quick span of time in Australia, teaching English and training at academies on the Gold Coast. Now, she divides her time between the UK, New York City, and Hong Kong, often filling time between those locations with short excursions to other places. 


Of her traveling lifestyle she says: “For me BJJ allows me to forge more connections not just between the techniques, but between people. Travel gives me perspective and I get to see a lot of my friends around the globe which is so nourishing. I get a lot of insight into training and nuances behind techniques in every country I visit, and you get to be a part of many people’s journeys in the art, which is an honor.


Her artistically athletic style is in some ways a collaboration of influences from all the places and all the people she has had the privilege of learning from so far. 


Get Started Now with SIXTEEN Free Techniques


Margot currently has four courses available to you on Jiu Jitsu X:


Collectively, these courses include sixteen free techniques for you to start learning from and implementing in your game! 


You’ll also want to check out “Nomadic Mars” herself here on Instagram!

4.96 (45 ratings)

5 Courses

Student Ratings & Reviews


Total 15 Ratings

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Wonderful explanation of a really dangerous approach to DLR. It's changed my game and enabled my DLR to be so more aggressive. Probably my favorite instructional on this site.

the cats pajamas!

great course & wonderful explanations, really enjoyed the content!

Really solid details expanding de la riva game

Margot has a great way of explaining the how and why of her techniques.

Mars has a tenacious grip in Open Guard concepts and philosophy (excuse the pun). Her teaching style is clear, succinct and really tries to help the learner understand the structural mechanics of the position, which in turn has helped me with the overall pathways of movement from the position. What does this mean? It means rather than following a paint by numbers style approach to learning/deploying techniques, you can implement a game plan for every scenario you find yourself in.

Thank you to the English Lady with the John Wick moves!

Really good information, delivered in a very easy to digest cogent manner.
Very much enjoy Margot`s unique style and take.
Great details, and concepts. Can`t wait to go drill these.

Been a fun of underhook DLR for a while now, but I couldn`t really find a complete set of information about it. This instructional is something else and so is the level of Margot as an instructor. The way she breaks down the concepts and principles in this instructional, is one of a kind and I would like to see more instructionals coming from her.

1st I want to say that I reached out to Margot Ciccarelli and asked her about her system with No-Gi and she says that she`s planning on expanding into no-gi and if you already have the course you should get the no-go added on when it comes out.
So thanks for Margot for the quick response. I like the system. Probably will take a a while to master it but I`ve found it useful because I play a lot of DLR and X and I end up in Mantis Guard without many options. This has helped me add some attacks for when I have that underhook. I would recommend this for anyone who plays a lot of DLR.

Also I think Margot is a good teacher. She breaks things so that you understand the details and the purpose of the movement.

For jiujitsu x it would be nice if you could add some subtitles for your videos.

All Levels

What Will I Learn?

  • Setting Up The Underhook De La Riva From Multiple Positions
  • Taking The Back From The Underhook De La Riva
  • Submission Set Ups From The Underhook De La Riva
  • Sweeping Your Opponent From The Underhook De La Riva
  • Setting Up Multiple Underhook De La Riva Variations

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