Master the strong de la riva hook & get more sweeps and back takes than you ever could before.
You know your de la riva hook should be something like this…
So why does it look like this…
You may know what a de la riva guard looks like, but are your grips and hooks doing what they should be to make it work?
Every grip and every hook you apply has a purpose and, unfortunately, if your grips and hooks aren’t serving that purpose, you’re destined to fail.
However, opening this article tells us three things about you…
- You’re sick of having your de la riva passed.
- You want to do something about it.
- You want to do something about it — RIGHT NOW!
And luckily for you, open guard savant Margot Ciccarelli is gonna reveal the secrets behind creating a strong de la riva hook.
Get set for one of those “why didn’t I know this earlier” moments coupled with “ this changed my guard game forever” breakthroughs.
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Keys to Mastering the Strong De La Riva Hook
Key #1 - Your opponent cannot be upright
If there’s one fundamental truth about the de la riva guard, it’s that it cannot be applied on an upright opponent.
Well, to establish a strong de la riva hook, you first need a bend in your opponent’s lead leg: either by their doing or your own.
Any attempt to apply a de la riva hook against an upright opponent will result in what’s known as a short de la riva hook: one that does not fully capture your opponent’s leg.
The problem here is that if you apply a hook to your opponent’s straight leg, they have the ability to easily rotate their knee outward and eliminate any hook, or faux hook, you had.
Key #2 - Proper Knee Alignment
A common mistake people make when applying the de la riva hook is the disconnection of their knee with their opponent’s.
This creates two distinct problems for you in the position:
1. Too much space is present between your knee and your opponent’s; giving them the mobility seen in the previous tip to rotate and remove your hook.
2. It generally means only the instep of your foot is making contact with your opponent’s hamstring, instead of the bulk of your lower leg.
Instead, you want to ensure your knee is flush with theirs.
Key #3 - How to Gain Ideal Knee Alignment & Force a Bend in Your Opponent’s Leg
First, make a minor shift of your hips away from your opponent’s lead leg in the lateral plane and angle your body slightly towards the knee of their lead leg. This will help you make a flush connection at their knee.
Next, flex your foot strongly towards your shinbone and bring your heel to your butt, pinching your leg to their kneecap.
The flexing of your foot will provide you with a strong “kick” against the back of your opponent’s leg, forcing both a bend and rotation.
Note, that to create the bend needed for the strong de la riva hook, it is important you don’t allow your opponent to rotate excessively, as this will aid them in keeping their leg straight.
To negate this, place your hand on your opponent’s inner thigh. This will block their movement and help you regulate rotation.
To secure the strong de la riva hook, pass your leg in a pummeling motion (seen below) behind your opponent’s leg. This movement will help you get as deep and as tight as possible when controlling your opponent’s leg.
Key #4 - Sealing the Deal
Finally, to cement control with your strong de la riva hook, wrap your outside arm deep behind your opponent’s calf and hug your own leg.
This final step will ensure supreme control over your opponent’s leg and that their knee will never see the light of day.
When your opponent turns to face you, it will be incredibly awkward for them and the more they square up with you, the tighter your strong de la riva hook becomes.
And let’s face, they have no other option but to try and square up with you…
… well they do have another option…
… giving you their back.
There you have it. Everything you’ll ever need to know about securing a strong de la riva hook.
But it’s not everything you need to know about mastering the de la riva guard.
Right now, you can learn all of Margot Ciccarelli’s secrets to the devastating underhook de la riva in the best-selling course THE UNDERWORLD.
It’s the guard technicians’ guide to scoring more sweeps, backtakes and submissions based on the one thing so powerful it beats size, strength and athleticism any day of the week.
The union of knowledge and perfect technique.