It was nice to be back on the mats again after a week off. Our head coach took time out to really explain the dynamics of the De La Riva position. I already knew some of what he was saying, but there were a few loose ends that he tied up nicely. It allowed me to see conceptually where De La Riva fits into the game over all. Of course, understanding the theory is only the first step. After that, you still have to make it work in live sparring. Unfortunately, the first blue belt I sparred with opted for butterfly guard instead of De La Riva, so I didn’t get to practice what we learned in class against him. That’s ok. I need to improve my butterfly guard as well. The second blue belt I sparred with has such a good De La Riva, that he was able to sweep me and get on top, even though I know the defense. His guard is one of the most difficult to deal with because he is good at multiple guards. Ordinarily, if some one is good at De La Riva, I would try to avoid the position and try to bull fight instead. In his case, he has really good collar and arm drags, which end up nullifying my bull fighting attempts. Fortunately for my ego, I next went with an advanced white belt, who used to regularly clean my clock. I’ve been noticing lately that I have been able to score on him with far greater frequency than before. Tonight, I even took his back, which is four points in a jiu jitsu match.