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Add Some K Control to Your Game With Neil Melanson
Neil Melanson is one of the most sought after grappling and MMA coaches today. Having worked with a veritable who's who of MMA luminaries like Randy Couture and Chael Sonnen, he also spent an extended term as the grappling and MMA coach for the Blackzillian MMA team in Florida.
His approach to grappling and MMA blends old school Hayastan grappling techniques learned under the likes of Karo Parisyan and Gene LeBell, mixed with catch wrestling and jiu jitsu. This grappling upbringing helped Neil develop a number of unique and personalized guard styles that have been adapted and taught to MMA athletes.
As Neil explains, classic grappling starts from the top down, working from chokes and arm bars moving down to leg attacks secondarily, whereas Hayastan works in reverse. Being brought up with this philosophic shift being predominant in his grappling career has helped Neil become highly sought after for his unique approach to guard for both MMA and No Gi grappling.
In his Advanced Guard Systems from BJJ Fanatics, Neil shares the background on developing the K Control position, a form of guard that was developed under the tutelage and study of Karo Parisyan. The position was named in honor of Karo who Neil always looked to as having an extremely good guard for MMA. It has been shown to be much more effective than standard versions of jiu jitsu guard which may not protect from strikes as effectively as K Control.
One of the key ideas that Neil stresses in this series is that one must not only learn the techniques and the linear flow of position, but also understand the organic nature of the position and how to play it to be truly effective. For this reason, let's take a look at some very simple K Control foundation principles and afterwards head over to BJJ Fanatics and get your copy of Advanced Guard Systems.
The anchor is a key aspect underlying the success of K Control. The anchor is formed by under hooking the leg of the opponent. The depth of this under hook varies depending on your goals, i.e. maintain the guard, attack legs or go for sweeps. This anchor helps solidify the K Control guard giving the rest of your body a position to work from.
Once the anchor is secured by locking the under hook to the opponent's thigh it is important to keep the same side leg engaged and biting on the back of the opponent to help control posture and be able to move the opponent when the hips are extended into the opponent.
The Knee Shield
The other leg that is not working to stay connected is instead working a sort of counter pressure knee shield to be able to keep the pressure of the opponent off of him. This shield also creates a trap door effect when you want to bring the opponent to you to attack or sweep.
The foot of the knee shield side should be placed at hip level and that lower leg connected to the body of the opponent to be able to exert maximum control.
Using the combination of the frame, clamp and shield the K Control Guard can be used to maintain a safe distance from the opponent's punches and keep them from advancing forward.
When the time and agenda strike, the K Control can be used to unbalance your opponent, pull them in for sweeps or to set up submission attacks. This is an essential notion for Melanson. The opponent must be constantly off-balance and unable to gain any sense of stability to be able to launch their own game plan.
This was just a brief introduction to the K Control position by Neil Melanson. From this position, Neil has developed an entire system of grips, sweeps and submissions that can be used to effective maintain a safe distance and attack when necessary. Though primarily developed with MMA in mind, this version of his Advanced Guard system can be used effectively for No Gi grappling.
If you want to learn more, check out Neil Melanson's Advanced Guard Systems here at BJJ Fanatics and learn more about K Control and the other techniques Neil Melanson travels the world teaching MMA athletes and grapplers of all levels.