Brutal Lower Body Attacks with Neil Melanson
Neil Melanson has a very distinct game.
He’s given us some very interesting concepts and ideas to consider over the past couple years with his growing number of instructional materials. In his most recent contribution to the BJJ Fanatics library, he’ll be sharing some of his unique lower body attacking concepts with us.
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I’ve had a chance to check out a few of these, and let me tell you, they are as interesting as they are dangerous. I can’t help but fear for the safety of Melanson’s training partner, as he shows us some very brutal methods to submit our opponents below the waist. Melanson is a more than experienced BJJ player, and is obviously in full control of his movements, but be careful with these submissions as you attempt them on your training partners, as they are a bit unorthodox and highly effective!
Let’s look at three different lower body submissions from Melanson, and the inner workings of each one.
We’ll start with what he calls the “Half and Half” At first glance this seems like it's going to end up as an ankle lock, but upon further study, there’s quite a bit more to this particular lock. Have a look.
Melanson begins in half guard, in what appears to be a sort of leg weave style passing position. While keeping his head on the outside, he jockeys for position, and ultimately gains control over his partners bottom arm, using a c-style palm up grip. He uses this grip to extend his partner’s body away from him, creating some space.
As this space opens up, Melanson now has the room he needs to lift his back knee and swing his leg over his partner’s body, posting his foot on the mat. He then slides his grip to his partner’s ankle, which he notes is important, because this allows him to use pain to manipulate his partner.
You may be familiar with a belly down style lock from here, but Melanson is going to go in reverse and start to bring his own butt over his partners back. He rotates to a squatting style position, and pushes his hips back over his partner’s lower back, creating what looks to be a very uncomfortable position, and forcing his partner to tap.
Melanson pauses for a few words on safety in this position. He advises us to take our time with this one and practice with lots of control to keep our partner safe.
Melanson continues on, briefly touching on some other options from the position that look to be just as ruthless. This is an awesome and unique take on this position, that appears to offer quite a bit in the way of transitions and different options to submit.
Moving on, let’s take a look at Melanson’s version of the rolling knee bar. This particular type of movement has become very popular in the leg lock realm, as a means of getting underneath our opponents. Melanson has an interesting take on executing the roll, and some options to submit that you need to see. Check this out.
Beginning from a standing position, Melanson secures an over hook and his partner’s far wrist. He then uses a circular step, causing his partner to bring his leg in closer to Melanson’s body. Once the distance has been closed, Melanson shuffles in toward his partner and hooks his foot around his partner’s back leg. With a little hop of his front leg to the outside of his partner leg, Melanson under hooks his partners leg and enters in to his roll.
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At the completion of the roll, Melanson keeps his under hook and hooks underneath his partner’s far leg with his instep (think saddle position). He then proceeds to grab the back of his head and extends his body for the tap. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Melanson demonstrates another option here, reaching behind his partners head and connecting the hands for control similar to a cradle. And if that doesn’t suit you, Melanson offers the option of rear naked choking his partners foot and applying a twisting style heel hook to the limb. Excellent.
Alright. One more dirty trick for the road. In this final video, Melanson shows us a patella lock. This may not always provide you with a submission, but I can say with certainty that it will get your opponents attention, and cause them to begin moving. Check this out.
From a half guard situation, Melanson has secured an under hook on his partners top leg, which he refers to as the “Navy Ride”. This position alone is worth looking into as Melanson briefly touches on some of its utilities. From here it's common that the bottom payer will straighten their leg as Melanson is attempting to feed it downward. As this occurs, the opportunity for this lock presents itself. Melanson places a guillotine style bite below his partners kneecap using a gable grip. He pulls the grip in towards the leg and then rotates upward causing the kneecap to move, and what would appear to be a large amount of pain.
As Melanson states, this isn’t going to always produce a tap, but it will cause his partner to react, and present new opportunities to transition to other attacks, such as the guillotine that Melanson begins to pursue, as well as various other submissions. Make no mistake though, if you do get the proper bite on the knee cap, you may just get a submission out of this little beauty.
I’ve really enjoyed studying these. These are some interesting techniques. They all seem highly effective, and what I like best, is the transitional opportunities of each one. All of these moves create a setting where you opponent can quickly travel from bad to worse. And that’s always a good thing!