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Half Guard BJJ Instructional Video
Counter the Half Guard Under Hook with Neil Melanson
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Counter the Half Guard Under Hook with Neil Melanson

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Do Not Get Stuck On The Bottom! 

When your engaged in a half guard battle, it's almost a safe bet that if the bottom player has the opportunity to come up and acquire an under hook, they will do just that. The under hook is one of the most common ways to advance in the half guard. Gaining the under hook from the bottom can set the stage for a multitude of transitions, sweeps, and pathways to submissions, making the under hook an enticing choice. Although gaining the under hook may be popular, danger is still present if you don’t have a solid plan for your under hook and continue to advance while using it.

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The acquisition of the under hook isn’t the end of the road for the top player. There are plenty of counters we can apply to the situation such as this one from Neil Melanson. Check out his awesome answer to the under hook.

As his partner comes up with the under hook, Melanson responds with a common reaction, the whizzer. He pulls up on the whizzer to close the space and create a strong connection. Melanson then acquires his partner’s wrist with a palm up “C” style grip. Melanson uses this grip to begin rotating his partner’s arm, causing him to collapse. Keeping the over hook nice and tight, Melanson begins to cut his knee and free his leg from the half guard. As he clears himself, Melanson beings to pull his partner back towards him, inviting him to get up. He sells the idea further by releasing the hold on his partners wrist, allowing him to use his elbow to rise up.

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As he takes the bait, Melanson locks an S-grip guillotine with the arm in, falls to his left hip, throws his leg over the top, and begins to stretch and squeeze for the finish.

Melanson is patient with his movements here, and is sure to not create a situation where he’s too close to his partner. Rushing the movements may give your partner a better chance of defending, and land you in an unfavorable position, unable to finish.

Neil Melanson is one of the toughest, well-rounder grapplers in the world.  It's not "Jiu-Jitsu" to Neil, it's just grappling.  He us known for his deadly guard attacks.  His guard system is designed for aggressive no gi submission wrestling and MMA.  To learn his Guard System and Methodology check out his 4 DVD Series Called "Advanced Guard Systems". Check it out here!

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