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Do You Have A Snap Guard?
The Snap Guard by Neil Melanson
Who is Neil Melanson? Neil could easily be considered one of the most dangerous men on the planet. Neil was the head coach of the infamous Blackzillians MMA Team and Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture gym. He has coached some of the best UFC fighters to ever compete to the pinnacle of the sport including Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Randy Couture, Matt Mitrione and many more. His students have given high praise. Chael Sonnen said, “Neil would slap Rickson Gracie around like it was easy.” Jiu Jitsu black belt and former UFC Champion Vitor Belfort stated that “Neil could triangle anybody in any room.”
Neil Melanson has a unique approach to guard that in influenced by Catch Wrestling, BJJ and MMA. Neil does an excellent job blending these styles together to make a very powerful guard system.
Neil boasts a unique education when it comes to grappling. He began his education at the Hayastan School where he learned techniques from Catch Wrestling, Judo and Sambo from world renowned coaches Gene Lebel and Gokor Chivichyan. His grappling style is a combination of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Catch Wresting and Sambo. He is the living embodiment of the Bruce Lee quote, "Absorb what is useful. Reject what is useless. Add what is essentially your own.”
Beyond his impressive education and grappling abilities, Neil is an extremely capable teacher. He takes a meticulous approach and breaks down the details so that it can be easily understood by even the grappling novice.
In this video, Neil Melanson explores a snap down guard. Faria notes that while it is not a traditional sweep it is an excellent way to set up triangles, headlocks and other submission. There is an additional value that it is an unexpected move and will thereby often catch your training partners and opponents by surprise. Neil starts off in a modified butterfly guard. It is very similar to the butterfly guard played by the great Craig Jones. His far leg is in the traditional position. His nearside leg is crosses under his far side leg and rest under on the outside of his opponent’s leg. The concern Neil notes if for his opponent to get under the near side knee and proceed with a weave pass. Neil forces engagement from his opponent by pushing against his opponent with his knee. When his opponent has a scoop grip on his leg he wraps his arm around his training partner’s arm and grabs his own leg. Next he pivots his hips and posts his arm on the mat. He shoots his hips out so that they rest on his opponent’s arm. It is a key detail that his weight should be on his training partners arm insisted of the shoulder. Melanson now takes an upward grip on his opponent’s wrist for a quick tap. Neil notes that our grappling strategies should always be done with a street fight application in mind. We do not want to be in position where we are exceptionally vulnerable to our opponent’s strikes.
Many consider Neil Melanson to be a mad scientist of grappling. This sequence is a fine testament to that. His approach is not based on a singular style but a hybrid of many approaches. He is obsessed with independent and free thinkers like Nicola Tesla and his style of grappling is brilliant testament to that. If you have ever seen Neil’s instructional videos than you certainly understand what we mean. If you have not had the privilege, click on the link below to learn the forgotten secrets of the Guillotine – from the most deadly Catch Wrestler on earth, Neil Melanson.