Frustrate Your Opponents With These Catch Wrestling Leg Locks
The Catch Wrestling Leg-Locks 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 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 detail so that is can be easily understood by even the grappling novice.
What can catch wrestling do for your half guard? Click Learn More!
In this sequence Melanson begins by exploring the some of his unique approaches to playing top half guard. Traditionally in Jiu Jitsu, a lot of focus is on the far side of your opponent. Jiu Jitsu 101 tells us to get the under hook. For Neil, the focus is on the near side arm and leg. The bottom leg cannot move freely in order to protect himself from the sweep. He turns the corner with his far side leg and blocks his opponent’s hip. He stays heavy. He is also concerned with the near side arm and often ops for wrist control. If the knee shield is too strong, Neil will hack his opponent’s knee down with his far side forearm. Then switches control with his near side forearm. With the far side arm you can create extreme pressure by grapping the underside of the head. He elaborates that if you opt for the chin strap instead it is a quick submission. He is very clear that one of the keys to this submission is your opponents top side knee needs to be in between your knees.
Another scenario is to go from the compression after the knee shield has been collapsed. He Locks in gable grip in his opponents knee pit and pulls it tight. Note how he is still on near side of his opponent’s body. He is very careful not to cross the centerline. He shifts back onto his knees to create the pressure required for the compression. If the sequence has been compromised, Neil suggests another option is to release the gable grip and puts his fist on the mat. His far side arm goes up the back of his opponent’s head to secure the tap
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 for more Ground Marshal Half Guard, check out Neil Melanson's DVD of the same name from BJJ Fanatics! Trust us, you've never seen such brutally effective and perfect techniques as these ones! Get it here at BJJ Fanatics!