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Go For This Sneaky Guillotine Instead Of Battling For The Under Hook
Countering the under hook get up 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.
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Often times, half guard passes become a battle for the under hook. Both the bottom and top play battle for under hook as a crucial step to implement their game plan. In this video, Melanson explores options for the over hook for the top player. If the bottom play wants the under hook then give it to him and begin your pass or submission sequence from there. Neil elaborates that the under hook is great for pushing but the over hook works well for pulling. Note how Neil pulls up with the over hook while maintaining wrist control with the opposites arm. From this setup, the kind of pressure given is dependent on the end goals. He stretches his opponent out by maintaining the over hook while pushing the wrist controlled hand over his opponents head. This is a crucial detail of the move. The arm must be pushed out so that it can shift back. Neil lets the gas of the arm slowing and the bottom players only option is to come up to a dog fight position. Again space is critical for this submission to work. Neil connects his arm in an S-Lock grip and pivots on his knee. His leg goes over his opponents back while he sits back and stretches out for the submission. This sequence is a beautiful example of how to counter a grapplers natural reactions to set up a submission and then giving him just enough space to execute it.
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 one of the best guillotine games on the planet has to belong to MMA and grappling coach Neil Melanson. His work with high-level UFC fighters is well documented. You can get his complete Headhunter Guillotine series here at BJJ Fanatics!