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Knee Bump Triangle With Neil Melanson

Knee Bump Triangle With Neil Melanson


I’m certain we could debate for a very long time which is better, starting from standing or starting from the knees and why.  There are a number of opinions around the topic for certain, but I personally feel that it depends on the situation, and what you are looking to get from the live training session.  

It would probably not be wise for the 130 pound white belt to start standing with a 250 pound white belt. While this would likely not be an issues if the heavier person were an experienced blue belt or higher rank, it could absolutely pose an issue when flailing and lack of experience come into play.  I certainly don’t think anyone ever sets out to hurt a training partner at the academy, but let’s face it, accident’s happen.

Something that you hear and see happening in academies around the globe is that starting from the knees is a preference among many Jiu Jitsu practitioners.  Let’s start from the knees. This is assumed to be a neutral playing ground to practice Jiu Jitsu live training, without the takedown aspect. While we can all appreciate saving our bodies from takedown after takedown, it’s always a good idea to make it a priority to have a healthy mix of all types of training.

That being said, for this technique breakdown we are starting on the sitting, with the opponent on their knees in front of us.  Obviously, there are tons of techniques you can work from here, at this point we have not even established a type of guard yet. We are going to take a look at Neil Melanson’s “Knee Bump Pull Back Triangle”.  


We want to start sitting with our feet on the inside almost as if we were looking to play a butterfly guard.   The first thing we do from here is to use a grappler lift motion to come to a kneeling position with our knee in the opponent’s chest.  Once in this position we over hook one arm. Once we establish the over hook, we want to grab the opponent’s other wrist with our free hand and drag it back as we begin to sit.  At this point we can sit back to our butt dragging the wrist with us and grabbing our own wrist using the hand that is holding the over hook. It’s important to note we are sitting back to our butt, not falling back.  

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At this point we should be sitting on our butt with one of our opponents’ arms over hooked and controlling the other wrist. Our feet are on the inside of the opponent’s legs and the opponent’s posture is broken down.  

Now we are able to put our foot on the opponent’s knee, on the same side as the over hook and push their knee backwards further breaking their posture.  Once we do that, that foot can go to the same side hip to help keep the distance if necessary. We can now pull our opposite leg out and over the opponent’s shoulder, this should be easy if we have maintained wrist control.

Once we get out and around the opponent’s shoulder, we want to change our angle a little bit and bite the opponent’s neck with the back of our knee.  In addition to the first leg locking over the opponent’s neck, we want to reach under the arm with our same side arm and grab our own knee. At this point we can bring our other leg from the hip and lock up our triangle, to do this we need to remove the over hook we initially established on that side.  As we work to lock the triangle, we should be pulling our toes back towards our shins (flexing both feet) and aligning the legs as much as possible.

There is a chance you may not get the first “bite” perfect, or maybe the opponent is really good at creating space and defending triangles.  As an alternate way of finishing the Triangle choke submission you can hug your legs in addition to tightening with your legs. To do this simply remove your arm that is under hooking the opponent’s arm, and simply hug around your knees, making sure your elbows are on the outsides of the opponent’s knees and you are gable gripping your hands and pulling yourself into the opponent while squeezing your legs as well in order to create the ideal Triangle choke submission finish.

While there is no one submission that works in every situation, there are variations of the triangle choke submission seemingly everywhere.  The triangle choke submission is often a favorite among those with long legs. It’s important to understand that the length of your legs is only a very small factor when it comes to your ability to use a triangle choke submission.  

Neil Melanson has coached some of the best athletes in MMA and Jiu-Jitsu. His Snap Guard series gives you the tools to be able to defeat your opponent regardless of size. The Snap Guard puts you in the driver seat creating action instead of waiting for it!



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