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BJJ Instructional Videos
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Neil Melanson Behind The Back Guard Pass

Neil Melanson Behind The Back Guard Pass


Behind The Back Guard Pass With Coach Neil Melanson

Head Grappling Coach, Neil Melanson demonstrates how to effectively set up arm triangles using the behind the back guard pass.

There are many ways to pass the closed guard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Some passes are effective in the gi, others are more effective in no gi. Today we are going to look at an effective no gi technique from Catch Wrestling Coach Neil Melanson. There are two primary ways to pass a person’s guard: using athleticism or pressure passing. In this pass, we will explore the latter. Jiu jitsu is sometimes referred to as the gentle art, but there is no being gentle in the world of catch wrestling. With that said, let us explore how Neil Melanson passes the closed guard being anything but gentle. Watch the video below and then we will break down the grappling technique. Check it out!

Neil is one of the most detailed, thorough, and savage grappling coaches in the game today. Learn the unorthodox secrets of the most notorious grappling coach out there and gain an entirely new perspective on the guard, especially for No Gi and MMA.


In the video, Coach Neil Melanson explains that he will use this back guard pass to set up the arm triangle submission. He starts out by controlling the insides of his opponent’s arms at the biceps. He uses his head to apply pressure to the chest while establishing a downward grip (opponent’s arm down at his side). Or, he postures before getting the downward grip. Either way works, what is important here is that his arm is directly next to his body, rather than out to the side. This lets Melanson lean on the arm, pressuring down in to the mat in order to enhance the wrist grab. Once Neil has that arm under control he puts his head into his opponent’s chest, and stands with a wide base. From here Melanson passes the arm under to his other hand and walks his hips over so that the guy on bottom is now lying on his own arm. That’s pretty freakin’ cool to use your own opponent’s body against him like that! Now that arm is secure, Melanson is comfortable with using his arm to posture, get up to his knees, and slide a knee inside the middle of his opponent’s guard, causing it to open. With the guard open, Melanson can push his opponent’s leg to the ground and pass by sliding his knee over the thigh. In this position he notes that it is a great spot for striking with a high level control over the guy on bottom.

This sets up Melanson perfectly for the triangle choke. He uses a cross grip to pull his opponent’s arm, using his chest to trap the arm as he dives under deep around to the back , securing the arm and head. Pause the video here and take note of the amount of connectivity Neil Melanson has on his opponent. His entire body is attached. There is no space anywhere. Keep that in mind the next you are drilling this. He maintains that level of connectivity as he passes to the other side. And, have you noticed the entire time his opponent’s arm is stuck underneath himself! Melanson never lets go of that arm, and as he passes this really brutalizes his opponent as he is being choked unconscious. That is some nasty stuff right there!

There are a lot you can learn from catch wrestling masters like Coach Neil Melanson, so do not be afraid to do a little cross training every now and then and explore what other grappling methods will improve your game.

Neil Melanson is one of the toughest, well-rounder grapplers in the world.  It's not "Jiu-Jitsu" to Neil, it's just grappling.  Neil has a background in Catch Wrestling, but is oddly enough 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.



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