Neil Melanson Closed Guard Tactics

Neil Melanson Closed Guard Tactics

If you are not familiar with Neil Melanson and you are a fan of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or MMA, you have been living under a rock.  Neil Melanson is the coach of blackzillians and is infamous for training some of the best MMA fighters of all time.  He has been involved in training some of the top UFC fighters in the world, Chael Sonnen said “I’d slap Rickson Gracie 5 times before I mess with Neil Melanson.”

That is a very bold statement, Vitor Belfort said “Neil can triangle you from anywhere.”  Neil has one of the best closed guards in the world.  Lucky for grappling competitors, Neil focuses on teaching instead of competing.  Many people claim they have seen Neil roll with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champions and tap them out.  Why is his closed guard so good?  It is simple; he uses something called leg and foot control, and is very good at getting off the center line.

Neil Melanson Leg and Foot Control

Neil has a very unique approach to the closed guard.  He likes to control the lower body by using leg and foot control. Leg and foot control is a different approach to the closed guard because many of the famous practitioners use upper body and lower body control. 

What is the benefit of leg and foot control?  Well, when you focus so much attention on the lower body it can be very easy to manipulate where they go.  You can break the posture extremely effectively.  The leg and foot control is difficult to explain so why don’t you take a look for yourself and see Neil teach it below.

Getting Off The center Line

Getting off the center line is another extremely important part of Neil’s closed guard.  When playing the closed guard it is essential to create angle so that you can start to set up many different sweeps and submissions. In order to this you have to get off of the center line.

Neil has a very unique way of accomplishing this.  He is very good at getting off the center line.  Neil is not small, lanky, or flexible, he does not have many of the attribute people would associate with a guard player but his guard has been deemed “impassable” by many of the best UFC fighters and grapplers.  Check out this video below where Neil shows us how to get off the center line.

If you want to learn all of Neil’s secrets he just released a new 4 DVD set called “The Ground Marshall Guard.”  This is a great resource to learn many of Neil’s best tricks and tips.