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Sneaky Closed Guard Triangle Choke From The Crafty Neil Melanson
Two Birds One Stone Triangle 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.
Neil is known as a hybrid grappler, mixing elements of Catch as Catch Can Wrestling, Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Neil notes that it is difficult to both create space and control space from a tight closed guard. Grappling is indeed a game of centimeters. Closed guard is a fine illustration of this. The video starts with Neil having an over hook and a collar tie from closed guard. His opponent’s posture has been collapsed.
Note how Neil shifts off the center line while maintaining strong press from the wizard on the over hook. The foot on the wizard side is on the hip of his opponent to facilitate this shift off the center line. The foot on the collar tie side has not moved and is still on top of his opponent’s back. Next, Neil explains that he replaces the collar tie with a grip around his opponent’s wrist. The goal is to have your opponents hand by your chest. You can use a push pull movement to facilitate this. Once your opponents arm is in position the wizard arm threads through and pins his opponent’s arm to his opponent’s chest on the front side. The position can be secured with either a grip on your opponents elbow or with your fist in almost an ice pick motion. While the arm is pinned, the foot on the back comes over across his opponents head. The ice pick grip is replaced with either an under hook or a scoop grip on his opponents thigh. Neil then pivots his hip and closes his legs for a quick finish of the triangle. It is a beautiful sequence. Well done Neil.
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 Neil Melanson's Ground Marshall Guard System to completely revolutionize your closed guard and ground fighting game.