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Wreck The Half Guard With Catch Wrestling!
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Wreck The Half Guard With Catch Wrestling!

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Getting past someone half guard can be a real challenge if you are not armed with the right techniques, and all of the little details that go into them.  Blended Jiu Jitsu and catch wrestling grappling games are becoming more and more common, and with savage coaches like Neil Melanson offering up tons of great video instructionals, how could we not take advantage.  As the saying goes, knowledge is power. Arm yourself with the power (both knowledge and technical ability) to wreck your opponent’s half guard.  

Neil Melanson shows us how to pass the half guard in his video “How Catch Wrestling Wrecks the Half Guard”.  Neil is often touted as the man who does everything different, yet has one of the most effective games in grappling.  Let’s take a look at his thoughts on wrecking the half guard.

Starting from top half guard, we first must understand that our primary goal on top is to control the opponent, without control the opponent can create a scramble, begin looking at submissions or even look to sweep us.  Control prevents all of these things from happening.  

Tired of getting trapped and swept in half guard? Catch Wrestling will DEFINITELY help! Click Learn More!

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For this technique we are going to assume that the opponent (on bottom) shoots up hard and fast for an under hook.  This is likely going to cause us to need to base out with our left hand to prevent being knocked over. As we are basing with our left hand we will also need to work to get a whizzer in on the opponent’s top arm, using our right arm.  The whizzer should go down to the thigh of the opponent’s bottom leg.  

We are going to assume that when the opponent shot up for the under hook that they were able to come up on their elbow.  We want to use the whizzer to break them back down to the point that their shoulder is on the mat. In order to do this we will need to drive down and forward with the whizzer creating immense pressure and making the opponent want to move in that direction to relieve some of the pressure. Whether they want to or not, they will be forced down to the mat. 

Once we have broken the opponent down to the mat we then use our left hand to cup over the opponent’s head / neck area and push their head to the mat.  It’s very important that we are up on our toes for this portion of the technique. Being on our toes is where the vast majority of the pressure “pinning” the opponent down comes from. If you find you need more control in this movement, you can cup the head.  The higher up on the head you grip the less grip you have, but more control.

From here we are going to lock a quarter nelson by leaning into the opponent and kicking your right leg through (out from between the opponent’s legs.  Next we simply figure four grip our arms and continue to drive into the opponent. We have now passed the half guard and are ready to start looking for a submission. 

Neil likes to look at the Darce choke or screw choke, depending on how you learned it. 

As we continue to drive into the opponent, they will likely see their future is gloomy and give up on the under hook since it isn’t doing anything for them with all of the pressure we are creating.  As soon as the opponent abandons the under hook we go around and then under the head with our left arm as we drop our right ear to the opponent’s back and shoot our right hand as deep as we can under the opponent’s left arm and chin pushing their arm across their body in the process.  If they are preventing you from doing this by strategically placing their arm on the opposite side of your leg, simply pop up to your toes as you push the arm across, this should create enough space for you to get the arm across. Neil is looking to grab his left tricep with his right hand.  He then removes his left arm from being under the opponent and brings it out so that it runs down the opponent’s back.  

Finally, to get the submission Neil is driving in and coming off of his knees as he tilts towards the opponent’s head.  The tilt is where the submission is coming from. A common mistake is that people in this position frame against their own arm and prevent the ability to get a good squeeze.  

If for some reason you are unable to get the submission from this position you can move to the mount position and keep this choke.  To do this Neil is sitting his left leg through towards the opponent’s feet and then high stepping his right leg over to the mount position.  From here he still has the darce choke locked in, much like from the side, a simple squeeze and tilt should finalize the submission. Worst case scenario it doesn’t work for some reason and the opponent is able ot get out, or you bail on the submission, either way you still end in top mount which is a great place to be. 

Neil Melanson is packed full of tons of technical details, tips and tricks that are battle tested at the highest levels of grappling and MMA.  Regardless of what area of your game you are looking to improve I can say with confidence that Neil probably has a video instructional out on that particular technique.  If you are looking to simply level up your game from all aspects, check out “The Catch Wrestling Formula” – by Neil Melanson. This video instructional is certain to help you dominate your training partners at your gym along with anyone brave enough to compete against you.  Not only will Neil’s instruction change your game, but it will give you an inside look at his unorthodox secrets. At this stage of the game., we all need to incorporate a little outside the box thinking like Neil.  

Neil Melanson is one of the most sought after minds in martial arts! His Catch Wrestling Formula will help you get a leg up on the competition! Most BJJ guys are only ready for BJJ moves, CATCH them by surprise!

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