Neil Melanson’s Behind The Back Guard Pass Will Surprise Your Opponents

Neil Melanson’s Behind The Back Guard Pass Will Surprise Your Opponents

Coach Neil Melanson always has great and unexpected techniques under his sleeve, ones that will surely catch your own opponents unexpected! This time, he has a great Behind the Back Guard Pass that you can immediately put to practice – and that you can also use to setup an Arm Triangle!
Let’s take a look at how it’s done.

Isolate Their Hand

Coach Melanson starts off by being in his training partner’s closed guard. From here, he says that you should start your setup by either getting the grips on the inside of your opponent’s biceps, or by simply having your elbows down and placed to their side.
Then, you need to slide one of your grips down to get a downwards grip on one of your opponent’s hands. It’s important not to let their hand flair out; instead, keep it close to their hip and pin it down to the floor, leaning on it with your bodyweight – and you will have it effectively isolated.

Hide The Hand Behind Their Back

From there, your aim is to hide your opponent’s hand behind their hips and back. You do this – Neil emphasizes – not by pushing their hand, but by walking into the direction where their hand is and by using this movement to place their hips over it.
He demonstrates the way you do this: drive your forehead into their chin and then stand up. From here, use your other arm to grab their hand and pull it below their hips; all the while you walk to the side. Then, get back to the kneeling position.

Posture Up and Get Into Position

Then, Neil positions his knee under his training partner’s backside and postures up. He then pushes his partner’s leg down, while simultaneously keeping the trapped hand in place.
After that, he positions his knee over his partner’s leg and drops it down.

He says that this position, in and of itself, is an outstanding one for striking. However, it is a great position for setting up your Arm Triangle as well.

The Arm Triangle

If your opponent’s elbow is open, then you should have no problems with isolating their arm for the choke from there. However, there’re no reasons to worry even if they keep their elbow tight, for you can make it work with just a couple of extra steps:

1. Establish a cross-grip on their free arm. Then, pull it in order to extend it.
2. Place your chest down on your opponent.
3. From there, feed your arm deep below your opponent’s head and grip their far shoulder blade with your hand – all the while driving your own shoulder into them.
4. While maintaining control over the wrist that’s below their hips, drive forward and flatten them out on their back.
5. Elevate your hips towards the ceiling.
6. Cross to the side where your choking arm is and finish the choke from there.

Coach Melanson emphasizes that you should try to keep control over their wrist for as long as possible. This ensures that, if you fail in any of the subsequent steps, you can still preserve control over your opponent and keep on setting up your game.
Also, he puts a great deal of importance on giving your best shot at finishing the arm triangle with just one hand – and that you should be aiming for doing this in all submissions, whenever possible! But, of course, if you feel that just one hand is not enough, you can always let go of their wrist and use your other hand for assistance when finishing the choke.

Neil Melanson explains it wonderfully below:

If you are interested in learning more about Catch Wrestling, specifically as it pertains to competition grappling, you should check out Neil Melanson.  If you haven’t heard of Neil Melanson you’ve probably heard of the various champions he’s coached (Blackzilians team and Extreme Couture)

Neil learned his skills from the Hayastan Grappling system, developed by Gokor Chivechyan and Gene LeBell.  He is considered one of the foremost experts on Catch Wrestling.  For more information about Neil’s impressive grappling style, pick up his DVD set in which he covers some of his coveted techniques.