Neil Melanson isn’t a BJJ Black Belt - he has taken a very roundbout path to grappling excellence. Neil started off learning grappling in the Hayastan school - it has roots in Catch Wrestling, Judo & Sambo under world famous coaches Gene Lebel and Gokor Chivichyan.
To say it was a strict school would be to understate the reality by a mile. Gokor told Neil that he would have to learn the bottom game very well, since his training partners such as UFC star Karo Paryisian were too advanced in their takedown games that Neil would be able to catch up anytime soon.
Neil did as he was told but he was forced due to his body type to pick and choose the moves that worked for him. Sambo and Catch Wrestling don’t have as well defined moves from the bottom as does BJJ so Neil developed a lot on his own. What he came up with speaks to his own mind: he’s obsessed with independent and free thinkers like Nicola Tesla and in Grappling he is Tesla and beyond. What Neil came up with was pure brilliance.
Protecting the hands when using the front headlock
Arm in Guillotine basics
Countering the underhook get up
German and Japanese necktie
Front facelock to rear naked choke
Finish via cowcatcher
Butt drag into boa choke
Standing option for boa choke
High elbow guillotine
Front facelock guillotine
Countering the bailout with cement mixer choke
Full stock neck crank
Cow catcher to boa choke
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