The Ground Marshall is back everyone! A new Neil Melanson DVD Instructional literally just came out and it is on a subject the grappling world is crazy about – leg locks. So far, Neil has one of the best DVD collections available to grapplers and fighters! Now, a very important new member of that collection is his “Ground Marshall Leg Locks” DVD. As you’ll see later in our review, it is an instructional that is like no other on the subject. In it, Neil takes us through the leg lock game from the perspective of catch wrestling, the original leg locking grappling martial art.
The “Ground Marshal Leg Locks” DVD set is something the grappling world lacked. It is the final piece of the puzzle that brings leg locks together. So far, we’ve had instructionals like Craig Jones’ or Danaher’s, that go deep into the modern leg lock game. Opposite them, we had every other new and old-school instructions that have gaping holes in the leg locking philosophies. And then, there’s this Neil Melanson DVD instructional, the missing link. Neil’s original teaching methods manage to connect the best of old school catch wrestling and modern BJJ leg locking into one of the overall best grappling instructionals of today!
Ground Marshall Catch Wrestling
Why the Ground Marshall? that one is easy. if you know Neil’s history, that you already know that he used to be a Federal Air Marshall. Accordingly, as he transitioned into a full-time grappling coach, he picked up the mantle the Ground Marshall. As such, most of his instructionals also bear the Ground Marshall somewhere in the title.
To be honest, I was hoping Neil would one day touch the subject of leg locks in one of his instructions. After all, he does have an unusual grappling background, to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, he is as high-level as a grappler can get, it’s just that he didn’t take the usual BJJ route. instead, Neil is primarily a catch-wrestler, a Judo black belt, and an overall scary submission grappler. Moreover, he trained a lot with the legendary Gokor Chivichyan, a leg lock master of his own.
Neil turned out to be one of the best grappling instructors in the world, although one that liked to stay in the shadows. He spent many years working as the official team Quest grappling coach. During that time he coached lots of UFC legends the likes of Randy Couture. The “Ground Marshall Leg Locks” DVD is a blend of Neil’s catch wrestling experience, Gokor’s leg lock instructions and his understanding of the modern BJJ leg lock game. All in all, this might turn out to be the best Neil Melanson DVD instructional so far!
A Review Of The Neil Melanson DVD Instructional “Ground Marshall Leg Locks”
What should you expect from a Neil Melanson DVD Instructional? Well, if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all, at least in terms of organization. Neil is a coach that has a lot to say. This is down to his understanding of BJJ and grappling, which runs really deep. As such, Melanson talks a lot, covering literally every aspect of a given subject.
There are four parts in total in the “Ground Marshall Leg locks” DVD, and each contains a different number of chapters. What is clearly apparent is that none of the volumes actually has chapters upon chapters of material. This is because Neil’s style is to use broad subject matters as chapters and then go in-depth within the chapter itself. For example, there’s a chapter on the “half and half” in the second volume of the DVD. In it, Neil explains literally everything there is about his take on a crazy top half guard ankle lock. All setups and variations of the move are included here as a whole, instead of multiple additional chapters.
All in all, this DVD is not just filled with original techniques that are ultra high-percentage, but it is also organized very adequately. Neil doesn’t care too much about legal and illegal moves, so expect al to of catch-wrestling craziness here. Moreover, it is a No-Gi instructional, but everything will work just as well with the Gi. Oh, and Neil likes to name his moves so expect cool, unusual and cruel names.
The DVD starts off with some intro into the Z-guard. In case you didn’t know, Neil is a big fan of the half guard. He likes to attack from it, and he really likes passing it. However, he doesn’t just pass but set up a bunch of brutal submissions along the way. In terms of leg locks, the Hobbler lock is the first one and it is just as nutty as the name suggests.
This first part of the instructional is all about Z guard destruction, so it’s no wonder that the cradle makes an appearance. Not just as the cradle though, but along with a brutal hip lock. Next, Neil offers a Z-guard compression lock before going into the star move od the first volume – the Patella lock. This is essentially a really nasty kneebar, that’s done pretty much like a straight armlock.
A spinning kneebar dubbed the “Navy Ride Kneebar” wraps this DVD up. Neil spends quite some time on it, offering a few different angles of spinning into the move.
The second portion of the Ground Marshall Leg Locks Neil Melanson DVD Instructional has the toe hold as its main subject. In it, Neil covers the previously mentioned half and half as the opening move. This crazy belly-down style ankle lock will have opponent’s crying out as they tap. It’s a nasty one, but very very effective!
Many toe hold options follow suit, starting with the brand new “Robinson” toe hold. There are a couple of variations available, and there’s some to hold innovation right there, trust me! There’s also a new take on the classic toe hold as well as a heel hook sequence that starts in the guard.
In parts 3 and 4, Neil does offer a bit more chapters and moves than usual. Very welcome if you ask me, given how much we all love leg locks! It’s real leg lock frenzy here and it starts with the shotgun straight ankle lock. The jockey ride is on to look out for, as it’ll turn into one of your go-to leg lock entries real quick!
A few hefty compression locks (slicers) follow the ankle lock portion of this volume. here, Neil does cover a counter to an ankle lock attack which I tried multiple times. It worked each and every one of them! A rolling kneebar sequence that includes three chapters closes out DVD number three. however, three chapters in Neil’s style is akin toa whole DVD another peoples. The rolling kneebar is one of the best moves of this entire instructional so make sure you pay attention!
The final portion of the “Ground Marshall Leg Locks” Neil Melanson DVD Instructional explores some Melanson “Specials”. Heel hooks, ankle lace options, crazy knee bars whatever you want. Lot’s of heel hooks here, featuring some wacky inside heel hook action in the shape of K control heel hooks. My personal favorite from this one? the Kneebar escape counter. it really made sure I won’t lose the kneebar once I get into position!
Another move that makes a re-appearance here is the Hobbler lock from DVD 1. This time, Neil uses it to attack from the turtle position, though. speaking of the turtle, you also get a great foot lock option from the bottom of the turtle to surprise anyone!
The entire Neil Melanson DVD Instructional finishes with a sequence that takes us from the kneebar into a multitude of compression locks. Real leg lockers heaven!
The question so far was who got the better leg lock instructional, Craig Jones or Danaher? Well, that debate is settled once for all now, thanks to the “Ground Marshall Leg Locks” DVD. This Neil Melanson DVD instructional reigns supreme simply because it has it all. It’s not a BJJ specific leg look instructional but rather one on the very best leg locks for any occasion, be it grappling, MMA or self-defense! Check it out for yourself and take your leg lock game miles past that of your training partners and opponents!