Former Xtreme Couture Instructor Neil Melanson Releases New Book, Moves to Alliance

February 3, 2014

Neil Melanson

Over the past several years, grappling instructor Neil Melanson has become one of the sport’s most recognizable coaches and trainers thanks to his work with former UFC champion Randy Couture and his affiliation with the Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas.

During his time at Xtreme Couture, Melanson not only worked directly with his students, but also worked hard to expand his influence and teaching with instructional books, the latest of which was recently published, focusing on one of grappling’s signature attacks, the triangle choke.

“The book is titled Mastering Triangle Chokes and the publishing house is Victory Belt Publishing,” Melanson told “It was me, Marshal Carper, and Lance Freidmuth did the prep work on it.

“The book circulates around the idea if your opponent is playing you, or if you use a certain system, how to put him in the right body position (for the attack).”

Melanson decided to work on the book based on real world experience working with fighters.

“One of the main reasons I started to do this is because I started sparring with MMA guys and realized I couldn’t just sit in closed guard because I was eating too many shots and needed to mix things up a bit,” he said.

“What I’m looking to do with this book is contribute to this sport and to grappling. I would like to influence others how other grapplers have influenced me and made a huge contribution to my game.”

Not only is the book’s release a big part of Melanson’s year, but recently he also made the move from Xtreme Couture to the Alliance Training Center in San Diego.

“I’d been at Xtreme Couture for almost six years and had a great experience there and am really grateful to Randy Couture for all his belief in me and giving me so many opportunities to work with so many great athletes,” said Melanson. “I got a lot of rewarding experiences and went through a lot during that period and it was a huge impact on my life.

“I had been coming out to Alliance in San Diego a lot this past year to the point to where I was almost there as much as I was in Vegas. A lot of the team liked my approach and my coaching, and I started working with more athletes and it kept growing and growing. There wasn’t anything wrong with Xtreme; I just needed a new challenge.”

Looking ahead, Melanson is excited to not only share his knowledge, but also continue to learn and develop his game as he continues his journey through the sport.

“I’m not sure how many years I have with it at the higher level and what I want to do with it, but I definitely want a few more years of going hard and developing myself,” he said. “There’s still a lot to do, a lot to learn, and great athletes to work with. Every day I’m excited to go in the gym.”

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