Strategies/techniques for Thai Clinch

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by earthman32, May 31, 2008.

  1. earthman32

    earthman32 Orange Belt

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    So, I don't know if this is considered more of a grappling topic, but I'd like to see some discussion on counters to the thai clinch.

    I've read the sticky by KK on the thai clinch and there is some discussion of escaping the clinch, but it seems woefully inadequate considering the extensive discussion on maintaining & practicing the clinch.

    The suggestions for escape were to take your opponent down or to punch your way out. There are much more useful techniques to escape the clinch "cleanly" thus setting you up for a counter or your own clinch.

    1. Neck wrestling. Snake your hands between his elbows and grab the plum. Usually, if you're trying to apply pressure on the base of your opponent's head or neck, you're fighting with the strongest point of their neck. The higher you apply pressure to their head (around the crown) the easier it will be to force his head down. If you can snake your hands inside of his and get pressure to the top of his head, you can overtake the clinch.

    2. Control the elbows. Actually this should be #1, because if you can't create space between his elbows, you won't be able to snake your hands in and you won't overtake the clinch. But there are a variety of escapes that involve leveraging his elbows. The most basic: place your palm on his elbow and (in one explosive movement) force the elbow up and slip out to an angle. This is what I mean by a "clean" escape, because if you get the angle on your opponent (about a 45 degree menuever) you will be in the best position to counter. The quickest counter IMO would be a lead side leg kick and then follow with a punch. You can counter with a punch, but you are using one arm to protect yourself, the other to force the elbow up and will take longer to bring your hands back to a position to counter.

    3. The wedge. Force your hand through the elbows, placing your hand on the upper bicep of your opponents. This should be at a diagonol angle in front of your chest. So if we're locked up in a clinch, my right arm is forced through (depending on how tight the clinch is, you may need to literally punch your hand through) placing my hand on his right bicep. Now use your arm as a lever to force the clinch open and again, slip and step to an angle. I'm using my forearm to pull his left elbow up using the mechanics of this lever I've just created and changing my level to slip out of the clinch. Make sense?

    What are some of your strategies for countering/escaping the clinch?
     
  2. vince89

    vince89 Banned Banned

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    Uhh, just go to a Thai gym and have them show you some stuff. Alot of it is just being relaxed and waiting for the right time to strike.

    If your opponent has your head/neck with both his hands you can either palm his face away which should loosen up his hold on you and allow you to escape or get your elbow and grind it into him around the clavicle area this will have the same effect.
     
  3. Stand-Up!

    Stand-Up! Yellow Belt

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    Just shoot your arms over and through the inside of the clinch one at a time. You'll have a deep waist lock. Works very well.
     
  4. millasur

    millasur Blue Belt

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    How do people feel about getting hit on the way 'into' claiming the clinch -

    eg if the distance closes, the opps head is a bit lower or leaning forward, you pull on the bk of his head to pull him into the clinch, he realises you're guna get him good so just starts throwing uppercuts into the ribs, or winged shots over the top to try and take you out as you grab him. Tho the uppercuts aren't really too effective I am worried cos one could catch you good and disrupt/wind you slightly.

    Is this just an experience thing, as in im' clinching too early? Obv wit your arms around his neck/head you can't block the punches so you're pretty open. For me it's hard to train the clinch initialisation because obv you can't knee or throw short elbows when sparring so it's hard to know what 'would' of happened, eg someone punchin you in the ribs once or twice is fine as you would pull their head down and bring your knee up thru their face, KO lol, but obv sparring this would be crazy uncool...:icon_twis
     
  5. Rolf3000

    Rolf3000 Purple Belt

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    Sometimes you will get hit getting into the clinch, however when you have established it, the ways to keep him from hitting you is as you mentioned, trading the punch for a knee, or/and most importantly, keep him off balance. For example : swing him around you, do a knee, swing the other way, etc.
     
  6. millasur

    millasur Blue Belt

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    Are there any good techniques for manoeuvering the opp?

    Cos if your both 'settled' in the clinch (perhaps with an arm inside an arm outside, fighting for position) front to front, creating torque to spin someone requires the simultaneous movement of footwork and hips right ?

    Is it something that is more that you just "do" rather than can be explained easily over the net lol? I say that because to me it seems clinching is more common sense, (i have a rugby background, which is far from MMA but you learn how you throw your weight and move your feet lol), but i'm sure that when I'm in thailand learning from a thai, even tho Im good controlling / moving my weight / balance etc, i'll get schooled. :icon_sad:
     
  7. millasur

    millasur Blue Belt

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    bastard doubles.
     
  8. Rolf3000

    Rolf3000 Purple Belt

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    In Thailand you'll notice that they usually rock in the clinch, but then again they practice it a lot.
    As you correctly assume getting good in the clinch is something you do by doing it. It's really important to get the feel of the balance, and trying to understand what happens when you pull there and twist that.
    I try to teach my students to get a good understanding of the torque you generate from your hips.

    Often people will just pull with their arms and therefore doing the exactly the same thing as when you punch with your arm.. not generate a lot of power. Instead of rotating them around you using your hips and footwork.

    Don't focus on all the "tricks" you can do with your knees and semi-sweeps(there is a lot :)) and just try to learn a sound understanding of the body mechanics and you'll do great from there with practice.
     
  9. NinjaKilla187

    NinjaKilla187 Blue Belt

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    Take some Judo, there are a number of MT schools who are incorporating more Judo in their curriculum for use in the clinch.

    It cannot be explained in text. You have got to learn to break balance and you need a partner to practice that. Your hand positioning and pressure has as much to do with it as your hips and foot position.
     
  10. Rolf3000

    Rolf3000 Purple Belt

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    Good point NinjaKilla, I have a judo background, and that really helps me in the clinch. You can generate good power from your hips and footwork but if you dont get to apply it(by leveraging the right thing) won't help you that much.
     

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