The clinch is a
very common Muay Thai technique. In any form of close quarters combat,
street fighting techniques may need to give way to the more constructive discipline and
training found in most martial arts practices.
One important defense is
knowing what NOT to do in a clinch.
Muay Thai Technique: What Not To Do When in a Clinch
By Donovan Baldwin
Muay Thai is one of the most intense combat sports in the world. In this martial art, almost every strike is legal. As a result, in Muay Thai, it is important to learn different techniques in order for you to become more successful in the ring and win more matches.
Even if you do not consider yourself a professional Muay Thai fighter yet, if you hope to be one someday, you should remember that there are certain things that you don't want to do when you get caught in a clinch. In Muay Thai, the clinch commonly occurs when someone gets inside your circle of defense, inside of your comfort zone in close quarters combat. These are all common mistakes that Muay Thai fighters do, and in most cases, they pay dearly for them.
Heeding these tips will help you keep yourself out of danger while increasing your chances of converting any apparently disadvantageous position to an advantageous one.
DO NOT MOVE AWAY
The first thing that you should never do when you get caught in a clinch is to try moving away from the situation. Moving away from your opponent increases the distance between the two of you. This may provide your opponent with the distance needed to deliver powerful knee strikes with a full range of motion.
Instead, when caught in a clinch, minimize the space between you and your opponent as much as possible in order to make it difficult for them to deliver knee strikes and other attacks.
DO NOT GRAB THEIR HAND
The second thing that most people do in a clinch is try to grab their opponent’s hand to break the grip.
This can be a big mistake as it potentially opens up your midsection and your ribs to knee strikes. Knee strikes in this part of the body can be very serious and painful, so much so that it can knock you out of the fight prematurely.
DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK
Another common mistake is turning your back to your opponent.
Especially if your opponent has a solid grip of the back of your head, never attempt to turn away. Doing so will twist your neck. This can possibly cause an unnecessary injury, and can also leave you in a perfect position to receive powerful knee strikes from your opponent.
DO NOT GET BELOW HIS ELBOWS
Allowing your head to get under your opponent’s elbow is the fourth common mistake.
If you make this mistake, then your opponent will be more than happy to bring it to your attention with a knee strike upwards, usually pretty solidly on the face. In many cases, this is going to be a knockout blow.
DO NOT PUNCH HIS MIDSECTION
Another mistake is striking your opponent’s midsection with punches during a clinch.
While this tactic may work against beginners, if you are fighting an advanced Muay Thai fighter, they have almost certainly trained long enough and conditioned their midsections to such a degree that they will be able to take some pretty heavy blows here without flinching. So, beating on his midsection will probably just annoy your opponent and will also make him eager to get it over with and finish the fight early by knocking you out.
DO NOT PANIC
It is not uncommon for beginning, and less experienced, Muay Thai fighters to panic, and forget their training when they get caught in a clinch.
Your best course of action is to relax, take your time, and concentrate on applying all that you have learned to managing the situation. Losing your head will only make you more tense, cause more confusion, and lead you to use up valuable energy. By relaxing and concentrating on the problem at hand, you will be able to work better to escape the predicament you are in.
Remember these tips and they can help you handle the pressure of getting caught in a clinch, and, with luck and skill, convert the situation to a more advantageous position.
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muay thai technique | martial arts | clinch | street fighting techniques | close quarters combat