Hopefully, you’ve practiced the elbow strikes explained in part one; how to protect yourself in a night club. Today I will be going through the second part that will help you be very effective in a close range fighting situation.
I will be going over techniques used in muay thai, the clinch, and knees. These two aspects mixed with elbows will give a person a solid base to become effective in protecting themselves from close range close range.
Before we start I want to make it clear that this is serious stuff. It can be very dangerous and cause devastating injuries. Do not misuse this information or use it for the wrong reasons. If you do misuse this information remember,
‘Karma always comes back and bites you in the ass’
Got it? Okay… So let’s jump right in!
The Thai Clinch (the clinch);
There are different variations of the clinch. The one I will be going over today is the most popular; it’s called ‘the double collar tie’. The double collar tie allows you to control the opponent’s head very effectively allowing you to throw knees and elbows.
If held correctly, there’s not much the opponent can do to hurt you back in this position. In this position, it is also easy to drag your opponent around, throw bigger opponents off balance and sweep them to the floor.
For this reason, it is very effective and one of my favorite moves. This move is very simple and when practiced to perfection it is very valuable when it comes to protecting yourself in a fight.
There are many clinch variations. Each is a matter of preference. I will explain 2 of these variations. The hand over hand clinch and the hand over fist clinch.
The Hand Over Hand Control;
- Wrap one hand around the back of your opponents head. This hand should be placed low on the back of the head at the point where the head meets the neck.
- Next cup your other hand over that hand and squeeze tight.
The Hand Over Fist Control;
- Place one hand on the back of the opponent’s head making a vertical fist. Your thumb should be flush with the opponent’s head. Your little finger should now be facing in the direction away from the opponents head.
- Next, cup your other hand over the fist.
For the perfect clinch, there is one main factor you must apply!
Whenever you gain control of your opponents head in the grip positions shown above, the position of your elbows is very important. Your forearms should be placed in front of your opponent’s shoulders.
You should then pinch your elbows tightly together. This makes the clinch ‘tight’ and gives you maximum control of your opponents head, protecting you from incoming strikes and takedowns.
Once the clinch is applied it is easy to strike your opponents with knees or elbows. You can drag your opponent left and right by twisting your hips and pulling the head in that direction.
Knees can be thrown to the abdomen, liver, solar plexus or you can pull your opponents head down and strike the knee to the face. There are different types of knees. The two main ones are;
The Straight Knee to the Head;
- With the clinch applied, take a small step forward with the lead foot.
- Pull your opponents head down.
- Keep your front leg straight, and bring the back leg up off the ground with the knee bent at 90°.
- Make sure your toes are pointing down on the striking foot. (This will expose the tip of the knee turning it into a ‘sharp point’).
- Drive your knee into the opponent’s head whilst exhaling sharply.
This knee can be used to strike the abdomen also in the same fashion. When striking to the solar plexus your knee should travel up and forward (imagine your knee is a spear and you are thrusting it through your opponents body.)
To do this thrust your hips forward and lean your torso back as you bring your knee up. This will drive the knee deep into the solar plexus, winding your opponent (if you’ve ever been hit in the solar plexus you know the feeling!)
The side knee is performed the same as the front knee, but you bring the knee up diagonally into the opponents rig cage. Mixing the front knee with the side knee will keep the opponent guessing and enables you to land strikes in a range of different places.
Applying elbows and knees from the clinch position is devastating. It is certainly a good idea to practice these techniques to be a good all round martial artist.
It’s beneficial to practice these techniques with a partner because you can play with sweeps and trips from the clinch. You can also get a good idea of balance and resistance from training the clinch with a partner.
If you don’t have a partner you can always practice these techniques in various combinations on a boxing bag, thai pads or boxing mitts. You can set yourself a timer and practice these moves for 3minutes then rest for one minute. That will be one round. After a while of practice, you can add another round and so on.
If you have any questions or need any further advice feel free to email me or leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.