It has been three tough rounds now. Round 1: we covered the importance of breaking down your sparring and fight footage. Round 2: why the teep is the "god weapon". And in Round 3: the importance of the clinch and why it is almost a god weapon.
Time to break down the fourth and final round.
To recap very quickly, Sean had a tough first three rounds. His opponent’s teep is laser sharp, and he has very strong punching combinations.
Sean knows that he’s down on the scorecards. He has to go out on his shield or else he’ll likely lose the decision.
For the epic conclusion to this fight, check it out:
Head Kick KO Loss: Analysis
As you saw, unfortunately, this did not go Sean’s way. His opponent, Phetch, was able to rock Sean with punches and eventually land a brutal head kick.
Even though both knockdowns came from head...
In Thailand, Muay Thai scoring is weird. The first two rounds don't really count for much (very weird, indeed), so the third round is when things begin to pick up.
The fight is moving faster in round three, more combinations are being thrown, and there’s just a great flurry of techniques to deal with, usually on and from both sides.
In the last breakdown, I focused primarily on the teep, which I called "the ultimate nullifier." Today, we will be focusing on another nullifier, though not as effective: the clinch.
First, though, let's catch up on the fight!
The Smothering Power Of The Clinch
The reason why the teep is so effective as a defensive tool is because it creates distance. It doesn’t matter what strike is being thrown at you - if you can create...
We’ve all got blades on our arms, some are sharper than others, but they slice and dice all the same. These blades I’m referring to are elbows.
Elbows, like knees, are made to be utilized within close range. Though you may be within the range they’re designed for, that does not always mean you’ll be able to use them properly. Positioning is key.
What type of position will we be looking at today?
We’ll look, as one always should, at the position of maximal leverage; in this particular instance, the clinch. This is an important point to consider if you’re facing an opponent more physically able than you are.
It would be silly to fight on an equal playing field, therefore you must be able to maneuver to positions advantageous to you and disadvantageous to him.
The clinch will be such a position for you. Here are the tricks:
The more weapons you have in your arsenal, the more capable you are as a fighter. However, it can be difficult to hold that many techniques in your brain and body. It’s difficult for all of the techniques to synergize.
We all know the sayings “jack of all trades, master of none” and “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once but the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” How true are these statements?
If you want to learn as many techniques as possible, you must find the commonalities and patterns of all techniques. Once you’ve found and mastered those things, you will have incredible results. For instance, almost all kicks require you to pivot on your standing leg. Once you’ve mastered the pivot, you will be able to transfer that to those 10,000 kicks and thus learn them quicker.
Now check out the below Evolve MMA video and...
I HATED the clinch.
Whenever clinch training would go down I would try to find an excuse to miss out on grappling with the other fighters. I wasn’t proud when I would opt out of clinch class, but my fear of being embarrassed, getting kneed at will, and being tossed around like a rag doll would always win over.
I SUCKED at the clinch.
Mainly because I would always avoid training it!
Although I was well aware of the fact that I would always back out of clinch training, I would try to make myself feel better by telling myself that I’m a good enough fighter to do well without engaging on the inside. Who needs the clinch when you can just knock people out with your hands right?
Unfortunately, I had to learn this through experience, which in hindsight was probably the only way I was going to actually learn the importance of training and accepting the Thai...
An aspect of Muay Thai that is just as essential as being able to kick and punch is knowing how to clinch and knee.
Two Muay Thai fighters of the past and present who dominate using the clinch are Dieselnoi and Yodwicha.
In this article I will try to give an explanation of what a clincher/knee specialist is in Muay Thai also known as Muay Kao or “knee fighter.”
Typically clinching and kneeing go hand and hand.
People with a boxing background tend to get confused when they’re introduced to Muay Thai clinching. In boxing, clinching tends to be a defensive position used to conserve energy rather than expend it. In Muay Thai it’s the total opposite....
With a Muay Femur fighter, you are witnessing the technical beauty of Muay Thai. Long-range sniping, clever movements and extreme confidence are hallmarks of the femur style.
Femur (prounounced “fee-meuu”) fighters are the technical fighters every Muay Thai fan thinks of when they think about “beautiful” Muay Thai. These are the fighters that are exciting to watch and you want to emulate their techniques in your own training. Some well-known femur fighters are Saenchai, Sangmanee, Nong-O, Littewada, and Samart.
Femur fighters are slick and have insanely high fight IQ. They have great eyes and use the first round or two to figure out what their opponent’s weaknesses may be. Femur fighters generally look to score, but will go for the knockout if they see it.
The amazing thing about femur fighters is that they’re generally well-rounded – they can use all of...
If you’re a newcomer to Muay Thai, it might not be immediately clear why the clinch is so important to a sport that appears to be little more than kickboxing.
The clinch is what really makes Muay Thai unique. While much is made of the shin kicks and knee strikes of Muay Thai, it’s the presence of wrestling that makes Muay Thai so different to other forms of kick fighting.
If you find yourself constantly getting ragdolled and beaten up in the clinch, it will be near-impossible to advance your Muay Thai career. Learning how to control your opponent is the ultimate form of combat dominance. From tie-ups to sweeps, and knees to elbows, mastering every element of the clinch gives you the foundation needed to be a truly effective nak muay!
Land clean elbows, bruising knees & knockout slams – ALL FROM THE CLINCH! This...
There isn’t a much cooler feeling than landing a clean elbow strike in a fight, but on the other hand, being hit or cut with an elbow is not cool at all.
Knowing a variety of Muay Thai elbow techniques is a crucial component of the clinch game, and neglecting to learn certain elbow techniques can leave you at a disadvantage in the clinch.
There are also elbow strikes you can use from the outside like the spinning back elbow, which is SICK if you land it!
Even if you don’t fight with elbows (in a modified rules bout or a kickboxing fight), it’s good to still practice them and know them for when you are allowed to throw them. Below I’ve come up with a bunch of the best muay thai elbow strikes and technique videos to check out. Give them a look and start to implement them into your training!
In this technique video Sean Hinds and a former...
The Muay Thai clinch.
It can be your best friend or your worst enemy… and I’m guessing you want to be friends with your clinch game right?
When it comes to learning the intricacies of the clinch game it can get a bit overwhelming. There are basically an infinite number of clinch knees, elbows, sweeps, defensive moves and off-balance techniques that you have to be aware of to be proficient when battling on the inside.
So, in order to help you add more variety to your and embrace the clinch game I want to share you some of the best Muay Thai clinch techniques that you should consider adding to your skill set.
First I want to show you a couple effective clinch knee techniques that you can utilize to land a flush knee either to your opponents body or head. The first video below is by UK Muay Thai champ, Damien Trainor of K-Star Legacy Gym who demonstrates a useful off-balancing technique followed by a knee. The second...