Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Clinch Takedown

Hopefully all martial artists know how important the clinch can be in a fight. If you know how to gain control and position in the clinch and have mastered striking from there whilst keeping your opponent tied up, it can be one of the most devastating ways to end a fight.

Clinch striking involves maybe the strongest weapons, the elbow and knee. Although the elbow makes more sense to use when clinched as it is closer to your opponent, many favour to use knee strikes.

Possibly the quickest and most effective ways to escape the clinch which also leaves your opponent on his back (if done right) is the simple twist.

First, when your opponent attempts to hold the back of your head to gain control you must be doing all you can to prevent this. Holding his arms or crooks of his elbows, swimming upwards inside his arms to gain head control yourself, pressing your opponent for a body lock, pushing his chin backwards etc. Do everything you can to prevent him from cupping your head as from this position, most of the time, your doomed. (Ask Rich Franklin!)

Whilst this is happening your opponent may start to throw a couple of knee strikes. As you know, whenever a person is standing on one leg, it is very easy to break there balance and take them down. From the clinch it is even easier because you are already (or should be) holding your opponent. Weather its his head, arms, shoulders or body, you should be holding him somewhere.

When your opponent throws a knee strike, as soon as you detect his foot leave the floor, twist your opponent either clockwise or anticlockwise whilst simultaneously pulling him down. As he is only standing on one leg it will be easy to bring him down.

The catch with this simple clinch defence however is that you must be comfortable in clinching so as to not panic if your opponent controls your head and your timing must be spot on when you twist your opponent as soon as his foot leaves the floor for his knee strike. You have to practise clinch work for a long time to gain this level of comfort.

This is a great counter and if pulled off a couple of times should leave your opponent more cautious when throwing knee strikes. It should be practised well.

The following video shows this clinch defence at around 1:20 seconds in along with other techniques used in Daido Juku Karate.


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