Monday, 1 December 2008

One Handed Head Grab

If any one has ever been caught in a full double handed behind the head clinch from someone who knows how to apply it like a seasoned Muay Thai fighter then you will know how powerful it can be. Apart from wasting a lot of energy trying to get out of it you may start to face some devastating knee strikes.

However, when going for the double handed head grab, you can leave yourself open to strikes and at best, can only be attempted when you are at close range to your opponent. An alternative is the one handed head grab.

With the one handed head grab there are many advantages.

1. Firstly it is fast. From a distance where you can stretch your front hand out, you can quite easily grab the back of your opponents head and maintain a secure grip long enough to deliver your next technique.

2. Secondly, you can guard yourself with your free hand. Usually when any type of clinch is attempted, your opponent will try and retaliate with strikes. You can guard these by using only one hand.

3. Thirdly, you can easily stop yourself getting involved in a clinch grappling exchange. By clinching with two hands, your opponent can easily try and stand up grapple you, body lock you or possibly take you to the ground. One handed grabs can prevent this from happening much easier.

4. Lastly, you can strike with not only your knees but also with your free hand or elbow. Randy Couture is well known for using this famous dirty boxing technique, where you grab the back your opponents head with one hand and strike with the other. If anyone is familiar with Karate kata, they will know that elbow strikes are nearly always performed into the palm of the hand. The main application of this is that you have grabbed your opponent and have delivered the elbow strike, (how well would this go down during sparring in many Karate dojos know a days though, and yet it is a constant kata technique.) The advantage of this is that the grabbing hand can be used to detect where the target is easily allowing for a more accurate strike.

The one handed behind the neck grab is a great technique to learn which can open up many possibilities and should be practised by all. This type of training combined with full two handed clinching can provide great all round close range combat control methods where the most effective strikes possible can be performed.

(Pictures taken from and


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Lori O'Connell said...

I'm a big fan of the one-handed grab. Not only is it great for elbow strikes, it's also good for setting up throws and takedowns.

Donnie Baker said...

Thank you for this post. I'm a big fan of the one handed clinch. It's much more effective in the street. You never want to tie up with someone.

I wrote an article on my blog last month on the same subject.

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