Breaking a Clinch
Okay, I posted this in another thread when asked on how to root a good MT Clinch:
Principles of Breaking the Clinch: Principle of Inside Control
Anyone with any sort of grappling knowledge knows about "controlling the inside" where your hands/arms are inside the opponents to establish control over their head, neck, or waist. The first thing to start doing when your opponent starts setting up a clinch is to start "pummeling" your hands inside your opponent's to break his control and begin establishing your own clinch.
With this, swim your arms up between your opponent's to get both your hands inside and around your opponents neck. Once your arms are inside, you can begin relieving the pressure on your neck by beginning to establish your own clinch. Eventually, your body will begin forcing it's way up through your opponent's arms which will make movement a bit more bearable, and you can then start assaulting the opponent with your own knees.
Actually, I'm just an enthusiast. I've taken classes on and off, and trained on and off, but I haven't been able to stick in one place for too long to get anywhere. Aside from that, I just read and screw around with a lot of the techniques A LOT. I know what works, and a lot of times from personal experience. I just like writing and posting mostly. ;)
Aside from that, I do train people for a living. Sure, it's more voc-tech type stuff, but I've always had a nack for teaching folks new things.
I've got about, 1/2 dozen ways or so to break a clinch. Hopefully I'll have more online by the end of tonight.
Takedown Options to Break the Clinch
Okay, I offered on option for breaking the clinch (which is the basic building block for breaking the cliinch). But if you think about the positions described above, it still leaves you in place where you have to worry about getting kneed. One thing that I have to mention about the following, is that you do not want your opponent to establish the clinch well enough that they get to the point where they have your neck viced down and have themselves rooted with their weight on you. You want to avoid the letting the opponent getting set at all costs.
Why? In that situation they have established a great deal of control over your head and neck and have created enough distance to properly knee into you and cause significant amounts of fight-stopping damage. So all of the efforts to break the clinch has to begin right when your opponent is beginning to set one. Otherwise, you are going to get kneed, and possibly multiple times while in the clinch. Keep that in mind with all of the clinch breaking techniques I offer here, and they will end up being a lot less painful when utilizing them.
Principles of Breaking the Clinch: Securing a Bodylock
For the grappling minded, if an opponent is close enough to touch you, they are also close enough to be taken down. The following is a route of action that can be employed.
When the opponent has begun clasping their hands around your neck, but before they have rooted down on you to end up "tri-podding" their weight on your by stepping back and bending their knees, you have a very prime opportunity to secure a bodylock/bearhug. As their hands drape around the back of your head, lower level and duckwalk deep into your opponent. While doing so, you want to lower your head and keep it in contact with their sternum/solar plexus area: DO NOT LOWER YOUR HEAD AND SHOOT IT TO THE SIDE OF YOUR OPPONENT.
If while lowering your head you position it to the side of your opponents body, you end up doing 2 things for your opponent:
1) If you head ends up on the same side they are cocking their knee, you open up the whole of your body as a target. Not good. We are trying to avoid being kneed.
2) Regardless of what side their knee'ing leg is at, you will expose your head to a guillotine. While we don't want to be hit, we don't want to become feed for a submission hold either.
Lower your level and shoot in/duckwalk so that you penetrate deep bith your base between your opponent's legs. Preferebly you will end up with the mirror leg or their knee'ing leg between the opponents base (so if they are going to knee you with their right leg, shoot so that your left leg ends up between their legs and vice versa). Once there, wrap your arms around your opponent's waist (establishing inside control) and secure a tight bodylock/bearhug on the opponent. Once the bodylock is established you have a few options.
1) Since your center of gravity is under theirs, you can proceed to lift the opponent for the taken down. This should be easy since you've shot deep under their base, and you're in a prime position to lift them.
2) If the opponent is much taller or bigger than you, you can continue driving through the opponent and sweep their front leg out from underneath them (either from the inside or outside--take your pick). I prefer the outside sweep here, as the inside sweep has more of a chance to end up with you in on top in your opponent's full guard. On the outside sweep the opponent will usually end up with half-guard at most, and it should be much easier to pass and establish side control or mount.
If the takedown does not succeed, you will be left in a position where your opponent's body is close and tight to yours and they won't have room to knee your midsection or head (at best they can knee your legs). Since you've established inside control with the body lock, your still in a more superior position of control. At this point, I would move the opponent into a position against the wall, cage, ring-ropes (or whatever solid object may be available) to keep them from creating distance to knee effectively, and to begin working either dirty boxing, or for another takedown.
Another Grappling Option from the Clinch
Principles of Breaking the Clinch: Overhooks are your Friend
Okay, lets say that the situation is that you want to take the opponent down and they begin to secure a MT Clinch on you. You start pummeling your hands inside (see the Principle of Inside Control above), but they begin to step back to create distance. In fact, so much so that you don't think that you can shoot soon enough before eating a knee to the face. What are you options then?
This is where securing a set of Overhooks on your opponent can come in handy. In order to set the overhooks on your opponent:
1) Pummel your arms up inside of your opponents.
2) When your hands come up from inside the opponent's arms, hook them over and around both your opponents arms.
3) When your arms come fully around your opponent's arms, clasp your hands together and crunch your grip together hard while lowering your base. At this point, you are doing so in intent to wrench the opponent's elbows and shoulders out of socket in violent fashion. Also, when your hands are clasped together and your base is lowered you create a defensive barrier for any knees that may be fired by your opponent. Both your arms and your opponent's arms will be in the way of your upper body.
Once the overhooks are secured you have few options for action.
Option #1: Drop back and pull guard. Very few opponents will actually be able to stay upright when you do so. If your guard game is good, this may be a very viable option for you.
Option #2: Step in deep and hip throw your opponent. With this option, the likeliness of landing in full side control is very high is you decide to go to the ground with your opponent. If you decide to stay standing, make sure to control the arm opposite the hip you used to throw your opponent. They will be in prime position for an armbar or shoulder lock once they hit the ground.
Option #3: Go for a Yoko Otoshi or Tani Otoshi (Side/Valley Drop) by stepping back with either your left or right leg, and when the opponent follows your step with their mirroring leg step your leg far past theirs, and break your balance to that side with all your body weight. Your opponent will land to the side of you over your leg, and you can continue over to secure side control or full mount.
here this will help you.
YouTube - Learning the Muay Thai Clinch
That's cool... But this is about Breaking a clinch. We want to leave it, not stay there.
Anyways... I should be adding more as the weekend continues on.
Informative as always Onganju, thanks!
Reaching a Neutral Position is Good
Alrighty... I know it has been a while in this thread, and I really wanted to update this with more technical instruction after the destruction of Rich Franklin at the hands of Anderson Silva’s clinch, but I got distracted by other things (namely other threads). As noted by the bout above, the MT clinch is a bad position to be in when you are on the receiving end. So, let’s say that you are in the ring with a guy who has a real strong MT clinch, now what?
Principles of Breaking the Clinch: Reaching a Neutral Position
Okay… On this end we want to create a relative “safe zone” to allow you some time to re-gain your bearings. Two good ways to achieve this: The “Head Rest,” and Work for an Over-Under Clinch. On this end, you want to work for the latter first as that position will offer you more offensive options. So, let’s take a quick look at that first.
Working the Over-Under Clinch –
1) From the inside of your opponent’s clinch, pummel your arm (let’s say your left) up between your opponent’s arm, while your right arm is down to act as a barrier between you and your opponent’s knee. In fact you can check their hips with your right hand, and then their leg when you feel a knee coming.
2) Once your left arm swims clear of their right bicep, loop it over their arm and secure and overhook on that side. Doing so should break the grip on your neck if you do this with force and purpose.
3) Once you have the overhook secure, move your left hip in close to your opponent’s hips. This should help guard your left side while you defend knees coming in to your right by checking the leg with your free hand.
4) While moving your hips close, bring your head up from the center of their chest and rest it on the side of their head your overhook arm is on. This will allow you to “hide” in the cover of your opponent’s head. Yes you may get punched while you’re in the process of doing so, but with your body position being so close to your opponent their punches will be muffled and have less impact than normal.
5) Once your head is clear, step your right leg back, square up to the opponent and underhook their left arm with your right.
6) Once you have your Over-Under clinch secured, make sure that you keep your leg on the side of your overhook arm forward, root down on your opponent by lowering your base and keeping your weight on their overhooked arm.
You do not want to lean on your opponent that will allow them to knee without pause. If you root down by lowering your base, you make them carry your weight on their overhooked arm. This is all accomplished by moving your hips back and bending your knees to lower your base. When you have the Over-Under rooted, when your opponent begins to shift their base to throw a knee, you will feel it. When you do, all you have to do is tug, push, or pull on their overhooked arm through upper body movement and footwork and their base will be thrown off which will take the danger of the knee away. At that point, you can use an Overhook snap, Underhook snap or “Bump” to disengage back to a striking scenario, or you can work for a variety of Greco-Roman Takedowns.
I will address the Head Rest in my next post.
Crap... I forgot my sources:
Muay Thai: The Art of Fighting by Yod Ruerngsa, Khun Kao Charuad and James Cartmell. Links to this text can be found here.
Savage Strikes and The Clinch by, Mark Hatmaker.
Bas Rutten's Big Book of Combat by, Bas Rutten
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