The clinch

skribs

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It's been a long time since I've done a real clinch in an art. In Taekwondo, (at least, WT rules) you're not allowed to grab your opponent at all, and in my Hapkido classes we tend focus on the limbs and not so much on the neck. We clinched in wrestling but that was a few years...uh...18 years ago. (How did I get so old?)

So, the clinch is something I know very little about. If you know more about it than I do (which shouldn't be hard), I'd like to hear about it. Things like:
  • How does the clinch work in your art (whatever art that is)
  • How does the clinch differ between arts
  • What art would you recommend I look at for dealing with a clinch
  • What are some special tips and tricks you've learned to gain, control, retain, avoid, escape, or reverse a clinch?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Ill address another question, which is why does the clinch differ in different arts?

In boxing/kickboxing, the clinch is focused around being able to strike and preventing the other person from gaining space, and is often used as a stalling technique. In MT, youre looking for opportunities to strike, but also to possible throw/sweep. In judo/jujutsu, the position id consider a clinch is one where youre actively looking to throw, and not caring about striking.

With three different reasons for the clinch, you can see why they're different between arts, and choose to learn one based on what you're focused on. Personally im a fan of the clinch i learned in jujutsu, as it focuses mainly on controlling the other persons sense of balance, which really helps with striking as well overall. But thats up to you to decide. I feel like knowing the reasoning behind the clinch will help with that decision moreso than the details of the clinch, though.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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The main purpose of the clinch is to disable your opponent's striking ability and change a striking game into a wrestling game. With this purpose in mind, you don't want your opponent to have "free arms". So the best clinch can be to wrap your opponent's leading right arm and under/over hook his left arm.
 
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The main purpose of the clinch is to disable your opponent's striking ability and change a striking game into a wrestling game. With this purpose in mind, you don't want your opponent to have "free arms". So the best clinch can be to wrap your opponent's leading arm and under/over hook his left arm.

What if his left arm is his leading arm?
 

Kung Fu Wang

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What if his left arm is his leading arm?
I mean to wrap your opponent's one arm and under/over hook his other arm. This way both of his arms will not be free.

The MT clinch can give your opponent free arms and won't meet this requirement.


IMO, this clinch is better.

underhook.jpg
 
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drop bear

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The most interesting thing about the clinch is it is about the best way to isolate a limb.

And so will actually make the Hapkido stuff work better.

So collar tie, wrist control, two on one, arm control.

They collar tie or thai grapple. Shrug, two on one, arm or back control.


Knife defense. Collar tie, wrist control, striking, knife disarm.
 

paitingman

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Thai Clinch and Shuai Jiao are my highest recommendations.

Thai clinch is great for structure and striking. Throws and trips. Elbow Defense and Knee Defense.

Shuai Jiao I've experienced also takes into account strike defense while engaging in a more wrestling type clinch.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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If you can use it to wrap both of your opponent's arms along with his head. This way not only your opponent can't see, both of his arms also can't move. You can only do this when your opponent's arm is on your neck, the same side that your head lock arm is. When you use your right arm to lock your opponent's head, your right arm lock his left arm at the same time.

IMO, this is the best clinch that you can establish.

- Both of your opponent's arms are disable.
- Your head lock make his spin to bend side way and collapse his body structure.
- His eyes are covered by both of your arms and also by both of his own arms.

 
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Gerry Seymour

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It's been a long time since I've done a real clinch in an art. In Taekwondo, (at least, WT rules) you're not allowed to grab your opponent at all, and in my Hapkido classes we tend focus on the limbs and not so much on the neck. We clinched in wrestling but that was a few years...uh...18 years ago. (How did I get so old?)

So, the clinch is something I know very little about. If you know more about it than I do (which shouldn't be hard), I'd like to hear about it. Things like:
  • How does the clinch work in your art (whatever art that is)
  • How does the clinch differ between arts
  • What art would you recommend I look at for dealing with a clinch
  • What are some special tips and tricks you've learned to gain, control, retain, avoid, escape, or reverse a clinch?
NGA doesn't have a clinch position, traditionally, that I know of. I borrow head control principles from the art and combine them with principles I've worked on with guys from other arts (Muay Thai and wrestling mostly, I think).

The full clinch I teach looks similar to a MT clinch, and has some of the same principles. I doubt it's a true MT clinch, but I can't say it isn't - I'm just not familiar enough with theirs to call it one way or the other. The basics are get the hands behind the head (neck if you have to settle, in some cases), get their head below your collarbone and their spine curved, and keep them off-balance, usually including switching sides. Elbows are tight, forearms against the sides of their neck and bracing them from you.

There's a basic half-clinch (so the head isn't low like a collar tie), that's mostly a transitional point for getting better position or countering some entries. This can take a lot of forms, but the basic concept is one hand around the back of the neck, elbow tight, perhaps with your head blocking theirs out. The other hand might be in the clinch, or might be involved in something else (remember, it's often a transition).

There's also something I call a "shoulder clinch", which is where both people have hold of each others' shoulders. This is usually the result of two people both trying to do standing grappling.

If I were looking for a single clinch to start from, I'd look at Muay Thai. I love the amount of control those guys get out of their clinch. For using a clinch like that, don't get static. Keep them moving and off-balance, keep shifting their feet. Keep their head low, with pressure high (pressure on the neck means the clinch is vulnerable). To escape one, you have to counter at least one of those principles. If you can get their hands lower, you may be able to muscle out upward. If you can get their elbows out of the center, you can remove an arm. If they stand up too tall, you can sometimes drop out the bottom (especially if they're not using their arms right and let you get your feet under you).
 
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I mean to wrap your opponent's one arm and under/over hook his other arm. This way both of his arms will not be free.

The MT clinch can give your opponent free arms and won't meet this requirement.


IMO, this clinch is better.

underhook.jpg

I'm sorry. I knew what you meant. I just being annoying in attempt to be funny.
 

Gerry Seymour

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The most interesting thing about the clinch is it is about the best way to isolate a limb.

And so will actually make the Hapkido stuff work better.

So collar tie, wrist control, two on one, arm control.

They collar tie or thai grapple. Shrug, two on one, arm or back control.


Knife defense. Collar tie, wrist control, striking, knife disarm.
Everything I know of the aiki arts that translates to close grappling (meaning you didn't get to finish it while they were at movement distance - the stuff that's more likely to show up in most "fights") tends to come from some sort of clinch.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Regarding a how to practice it, go into an "over under" (you have one arm on top, one arm underneath your opponents) position with a buddy, and both fight for an "over over" position (both arms on outaide, preferably controlling the head, but not necessary for the drill). Once one of you gets it, break, reset and try again.
 

drop bear

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I still like to get neck and wrist if I can for SD.

And go for that Snap down. Just beating them up with slaps if I can.

 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I still like to get neck and wrist if I can for SD.
I'm a fan of neck and grabbing above elbow. That way I can prevent any major surprises while trying to work whatever I'm working. Wrist sounds like it would work too though, never thought about it. Do you lose the grip/control more often by going for the wrist?
 

drop bear

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I'm a fan of neck and grabbing above elbow. That way I can prevent any major surprises while trying to work whatever I'm working. Wrist sounds like it would work too though, never thought about it. Do you lose the grip/control more often by going for the wrist?

Depends where I am. Normally I will work my way down from The bicep.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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To obtain cinch, I like to start from the wrist, move to elbow, and then move to shoulder, head, or waist.

Old saying said, "During the clinch, it's better to be inside than to be outside. It's better to be on the top than to be at the bottom."
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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To obtain cinch, I like to start from the wrist, move to elbow, and then move to shoulder, head, or waist.

Old saying said, "During the clinch, it's better to be inside than to be outside. It's better to be on the top than to be at the bottom."
What do you mean better to be inside? I always want my arms on the outside
 

Kung Fu Wang

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What do you mean better to be inside? I always want my arms on the outside
Inside means that your

- left arm is between your opponent's right arm and his head.
- right arm is between your opponent's left arm and his head.

The guy on the right, his left arm is "inside" (but his right arm isn't). If he slide his left arm forward along his opponent's right arm, his left arm can achieve an "arm wrap".

inside-arm.jpg
 
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Monkey Turned Wolf

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Inside means that your

- left arm is between your opponent's right arm and his head.
- right arm is between your opponent's left arm and his head.

The guy on the right, his left arm is "inside" (but his right arm isn't). If he slide his left arm forward along his opponent's right arm, his left arm can achieve an "arm wrap".

inside-arm.jpg
Gotcha. Then we're in agreement.
 
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