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The Clinch is a Cinch

A private lesson on the clinch. First about the grip:

  • Classic plum position your make your hands two hooks and grab the neck
  • Fist grip: Place the thumb of one fist behind the neck and grab this hand with your opposite hand.
  • Gable grip: Grip palm to palm keeping one forearm across the back of your opponents neck, use this to leverage, e.g. twist down to be able knee to the head.
You can if necessary head pummel in so that your head is under or lateral to your opponent’s chin. This allows you to see where your knees are going.

Pressuring drill

Throw soft hook knees. Your partner pressures into you, either on the left, right, or middle. If they push to one side, drop step away from this side, If they push center, choose a side and drop step. Deliver a knee with the drop step leg.

Knee drop step, knee takedown

Throw a hook knee, place this foot near and lateral to your opponent. Drop step with the opposite foot and throw a knee with this side. Repeat as you move them around the ring. From the hook knee, place your foot next to your opponent and transition into a lunge, bending them backward with your body. Pull with your far hand and push with your near hand over your leg.

Countering the overclinch

You have your opponent in the full clinch, they clinch over your arms. Rapidly elevate the elbow on one side, twisting your body to bring it nearly vertical. This should throw them off you.

Countering the counter to the overclinch

If you are the one clinching over your opponent’s arms and they attempt to do the elbow lift, go limp on that side and pummel inside to get underhooks.


Ian Ransburg Top Level Gym Dragon Leg Style Muay Thai Seminar

Warm-up: 50 jumping jacks

Catching the Kick Series

Range find by rocking up on the toes of your rear leg, straightening the lead leg, extending your lead hand and touching your opponent’s hands. You should be just be able to touch them. This allows you to find them but be far enough out of range to counter.

When you kick your base leg straightens and your posture remains as erect as possible.

Your opponent uses the range finder to set-up the rear kick. Catch this kick at the ankle, stepping with the kick and wrapping your arm over and pulling your hand high on your chest. You will typically try to drop this to your hand and then throw across your body, spinning your opponent’s back to you allowing you to kick them.

They can counter this throw of their leg by squaring up with you, as if they had thrown a tiip and then curling their kicking leg back as if to load another tiip, pulling you forward. They then deliver a tiip to push kick you away.

If your opponent attempts the tiip counter, pull their foot laterally and step medially to it, reaching across to grab the neck and delivering a same side knee. Without letting go of their kicking leg, step forward with your kneeing leg and deliver a same side elbow. Now step back with the knee leg to clear their leg you are holding and throw it to the opposite, spinning their back to you. Deliver a kick.

If they have your tiip grabbed with the mirror opposite hand, roll your foot medially and twist to the floor. Keep your eyes on your opponent and land on the ball of this foot. If they close, throw a rear side/thrust kick, then step away and pivot back to face them.

“Combat Hug” Clinch

Your opponent is using the range finder, as you parry they reach to clinch, tuck your chin and cover with the elbow high. Stop their opposite biceps with your contralateral hand. Put your head on this side as you wrap your high cover arm around their neck, their neck in the antecubit of the arm, your wrist curled around the opposite side of their neck. Square your legs up, your midline in front of their hip on the arm control side. Drop this elbow in to their side. Turn your face away from your opponent.

Put your forehead on their shoulder so you can see their legs. Throw a curve knee on the side opposite your head. As they return the mirror knee, pull on their neck and drop step 45° on this side, return the knee on this side. They throw the opposite curve knee, pull on their arm and drop step 45° on this side. Repeat on the original side.

If you wish to throw your opponent, look for them to throw the curve knee on your arm control side. As they do, pull their neck by twisting your body and drawing the arm inferiorly toward the hip while simultaneously pushing their arm.

To defend this clinch, underhook the arm wrapped around the neck by placing the palm of the glove on their face. Rotate the shoulder and hip forward, locking their arm out. If they retain a grip on the other arm, rotate over the top and deliver knees. Drop step to bring their head down to deliver knees here.

If an opponent is pushing away as above, when you clinch overhook this arm, cinching proximal to the elbow. Take a slight step back, sliding distal to the elbow, and bring your arm medially and superiorly twisting their elbow medially. Pass their other arm underneath this glove and trap it. Now deliver elbows with your free arm.


Escaping the Mount

First, use an upa to move their weight forward. Then push their knee and shrimp your leg free, overhook with this leg in half-guard. Switch to your opposite hip and frame the neck and far biceps. Escape to the guard.

If you cannot move their knee, shrimp way from their leg to create space to bring your knee inside. Switch hips and frame to escape your other leg into hooks inside guard.

If they are defending you pushing their knee, tilt on your hip and bring your leg over to their opposite leg, dragging their foot between your legs. Now push to establish half-guard and then shrimp to guard.

If they grapevine your leg, straighten one rapidly then shrimp out. Alternatively you can push their hook off with your opposite foot. If they cross their ankles, step on them and then shrimp.


Reactive < Active < Proactive

Everyone can react, some can act, the best can be proactive.


Hashtag something really tough...GRRRR

Warm-up combinations:

  • Jab-cross-double lead kick
  • Jab-cross-lead kick-rear kick
  • Jab-cross-rear kick-lead kick
  • Jab-cross-double rear kick

Pummeling set-ups

  • Stop the biceps of the overhook, arm wrench the underhook, throw an elbow to their head, catch the neck knee, guillotine
  • Knee, lift their leg, penetrate step and ipsilateral inside sweep, groin shot
  • Catch wrist (or redirect with pummeling hand) and pass to arm drag, step to the back while passing their arm further to the a “seatbelt” (contralateral wrist control from behind, ipsilateral control at the elbow). Step between their legs with your leg on the wrist control side and drop to your knee, dragging your opponent laterally to the mat.
  • Block their overhook, drive up with your underhook, step off 45°, lower your level and run them down with the double leg

Guard work against the posturing opponent

  • Your opponent postures with one hand wrapping your lapels at your solar plexus, you can break their grip by pulling your gi laterally like your flashing your opponent.
  • You can cross collar over their grip and then gi drag when they try to stand.
  • You can get a cross collar over their grip, make it deeper by propping on your free elbow, then sit back pulling them forward. Cross grip their posture arm sleeve. Prepare for the arm bar by placing the foot in the hip, if they lean forward to close the line, put your knee over their shoulder and triangle. Push way with your legs to set-up the armor.


$h!t I wish I knew 10 years ago

Closed guard, cross collar and ipsilateral sleeve grip. Open and place the knee shields on the inside. Use the shin on the side you control to break the grip. Pull as you extend this leg so that the knee goes posterior to their shoulder. Place your foot in their hip to abduct and rotate their arm. Spin for the Oma plata by using your opposite foot in their hip and kicking your Oma plata leg to the mat.

If they attempt to feed your foot on their free side between their legs, bring your knee superiorly to you and place the spider guard hook in their cubital fossa. Use this to set-up your Oma plata.

If they stand, get your foot in their hip and your other foot in their cubital fossa. Same collar and sleeve control. Angle your body 45 degrees to the control side. You can ankle pick or Oma plata.


Sticks and Arm Drags May Break My Bones

Double Stick

  1. Right forehand-backhand, left forehand-backhand, right forehand-low backhand-forehand, left forehand-low backhand-forehand
  2. Right forehand-backhand, left forehand-backhand, right forehand-low backhand-forehand, left forehand-low backhand-forehand, right over under post-right forehand-left backhand-right back hand, left over under post-left forehand-right backhand-left backhand

Gi Arm Drag

  1. Cross collar grip, place freehand on mat, use your ipsilateral leg to move hips offline and pull opponent to the mat. Seatbelt grip and pull them to the rear mount.
  2. Your opponent grabs your pant leg ipsilateral to your cross collar grip. Place your palm on their wrist and underhook grip their biceps with the opposite (former collar grip hand), while shifting offline, pull their arm.
  3. Again your opponent grabs the pant legipsilateral to your cross collar grip. Use your ipsilateral hand to grab the superior line of the triceps and pull both at the collar and at the arm.

If your opponents arm doesn’t drag past you but stays across your body, frame and go for oma plata.


From the cross collar and sleeve grip, place your feet in their hips, push back for them to pressure forward. Lift your opponent in the air at the hips with your feet.

  1. Lift them over the same side shoulder you have sleeve and wrist control. Roll with them to take the mount.
  2. Drop the leg that has sleeve control laterally, allowing them to rotate into the armbar position.