How To CLINCH FIGHT Like A Pro MMA Fighter


(yells) – Hey guys, my name is Oliver Enkamp, I’m a professional mixed martial artist, and today we’re going to
talk about the clinch. (intense music) – [Announcer] Oliver Enkamp! – So we have the Thai
clinch, or the plum clinch, which is this, I’m
grabbing my opponent’s neck to control him from here,
maybe to throw knees, or sweep him. We have the wrestling
clinch, or the over-under, where we have one arm under and one over, and the same goes for the opposite side. So this is where most wrestlers end up, and they try to come in
on the opponent’s body to take him down, right? Then we have one type of clinch that we refer to as the steering wheel, where I have the bicep and the neck, so I have inside control of his arms, so I can steer him from here
by using the neck and the arm for a sweep, for example. The most basic thing, and the principle that goes into all types of
clinch is inside control. So I can never be successful in clinching if I try to grab my
opponent from the outside like this, because look, Jesse
will have the clinch, right? Even if I go for the neck,
he has a clinch, right? So fighting narrow with your guard, punching inside of your opponent’s arms, and grabbing, grappling from inside with a narrow position, makes you first on a clinch every time. So if we’re striking with each other, and suddenly the space, the gap closes, if I keep a tighter guard, I will end up on the inside,
and I will 99% of the time have better control than my opponent. That’s the first
principle, inside control. The next thing is, and also
is one of the biggest problems that people avoid the clinch
because they get very tired. And that is mainly because
they use too much energy, they use their muscles to
throw around your opponent, so I have to move all his
mass and throw him around, which makes me exhausted, right? So the next principle
for a successful clinch is to lock yourself to your opponent, but move your own body
instead of his body. So if we’re clinching,
and I have a good grip, it’s much easier to
move my own body, right? So I can move my own body
to get him out of position or get his balance, and
hop one foot to the other, instead of trying to
throw him around, right? Maybe I will be the one who
ends up on the ground then. We’re going to look at
an exercise to practice all three types of clinches. Clinches, do you say clinches? I don’t know.
– Clinching. – This exercise will help you a lot, just being more comfortable in the clinch, and if you don’t wanna
grapple with someone, it’s also a great tool to use defensively. So say Jesse is a great boxer, and I’m feeling I’m getting
outstruck here all the time, if I can’t run anymore,
I can always clinch up, I can close the space
instead of running away, to make him stop punching, right? And maybe that will give me
an advantage in the fight. We have the upper level,
which is grabbing the neck. We have the middle level,
which is trying to get into the opponent’s body with a body lock, and we got the lower level which is trying to grab the legs, right? So in this first exercise, one of you is gonna be the aggressor. So Jesse’s going to try
to either grab my head, where he might throw knees, or he’s gonna get, try to grab my body where he can break me down, or grab my leg to pull me down, ‘kay? And what I’m focusing on
is not to try to get away and run off, I’m gonna be here in his face and fight with him all the time, but only defensive. And we’re using the principle
of inside control here. So, I won’t try to
reach for him like this, ’cause you see all the
space I’m opening up, means he’s gonna get the clinch on me. So I’m trying to narrow
the gap between my elbows and my bod at all times. For the neck, we defend by just
raising our shoulders, ‘kay? So if he tries to grab I can just raise and I can turn around. For this arm, like this, ‘kay? So I make this space disappear, which is what he’s trying to grab, right? By doing this, and a little turn. So we protect the body like that, we protect the neck like this, and if he tries to grab my leg, we’ll simply frame with our arms, keeping a distance, and
kicking the legs back. So I push my hip forward
and kick my leg back, so he goes for the leg,
I will just go like this. So, if we start just with the upper level, we will start clinching
with the Thai clinch or the steering wheel. So anything inside of his arms are good. The neck is good, the bicep are good, one of each is also good. So from here, remember, this
space, try to bridge the gap, and also use your shoulders actively to make his grip go away. So we just try to flow here
without using any muscle, just going through the motions, and trying to be inside of your
opponent’s arms, okay? So this is the first step of the exercise. So you can choose if
you’re going for the bicep or the neck, and the important
thing to remember here is to always drive with your hip forward, so you don’t end up here,
because you might get hit with a knee, right? So we don’t want those knees, so we use the hip to go forward, and have a straight spine at all times. The only thing you can actually
tense is your neck muscles, so you keep the neck straight, not too high so you get elbowed, obviously you have control of where your opponent’s arms are. Okay, next level, we only
use the middle part now, so the wrestling clinch or
the over-under, as we say. This is called an underhook, and Jesse has an overhook on me, right? So from here, we will
both try to come inside of the opponent’s arms like this, but we start with one arm each. Same principle here, closing the elbows, and driving forward with the hip. Important thing is also
to keep a straight back, so you use your legs
and your butt to drive, and don’t lean on the opponent like this. If I’m trying to reach for him here, he can easily just step to the
side and throw me like this. So I don’t wanna give him my body weight, I wanna own my own body
weight at all times. So my weight needs to be centered around, I mean over the feet. So I’m pushing my weight into him instead of leaning on him, you see? So once more, I keep my hip to drive, and push it forward. Shoulders above the hips,
hips above the feet, so everything is aligned like this. Okay, and if we add the
lower level to this, simple exercise, if he
just tries to grab the leg, I’ll simply frame by pushing
my arm from the shoulder joint, so I’m not from the bicep like this, because it’s a small muscle,
it gets smashed easily like this, so I make the arm stiff, and I stuff from my shoulder joint. Sorry. And at the same time, kick my leg back. So now we did every individual part, now we combine them, ‘kay? Jesse’s gonna be the aggressor, so he can try to grab the neck, the body, or a leg. I’m just focusing on my alignment, keeping a straight back, and using my legs so I don’t fall or lean on him, and keeping my elbows
tucked into my body, ‘kay? So just start the flow from here, I try to pummel inside at all times. If he goes for the neck, I
will use my shoulders actively to stop it, if he goes for the body I will just tuck my elbows, if he goes for the legs
I will stretch him out, and I will always be
here fighting with him, I’m not trying to escape or run away. So, another step we can add
to this is head control. Right now, I haven’t even mentioned it, but head control is this. I’m steering his head with mine, so I have control over
where he is at all times, I can use my knees and stuff from here. So if he tries to drive
his weight into me, this makes him more attached to me, compared to if I can
pummel my head in his, I can keep him at a greater distance, and it’s hard for him to grab me if his head is looking in
another direction, right? He loses all his force,
power forward, ‘kay? So let’s do the same exercise, and just add the feeling of our
head position, okay? So we use the top of our
head to try to keep it, keep the other guy’s head
looking somewhere else, ‘kay, without headbutting each other. So still relaxed and in the flow state. So Jesse’s still the aggressor, he’s trying to pummel in on me. Just trying to keep on the inside, I’m using my head all
the time to stop him. I’m here fighting all the time, without trying to grab him. And just keeping my arms on the inside, my elbows cocked, I notice
all the level changes, and circle. So that’s the second step of the exercise. Now we can add to this,
both are the aggressors. So we can add our throws, our foot sweeps, and takedowns into the mix, and also knees, knee strikes, and elbows of course,
and if you have gloves you can add some dirty boxing,
like shots to the body, or shoulder bumps,
uppercuts from here, ‘kay? So we can decide that we
do every other takedown, and we don’t try to defend the takedown, we help each other find opportunities for an entrance, okay? But let’s just first start
with adding a few strikes, so we will pummel in the
same idea that we just did, but now both of us can
throw in a knee strike, elbow, careful with elbows
because it is easy to get cut, even if you don’t throw ’em hard. And body shots, shoulder strikes, okay? So let’s try. We don’t have any gloves right now, so we’ll be extra careful. He tried to go my legs,
so next I will try to go on his legs, so he can
train the same defense. So we’re helping each other out. Okay. So into this mix, we
can add the takedowns. I’m not gonna show any specific takedowns, because there’s hundreds, thousands maybe of takedowns you can do. But there’s different kinds
that you can categorize the takedowns in, you have
the upper body takedowns, so means if I have my
underhook, I can use my grip and my elbows to break his posture, and from here I can just
step him over, ‘kay? I can also find his arms for arm grabs to get the back, from
here I can just lean, or I can throw him like this,
or go for the legs of course. We have all kinds of foot
sweeps, for example this way, I can pull his leg forward
and sweep from the inside, I can turn around and
sweep from this side, so we have all kinds of foot sweeps, and it’s easier to find
these opportunities if you go slow and easy,
like we just showed you. So you don’t use too much
muscle and get tense, but you actually mix the
takedowns every other time into your strikes and your pummeling. And the last kind of
takedowns is the lower level, where we use the arms
on the opponent’s legs. So if we’re up here, he has a lot of focus on protecting his neck for example, I can drop down to the legs, or maybe a ducking under, or maybe dropping down
completely on my knees to take him down. There’s so many takedowns to choose from, so I’m not gonna show any specific ones, but you can add whatever
takedowns you like into this exercise. So that’s some new tricks
for you to play around with, and please let me know what you think of the exercise in the comments, and I’ll see you guys next time. (both laugh)

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