Friday, September 17, 1999

Phil Dunlap's Fighting from & Training the Clinch thread


If you have any questions, please email Phil Dunlap at: (please take out the "NOSPAM" first though.)

Subject: Fighting from & training the clinch
From: Phil Dunlap

I do not know about you guys but I believe the most neglected area of MMA street self defence and many martial arts in general are infighting, the clinch,and submissions on the takedown.

On infighting I do not mean fancy trapping drills some people seem to love them but forget they were designed for the purpose of developing contact reflexes and trhat many of the traps are too complex to pull off against a comitted opponent. I think trapping a limb can be effective as a byproduct of striking followed be another strike or an attempt to bridge the gap and achieve the clinch or takedown.

The burmese and thai systems take the clinch and work it to the point where it is almost a martial art unto itself. I am not commenting on other arts as an expert here I just have a personal knowledge of these 2 and only limited experiance with practitioners of others. When you develope sensitivity and contact reflexes in the clinch your overall fighting game improves as you are both standinng grappling and striking at the same time. It is very taxing mentally and physically but is extremelly important as you can bring your most devestating weapons too bear while maintaining a physical control over your opponent.

I see this as the next evolution in MMA, people are crosstraining ane becoming strong long range fighters and grapllers. You see standup fighters getting good enough on the ground to get uip again and groundfighters getting good enough on their feet so that they do not get hurt if they have difficulty on the ground. Fighters will begin to look for the next gap to get an edge and I think it is the clinch . Guys like Pele and Braga have already had good results their.

I think for both MMA and the street people need to spend more time working the clinch as it is easy to achieve, also if someone wants you on the ground you will be there for a while and many street altercations start in tight. Personally I like fighting in a phone booth weather it is standing up or on the ground.

Starting with fighting from the clinch ie including strikes as in NHB.

The first step is to learn and work the individual tools such as elbow, knee, headbutt, low line kicks and bites for the street. Personally I have never been wild about punches from the clinch as you either rotate your hips too much or drop them back leaving yourself vulnerable to knees and takedowns and you lose control of your opponent. The tools need to be worked from all positions and stances as clinching is flowing and constantly changing and moving the strikes must be worked from all possible angles as you never know where the space will open. Untill you can functionally use the tools their really is not a lot of point to striking from the clinch.

The next step is to learn the possible tie ups positioning .balance and weight distribution some of the tie ups Both hands behind the neck collar and head control , neck and opposite arm , neck and same shouder ,dual extension and various others . One works these constantly breaking your partners balance at first then looking for openings.

Let me make something clear here. My statement about traps have nothing to do with wing chun or any other arts. I think sensitivity drills are great as they develope contact reflexes the problem is that many people get so caught up in their trapping that the forget it is a fight. Drills are drills a fight is hitting him and not getting hit. If you get caught up in traps and maintaining a range you can get run over.

For now lets stay away from "fouling Tactics" love them but we need to get comfortable in the clinch before we throw them into the mix. We have worked our tools and become comfortable with our striking weapons that will be used. We have practised the various clinches withe a partner learning to keep our balance and break his.

The next step is to learn to use the appropriate counter clich for all his clinches and practice as you did earlier trying to break his balance and maintain yours you will really begin to see openings at this stage.

Now we start to learn the various takedowns from the clinches. Once you feel comfortable with takedowns you add this to the balance drill this time the guy who is working will choose either stay up or takedown and will work that . This makes it interesting as it is hard to stay up without strikes from the clinch when your opponent wants to put you on the ground. Your base will really be starting to improve at this point. You will be starting to raelly feel what your opponent is doing and begin to anticipate his next move. You also will start to understand the strength and weakness of each clinch and counter balance wise dureing the flow of a fight.

Will post more later next up drills for intergrating the striking weapons.

Now since we have learned our tools and are starting to get comfortable in the clinch and maintaining it,executing takedowns and staying op we will start drilling the tools for the clinch the first 2 are focus mitt drills for the elbow.

The opposite elbow drill. Have your partner hold out the focus mitt at head hieght and you clnch it as if it was the head. while maintaining control with the left hand fire the right elbow without drawing it or the hand back . You want to practice this from all angles with both elbows. The same elbow drill now cross grab the pad with your right hand using the same elbow fire it foward as before with no telegraphing once again work all angles both hands.

Now a couple knee drills with thai type pads . Clinch your partners head have him hold the pad at around waste high and as moving fire your knee up and into the pad. I ti important to work this as your moving with a constantly shifting baseand never to move to knee you want to fire the knee on his shift . work all stances and both knees.

The next drill is the same but this time your partner holds the pad to the outside and you will work your knees to the outside angles.

Next up we will cover headbutts and kicks from the clinch. Before moving to live offnse and defense drills with your partner.

Recieved a couple emails asking me to continue this one these posts can sure disappear fast nowadays. We so far have worked and learned the individual tools for striking followed with the variations of clinches and their counters. We have lerned the takedowns drilled our balance and ability to stay up. We then finished with basic drills for the knee and elbows

Now we will go over drills for the headbutt and kicks from the clinch. Probably because of my thick skull and lack of active brain cells I love the head butt. A couple of very important things to remember while headbutt ing is it does not take a lot to do damge, your knees shoul stay slightly bent so your legs act as shock absorbors instead of your spine and your chin tuchs toward your chest taking pressure off the neck on impact and protecting you from splitting your forehead or face open.

The first drill for the head bbutt from the clinch is to have your partner hold a focus mitt head height and use his other hand to reinforce it you lock up on his arms as if they were a neck or shoulder awhile he is pulling and pushing start with very simple headbutts and begin working all sorts of angles. next try cross grabbing and use the side crorn of you head. One of the things you will find is that while clinching in the flow there can at times be limitless angles for head butting especially when your opponenet tries a technique of his own.

Will post more later, if any one could post the original to the top and copy this to it it would be great as someone wanted me to email him what I had posted so far but I generally have not been saving my posts

Now it is time mix kicking drills into the mix. If the clinch is a neglected area of fighting and striking from the clinch not addressed that much then kicking from the clinch is a completely ignored art. Some of the kicking drills are going to be difficult and hard to describe so please bear with me the first is fer the lowline version of the stomping kick many systems have a variation. this is similar to the oblique kick in JKD but insted of flicking it your weight actually shifts to rhe target and you plant the foot. Have your partner strap a thai style pad to his lower leg and while working various clinches through the kick to the pad remember to be careful to not hyperextend your partners knee and to time the kick so that it would hit the leg that his weight is on. I personally love using this kick to flow into a takedown.

Next is the roundhouse to the leg from the clinch remember when drilling this wear shinpads. The roundhouse kick we use derives it's power from the abdomen and strikes with the shin. It rises straight up from the ground with no chamber it follows an upward angle and does not turn over and snap down it rises from the ground upward to the target. The next drill will be a little tougher but once gotten it will be worth while because it will give a powerful and unexpected weapon in the clinch. while easily working the clinches and counterclinches you will practice resring your weight on him and one oof you legs throgh the kick with your other leg focus on generating power with you abdominal cavity and not your legs.

So far we have worked some tools, balance,position etc. Now we want to cover some defense from the clinch. from personal experiance I can tell you a knee to the face is not fun. The first concept wiil be protecting the head from unexpected strikes this works on several levels first the counterclinches you worked learning balance will cut down on his avenuee of attack and your balance skills and reflexes developed earlier will help with feeling the incoming shots and anticipating them.

Now some actual defense drills have your opponent clich and while you attempt to stay balance in the clinch have him throw some slow easy strikes toward your head. Remember this is gentle right now as it is just learning interior defense at this point. Practice using your body weight to lean your head to areas on his or your body that will deflect the shot. Also try bringing your hips foward to stuf the distance to get the shot off. This is practicing the bob and weave per se of the clinch.

More later including defence with elbows knees and shins.

From: Owen Sparks

Randy Couture's first tape has some excellent drills for working an opponant in the clinch. They all involve disturbing the opponent's balance by jerking him sideways causing him to load one foot. From here he is very vulnarable to knee strikes. The Plum position and half plum (collar hook) from Tahi Boxing also seem to have great potential. Any time your opponent's head is held at the center of your chest or stomach he will be unable to strike you. This warrants more study. During the next few weeks I will try to distill the clinch down to its basic principles. Phil, see what you can come up with.If we come to the same general conclusions, we will know we are onto something.

From: Owen Sparks

If you were to lift something heavy, like another person, you would do so by holding his body close to yours. If the person you were trying to lift were to place his hands on your hips and push creating a foot or so of space between your hips and his, it would become allmost imposable to lift him. Now lets apply this to the clench. A forcefull blow to the pelvic area such as a knee to the groin with lots of follow through should do the trick. This will leave the opponants balance badly compromised with all of his weight on his toes. He will loose his ability to use the floor for leverage. Untill he regains his balance he will be physically dependant on your body for support. From here it will be easy for you to feed him into another strike, a throw or head lock.

From: Phil Dunlap


I have not seen Randy's tape. I think the greco tie ups are very good for executing takedowns and also for stuffing strikes. Some of the tie ups we use are similar to greco tie ups I have seen especially our counter tie ups.

What I was thinking of doing with this thread was continueing with the very basic skill and weapon drills as we have finishing defence drills moving onto takedown drills followed by takedown to sub and takedown to position drills.

Then I was thinking of heading back out and fleshing out the techniques and concepts mixing in more advanced drills. That way people will do the early work and develope their skills and by the time the skills are comfortable their will be an in depth pattern to follow from entries on.

Looking for feedback. I am trying to give people an idea of how we handle it in the Kachin systems so that they can apply it too what they practice I know this medium is difficult to follow techniques and such and I am trying to make themas clear as possible.

By the way by encouraging me you are agreeing to put up with my writing skills. I have very little formal education and much difficulty typing.

Defense drills using the elbows

Put both palms on your partners collar bones elbow spacing chest width as if you were clinching haave your opponent dig uppercuts at your floating ribsflick your mirror elbow into the incoming punches next he digs at the diaphram and you flick the mirror elbow. The next is to flick opposite elboe at punch Now you should begin feeling the punch coming and catching it with your elbows.

Next you clinch your opponents neck and he throws light punches /elbows toward yo and you without breaking the use your mirroring elbows to catch the arm or shoulder penching

Now he pulls your head down as if kneein put palms on his chest as he pulls head down and knees you elbow mirroring knee. Now the same with opposite knee to elbow drill.

Remember this is not the stage for killing each other these are basic skills drill to give you useable tools and the ability to bring them into play for real we are trying to make them reflexive through increasingly intense drills. Remember you should be rotatting all the drills to stay sharp.

Also defense from the clinch is the most important skill as the weapons flying in there are potentially devastating. Next up: defense drills using your legs.

From: Owen Sparks

It seems that strikes from the clinch are best thrown from a controlling position just like on the ground. What constitutes a controlling position? It seems from my general observations that all of the best tieups achieve two basic goals...

First: they "take the floor away from your opponent" by causing him to load one foot, teeter forwards on his toes or otherwise lose his base.

Second: they leave you in position to deliver your strikes while limiting the opponants ability to retaliate.

From: Burton

I agree that the clinch is the most neglected area of fighting at this time. Matt Thornton brought this to my attention in early '98, and I have thoroughly enjoyed working at that distance. I have been fortunate to work with Randy Couture on a few occasions, and anyone who can work with him should do so. Thanks to Phil for giving such good info.

From: Phil Dunlap

Is this Burton Richardson?

If so I have been a fan of your writing and really admire your outlook toward training especially the ability to analize yourself and not only see your weaknesses but the strength to tell others that maybe you were following the wrong path.You are a rare person in the arts.

Defense drills from the clinch with the legs.

Just as many people ignore kicking in the clinch people seem to neglect the idea of using their legs in the clinch for defense. One thing that needs to be remembered is the reason you are doing this is to both protect yourself and work on maintaining your base while lifting a leg off the ground.

It is going to be very important to drape your weight on both the leg that remains on the ground and your contact points with your partner. now for those of you who have not done much shin and knee conditioning you may want to start remember when there is shin to shin contact the guy used to it will handle it much better. The first drill is to move in the clinch and have your partner throw easy knees up the middle at you when he does crunching your abs use you lead knee/shin to deflect the incoming knee by driving yours into it. Next up he starts throwing the knees at the ouyside of your legs picking up your knee and rolling the hip outward while tucking the foot back catch the knee with you knee /shin area again.

next we will do a simple drills for the roundhouse. Now remember this is not a macho contest with your partnar too see who has the tougher shin the idea is going to be to catch the kick and stuff it trowing him off balance with your bodyweight. Have your opponent clich for this drill have him use the double neck clinch most people view it as the Thai clinch and you counter clinch. H ethrows roundhouse kick and with the same balance from above you pick your knee up tucking your ffoot back and roll your hip to the outside the goal is not to create impacct but to catch it and let your bodyweight fall on it breaking his balance.

Play with all the above drills they should help give you a functional start on your clinch skills Now I was going to go back to the start an get more in depth will start with the entrances to the clinch then the individual tiups and counter tie ups along with personal view on the merits of each.

It would be good to start with the earlier drills as they are very good for building your base skills in the clinch. They can also be tailored to individual styles and preferences. Remember this is just an outline and not gospel.

From: Owen Sparks

Controlling the center of gravity.

This is a demonstration technique that I often do to illustrate the importance of controling your opponants pelvic area with a low clinch such as head to chest. have someone a good bit larger than you stand with his arms folded, feet wide and a slight bend in his knees. Place both your hands on his shoulders and tell him to not let you move him. If he is indeed much bigger or stronger than you he may very well push you around. Now try the same thing again only this time place your hands on your partners hips. You will now find it very easy to shove him around. Pushing on the hips not only gives you the advantage of pushing downhill but also negates the strength of the upper body.

"To control the pelvis is to control the center of gravity and to control the center of gravity is to control the man."

From: Phil Dunlap


It's great to have someone contributing ideas and concepts to this thread. From your Technique descriptions I am thinking you have a bachground in Greco Roman. I am a big fan of some of their tieups and takedowns I have worked out with several world class GR guys and can say their ability to tie someone up in a grappling situation is excellant and their takedowns very functional.

One clarification I need though on the hip pushing Is how do you deal with the elbow flashing on the downward diagonal. The question is a bit of a mind ream as your opponent would need the skill to execute also on the push how do you handle an attempt to break the clinch


I was going to start going a little more in depth into the clinch because if we have done the work above we will be building the tools and attributes needed to fight from the clinch.

Remember we are working here as clinching as a fighting area and not just as a grappling area so remember putting your opponent on the ground is being viewed as either finishing him ie setting up a sub or strike or as a way of changing the range to protect yourself if you are losing the battle in the clinch it is also thought of possibly as the logicle flow possibly after a strike.

We will start with various entries to the clinch and the various tieups and counters. We will go over the clinches themselves and cover relative strenghts and weaknesse of each. Please remember I can only describe things not as an expert on clinching itself but from the perspective of a practitioner of the particular Burmese System I train in. So please remember my opinions and experiances are colored by my goals and aims in combat.

I personally like to fight from the clinch. I have spent countless hours in an attempt to become functional. By nature and training I prefer fighting in a phone booth.

I view achieving the clinch to be a byproduct of two things ateempting a strike or attempting to penetrate. Once again the goal here is not just to take it to the ground but to try and win the fight where we are at the moment. Here I will go into some different ideas for attaining the clinch. These techniques will be adaptable to the style you do now and you can replace my tools with your own.

In the kachin systems we are non-rotational the power comes from a body drop and foward,upward flow. I have dificulty explaining it in words. What circular motion we have is a concentric rotation of the joints against one another driving power up from the ground. We tend to be very relaxed and fight with our strong lead foward and almost alway use foward presure.

Probably the most common and popular entry to the clinch is based on attempting to stay at the edge of being in range of a strike and waiting for the opponent to overcommit. The Gracies are a good example of the ground.

Personally I am not wild about this as I believe in and prefer a constant pressuring of My opponent. I am covering the reactionary entrance both this way because it is so popular and has worked in many situations and off foward pressure.

The reactionary entrance works off achiving penetration one of 2 ways either by your opponent overextending or by you riding the strike back to the body.

When staying at the edge of striking range you should be circleing away from his rear side making him stalk you as he strikes you will execute your defensive reaction Ie duckunder,parry,triangulate,block whatever you standup training has dictated the key here now is stepping foward and dropping your hips down and achieving your tie up.

Next up foward pressure and the reactionary entrance.

Now the foward pessure and the reactionary entrance.

From your readdy stance start stalking him and movinf foward. By reactionary I mean yo will step foward on anangle accross his strike in an attempt to clinch.

The foward pressure on angles has a tendancy to force him to strike leaning back or step back once the weight shifts back your stepping to angle for cotact and the tie ups.

When beginning this take your lead an from the outside of his lead coming foward on his lead arm to contact

I realized maybe I should go over the idea of penetration to the clinch before I get into more entrances. Achieving the clinch is predicated on your ability to penetrate hopefully without taking a disabling blow.

Four things to remember when penetrating are you step or the closing of the distance,youur height or slight changes in levels, the angle of penetration, and your balance or maintaining of base. Or your entrances will need to address these issues to be succsessful . These are the structure for building yor entering technique

First is penetration if you want to clinch you need to somehow close the distance between the 2 of you preferably without getting hit too much. In the first example above your penetration is based on the overcommittment of the strike on the second it is based on foward pressure and stepping into his motion

changes in level this is important as number one it makes it easier to defend a strike on the way in. it also gets your body exploding foward and makes him adjust to his target and lastly it brings your hip and leg power into your close and clinch.

Angle defines the idea of coming accross any strike or through the potential path of any possible strike. Between the angle and level change you can make his window of oppurtunity so small as not to worry about the KO

Last is balance and that is related to maintaing your realationship to the ground and always being sure of your weight distribution.

All these things add up to make a reliable entrance

Entrance on the foot jab. Remember these are adaptable to whatever you are comfortable with. Some people are familiar with a front kick or the Thai push kick . What we are using here is different as in there is no cahamber or bend to the knee. It looks a little like a relaxed version of the Nazi goosestep from WW2 but with dropping hip weight behind it.

This is almost like an exagerated step you are taking your lead leg and picking up your foot from the ground and placing it sole of the foot on his leg preferably the shin then dropping the hip into it and rolling yor weight foward> the strike can damage the leg but even when missing gives penetration while maintaining balance and shifting level the only real variable that will need to be focused on is angle. You will general be entering into his center or on his hip

Entering off lowline lead and rear roundhouse. Will start with the lead roundhouse the description is from the basic Kachin style and is adaaptable to whatever you are are comfortable with remember when entering to the clinch to keep your hands and elbows up as a right cross to the face is not fun. This is especially true when throwing the roundhouse. Many people drop their hands and pay a heavy price. Also when entering from the roundhouse it is especially important not to reach for the clinch lunging at him this will leave you vulnerable to hooks and elbows.

The leadleg roundhouse from your stronglead is a prefered entrance to the clinch as it has minimal rotation and you do not open your center up you will generally be taking the outward in angle accross his lead leg . In the basic Kachin lead leg roundhouse the power comes from the ground up through the hips and an expansion of the abdominal cavity . There is no chamber and you do not lean back. Your foot leaves the floor lower leg relaxed whipping up at a 45 degree angle shin driving into the target weight shifting forard to the clinch immediatly upon contact.

You must watch for the same upper body tendancies with the back leg the back leg will leave the floor the same way and travel up through the centerline as if throwing a knee to the target with the shin again the weight shifts into the target achieving the tieup. The lower leg must remain relaxed throughou the technique.

that gives some closing ideas using lowerbody techniques to cover distance not sure how good I explain them hope you get the idea though

Next up hand techniques to close with then onto the tie ups themselves

In the previous thread we started with working the individual striking drills, Clinching skills and balance drills entrances etc. I am not going to post the old thread if people want it I know there are people who saved it. If it got posted I would just continue to add to it.

We will start by analizing various tie up. The first one in honor of this site as it is the log o Is neck and arm (collar and elbow) Remember I am just describing this from my experiance in the kachin arts. This is the way we do it, remember it is looked at from both the grappling and striking perspective .

Remember we fight strong lead foward and use the oppositre leg as "drive" leg. You have achieved penetration and you grab the back of his neck with your right hand he grabs the back of your neck with his right hand . We stagger our base keeping right leg foward and take left gand and place it on outside of his elbow . Your weight should be resting on his neck and your back leg.

From this basic position the right elbow pinches inward and wrist flexes and your left elbow pinches in rolling your wrist and leaning into his left elbow. He should feelas if his head is going downand his elbow up and in. If you use foward pressure pointing you lead toes in the direction you want to go hhe should be forced to twist in that direction.

What I was thinking of doing is fleshing the options from this clinch using the previous techniques and drills before moving to the next clinch and then finishing with more drills.

Techniques from head and arm tie up

the first thing to play with in this clinch is the ways of breaking the opponents balance. Start to feel how as you pinch his elbow in and drag on his head he fights to regain balance. Watch as you step foward with your lead leg into his center line annd pinch the elbow his hips will go back in an attempt to relieve the pressure.

The first two strikes we will go over in rear elbow in my above description the left and lead knee these are two of your more powerful strikes and excellant for maintaining control and balance. I suggest putting on elbow and knee pads when doing this and possibly headgear. As these two especially the elbow can open up a nice gash.

You are in the clinch now remembering your earlier drills with the elbows and focus mitts you will rolling your rear elbow off the side you are pinching the arm on. as you put foward pressure on him take your rear elbow and raise it while beginning to push on his elbow . When your elbow reaches your own shoulder height roll it over and in on the downward angle. the pushing in on his elbow will give you the force necessary for impact . If done properly with a relaxed hand as in the earlier drills it should knock his arm down as your elbow flashes over and drive the point into the target . Your target area is temple,cheekbone ,basically facial structure.

Next up leadknee

The lead knee from the head and arm tie up.

The lead knee is a great technique from the tie up . I find when using the rear leg if the guy is good in the clinch as you fighting to break each oters balance if you use the rear he will either feel it coming or take you down as you have picked the drive leg up and break your own balance. I am trying to stick with techniques that are high percentage and do not leave you off balance. As you are draping and rolling his head traphing forehed to your sholuder clavicle are and contracting your abs letting your back knee bend drive your lead knee up as if your tryying to pull it to the shoulder his head is trapped to it should drive right into his chin from this position if done right you should be able to fire repeated lead knees with impunity drop the foot and curl the knee up and in again. if he dropped his hips back upon locking up it makes it easier to pull the head into the incoming knee this time the knee vwill probably land in the face. You caalso throw the knee to ab area and rib th only problem or downside is he may be able to take you down as he collapses around the strike. Legs are a great target to set up the takedown

From each clinch I was going to cover a couple strikes takedowns and takedown into submission. at this point I will pick 2 of each for each individual clinch kind of sticking with what I have found to be the easiest to pick up

I just realized there is one other technique for striking for this clinch I wanted to go over. I was working this one with a couple guys yesterday and thought it might help

You are in the head and elbow tie uo now those familiar with the way judo guys work this tie up will have an easier idea understanding making space for this technique. The right arm that is on the back of the head/neck with your forearm on the clavicle you whip this arm back whipping that shoulder back while pulling in on the arm this will rotate him slightly while his head snaps back. now lower your head tucking chin to cest and drive your head foward you weapon is the side crown of your head. Now while your head is driving foward your knees need to be bent to act as shock absorbers you are driving up from the ground aand cupping the back of his head and whipping it into the head butt. This can be devestating in a limited space.

When practicing and drilling this headbutt the shoulder of the arm you are pulling toward yourself for safety .

The head and arm clinch

I will go over a basic arm pass first (duckunder type maneuver) as many people prefer to get to the hip for takedowns I find that alot of people struggle with this because they neglect to use their leges when attempting to get to the hip from the front in the clinch . The steps to this are basically to pushup while pulling it toward you the arm that is on your neck. Right before doing this you pull on the head slightly with your hand to mak him feel he is going foward. Whil you push on the lbow yo push th head up and back with your wrist/forearm dropyou weiaght down and foward while stepping with the leg you are bringing foward slide your head under his arm and bring up behaind his shoulder. From here instead of the takedown I usually go for the crossover choke (arm triangle)

From: billybackdoor

Good post. Lots of good ideas, most of which I agree with.

Just a couple of things I wanted to add about basics of the clench. While not hard and fast rules, I generally believe it to be best to try and establish inside control on the tie. This makes it easier to control your opponent to set up takedowns and helps with defending against strikes. Also, I think you should try to get your weight on your opponent. Make him carry your weight.

Be the bear not the bull, beating your opponent down, not lifting up.

I know you said you liked to keep the hips in close. Personally, I think clearing a little room for the hips is better for striking. With some space cleared for the hips, you can also set up some throws(trips, body drops, monkey flips, etc.). If you are going to try a hip throw, you must also create enough space to backstep your hips into position. However, what you said about wanting your hips in tight for lifting, and thus for most throws is definitely correct. Whether lifting for a back arch salto, a lift and sweep, or a hip lock, you should obtain hip to hip contact.

Just a thought.

From: Stickgrappler


I for one am interested. Please continue. Ken has mentioned petitioning to get you a Q&A so we could stop the reposting and topping. Hey Kirik, Chokeyou2, Skillrules, any chance of this happening?


Subject: yes, this is great!
From: Ka1bigan

Do they have stuff like this archived? What's the url?

From: Mike Singer

A Q & A has my vote.

From: AD

Hey Phil

Good work! I have been a beliver in the use of the clinch for quite a while . I have done a lot of training in Aiki Ju Jitsu and never liked the idea of trying to control punches from a distance ....

so what I did was incorporate alot of the silat that i had learnt in the far east. By using the clinch I have been able to apply alot more in terms of foot manipulation .....striking from a safe positon and even aiki style wrist locks. Your discussion of biting really took me back to my training in silat ( the style i train in is affectionately nicknamed Malayan jungle fighting)

maybe you should add some techniques to the move of the week column with some photographs!!

From: Phil Dunlap

Actually I would be willing to do a Q&A or help with a technique section but I really feel due to my limited scope of MA training being 1 obscure martial art that there really would nor be much of a demand for it.

I think SG doing a page of good topic archives and maybe the site being linked to here might be a bettr way to go


From: Phil Dunlap

Ad I have always been a big fan of some silat styles because of their all the way attitude

From: AD


the trouble with silat is that is has been exploited by non silat commercial schools who call there system of executive non contact high kicking self defence silat. The people that showed me silat were not too into the forms so i am a bit ignorant in that area. The genuine silat styles are very deceptive probably because the average malay is quite small framed and cant rely on wrestling power.....also out in the Kumpongs (rural areas in jungle type settings) there are no Gold s Gyms or Met RX suppliers!!

some silat styles are shrouded in mysticism but what I found was that much of the supposed dark aspects were just what i would call vindiictive phsychology!!

From: CWolvie

it should be something like Q and A Techniques

That is where you can combined Sambo,catchwrestling, BJJ and kickboxing together. Then have Q and A's inside. like Kicking. Clicnh.bla blah blah

From: Horatius

To the TOP!!! I'm going to start another thread ref. clinches. If anyone else out there has some clinch CQB training drills I'd be VERY intersted. Seems, to me to be one of the tougher areas to train. THANKS, THANKS, THANKS, THANKS,....etc , Phil ---- U' Da' MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shalom & Hokahey! Kevin

From: Phil Dunlap

The duckunder

Personally I have always been a big fan of getting behind a person as your weapons and attacks are limitless and his ability to defend and or fight back is poor. In combat you want to put yourself in a poition of advantage while constantly limiting his avenues for retaliiation. The duckunder is a good move for this and for setting up takedowns. As I said before in the head and arm tieup wihile pushing up and in on the arm on your neck let your center of gravity drop down and foward while stepping with the leg of the arm pushing up. At the same time bring your head through his armpit keeping in contact with his ribs you should now have the option of being on his hip or his back.

These are good positions to lock a choke on from and complete with weight bearing takedowns if done properly the combination will have him out before hiting the ground. I also like stomping style kicks into the knee area and knees into the kindneys. Another good type of technique from here is neck cranks.

From: Phil Dunlap


I think this a problem in a lot of arts for two reasons sometimes people who really do not have a complete view of the system teaching thereby not being able to show the actual techniques and concepts and also in the attempt to commercialize and make things more palatable they lose the intent.

From: Phil Dunlap

Will go over a couple setups for takedowns and subs from head and arm and move onto doouble neck/head clinch

Between teaching, work, training for the match in Dec and shoveling 27 tons of gravel before pouring the slab I have not had much time , but with pouring the slab this weekend I will only have to GC the rest and someone emailed asking I finish the ongoing threads out and now that I have a little time I will . I am really pleased that there has been so much interest in this and the Kachin thread. I have actually been in contact with some really great people due to writing these threads and I want to thank them for their interest and comments.

To avoid reposting the previous threads I am putting down the following link to stickgrapplers page. SG has been nice enough to archive several threads for those intersted in the thread in its entirety.

We had left off with The duckunder from the head and arm clinch

Personally I have always been a big fan of getting behind a person as your weapons and attacks are limitless and his ability to defend and or fight back is poor. In combat you want to put yoursel in a poition of advantage while constantly limiting his avenues for retaliiation. The duckunder is a good move for this and for setting up takedowns. As I said before in the head and arm tieup wihile pushing up and in on the arm on your neck let your center of gravity drop down and foward while stepping with the leg of the arm pushing up. At the same time bring your head through his armpit keeping in contact with his ribs you should now have the option of being on his hip or his back.

These are good positions to lock a choke on from and complete with weight bearing takedowns if done properly the combination will have him out before hiting the ground. I also like stomping style kicks into the knee area and knees into the kindneys. Another good type of technique from here is neck cranks.

Will go over a couple setups for takedowns and subs from head and arm and move onto doouble neck/head clinch .

Phil Dunlap

In October of 2013, Phil Dunlap and Mark Jacobs had an article published to Black Belt magazine on the Clinch. Please check out:

NOTE: Posted on 7/1/2014 to mirror my old archives ( by backdating to 9/17/1999. There were 5,985 pageviews as I mirror it here, but that pageview count was as of Feb 2008.



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