Continuing our work on the Muay Thai clinch tonight’s lesson primarily looked at sweeps and finished with Mixed Martial Arts clinch-work. As I have discussed previously, modern Muay Thai is not an obvious choice to focus on throwing, but the restrictions allows for some interesting developments. Plus the art has one very important element: the long-time practise of striking in combination with the clinch. The way nak muay move their opponents fluidly whilst striking is an art unto itself and can lend a lot to mixed martial arts and martial arts cross-training in general, as we would see later on in this lesson. We warmed up with some mirror foot-work, stand-up technique placement drills and then plumb neck-wrestling. This progressed into some one-for-one technique exchanges.
Next we revised two of the tosses that were covered in our previous lesson – a set-up from a horizontal knee strike and a set-up from round knee strikes. From this point I added in the sweep and tightened up the round knees, creating more of a pendulum motion in the clinch. We looked at upward leverage to an opposite elbow and outside sweep on the opposite foot. Next we covered pulling from the front into a takedown. Finally we focused on a set-up into a takedown from stand-up range. This was executed by throwing two powerful rear hand hook punches to encourage the opponent to raise his guard to defend against a third one. At this point the fighter moves to the mid-section with a side elbow strike and sweeps the opponent by allowing him to fall over a leg placed behind him. All of these combinations were then put on the Thai focus mitts for a couple of rounds.
We sparred for a round of Thai-clinch only and then for a round for full Muay Thai. Next we donned MMA gloves and began drilling neck and hooking wrestling holds before adding in various strikes on a one-for-one technique exchange. This progressed into full MMA-clinch sparring. The Muay Thai clinch-work served as excellent attribute training.