Knees and Clinch (diary entry)




Tonight my client reached the seven and a half hour point of his 10 hour course in Basic Muay Thai for Martial Arts Cross Training. We focused specifically on knee strikes and the clinch. The lesson began with some dynamic stretching, footwork and shadow boxing before moving straight onto knee strikes.


We revised the straight and diagonal knee strikes, looking at rhythm and range. Effective knee strikes in Muay Thai work best with flow, which we spent a lot of time working on in the previous lesson. Range really distinguishes many Southeast Asian martial arts kickboxing styles from other martial arts when it comes to using knee strikes. The weapon has been refined by a tremendous amount of usage in a professional combat sport.

knee (smaller)


When thrown, the boxer extends the strike as far through the target as possible whilst retaining a strong posture and balance. It is rarely used as “marching knee”, something one regularly observes in many other combative arts, where the knee just jabs upwards and the supporting foot remains flat on the ground.


We then moved onto the round knee and its own unique rhythmic delivery system, relying on lateral mobility and striking with the inside of the knee joint.


Finally we covered the horizontal knee. This technique is a very versatile move, often used for wedging and shielding when within the clinch range.

All knee strikes were practised as a solo exercise, as a targeting exercise and then on the Thai focus mitts.

With technique, targeting and finally power addressed with the knee strike, we began work on the Thai clinch. This started with neck-wrestling, where the plumb position was established. We covered correctly entering into the clinch, using one hand and then the other (like a jab/cross) rather than simultaneously. We then moved onto pummelling the plumb and a couple of breakaway techniques. This was then combined with footwork, which was first performed as a mirroring exercise and then gradually increased to full resistant specific sparring. Next we began to incorporate all the knee strikes.

Above photos from Sonia Audhali Photography and Charlotte Von Bulow Quirk Photography respectively.

Below photo diagram is from this excellently detailed review of diagonal knee strikes from  “Muay Thai Pros”.








Here is an excellent guide to clinch-work also from “Muay Thai Pros”.

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