Punching and Strategy in the Clinch (diary entry)

right hook in clinch


Tonight’s lesson was the ninth in my client’s Basic Western Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training. We looked at various uses of the v-step and l-step, but mainly focused on the clinch. The warm-up consisted of mirror footwork, slipping and moving out of corners. By using the v-step and l-step to set up angles for punches, I encouraged my client to pick shots. These were done with increasing speed until we arrived at the Jack Johnson clinch setup strategy.

Before we moved onto the actual clinch I had my client drilled basic over-hook/under-hook pummelling with boxing gloves. Here he learnt how to switch sides with the head and stance, control arms, sense movement in the clinch, to drop the hips back like a wrestler and lean on an opponent. We then returning to outside boxing.

By firing off a flurry of shots and then drawing back to bait an opponent, the fighter uses a low guard. The guard encourages the opponent to retaliate. Here the fighter immediately intercepts with blocks aimed at the opponents and shoulders or biceps. He quickly clinches, dropping his weight and even moving his opponent using the v-step. The clinching is designed to smother an opponent’s attack and to tire him out as well as to frustrate. We looked at tying up an opponent’s arm whilst striking with the free one; using the hips to manipulate attack and defence, and using the head to pin down. From here we looked at disengagement and pushing. This returns both fighters to mid and long range punching.

Overhand and shovel hooks were the preferred punches from inside the clinch. These were then drilled on the focus mitts before we being combined with various other combinations.

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