Self-Defence Clinch (diary entry)

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Thursday morning continued my work teaching Hostlebro Taekwondo’s visiting two teachers from Denmark. This morning’s shorter session, which also saw involvement from Athena School of Karate’s Mary Stevens, looked at clinching from a self-defence perspective. We mainly trained all of this in light pressure tests.

We trained the following:

  1. Avoiding grips whilst striking – simple behaviours that kept the defender on a striking mindset as well as deflecting attempts to grip.
  2. Striking whilst being gripped – this overrides the impulse to grip and grapple with someone who has taken an initial hold. The defender maintains their striking directive.
  3. Striking, biting, butting, deflecting, foot stamping and releasing techniques against established grips
  4. Targets and ranges – target the head should it be available, attack other target areas that are roughly at the defender’s head level, attack hands should their be a large range/size difference and target the head should it become available
  5. Using the head cages, we brought in more butting, elbow strikes, eye gouging and head manipulation at very close range clinching
  6. Cover to clinch – in high risk situations, striking is the preferred option. However, sometimes a defender might be overwhelmed by strikes and their best option is to cover, smother and clinch high, mid or low line targets.
  7. Reactions to headlock attacks – slipping around to take the back and use the seatbelt hold, waistlock or rear naked choke in mid and low level altercations.


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