Shoulder Locks and Contingencies (diary entry)

English: Muay thai, knees in clinch.

English: Muay thai, knees in clinch. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Regular Class


We continued work on the clinch range, using the lens of four martial arts disciplines – Greco Roman wrestling, catch-as-catch-can wrestling, freestyle wrestling and muay Thai – to view one technique. Prior to this we had warmed up using a series of sport specific functional fitness exercises, as is the norm, from blitzing (running whilst punching) to various ground-fighting movements. We then moved onto looking at a shoulder lock from standing. The hold comes from an under-hook and is executed by moving your head to the side where the under-hook is already in place. We then split this technique in half and looked at exercises that helped access this hold. This included the “head war” – an exercise where two people battle to get their head under the other’s chin (without use of limbs) – and pummelling (an exercise for getting under-hooks in).


We then returned to the shoulder lock and looked at it as a standing submission. This changed to other variations coming off the hold, such as the hammerlock and the anaconda choke. Next we looked at a contingency technique when the opponent pulls up and away from the shoulder lock. The person performing the shoulder lock then goes for a single leg takedown.


Moving into striking from the clinch we covered the muay Thai application, where you trap one arm in a similar fashion as you would do a shoulder lock.

This technique was addressed through a neck wrestling exercise to keep things live.

The class then finished with some MMA sparring and then some shadow boxing and finally a student-led stretch warm-down.

Private Lesson

The warm-up consisted of “bulling” (single arm neck-wrestling) and then some Thai clinch. This moved onto some pummelling to work the midline. We then looked at working both ranges by snatching down a wrist from the plumb position. Depending on the opponent’s reaction, the fighter can go in for a low line takedown (if the opponent snatching back up) or go to a two-on-one (two arms wrapped around one).

We then worked switching from one side to another on the two-on-one. This led us to pursue the importance of positioning, particularly attacking from a 45 degree angle. Doing this can really break an opponent’s posture and keeps you in control. We then viewed it from a muay Thai perspective. First we looked focused on punching high before dropping low. Then this was followed with a cross from the 45 degree angle. Next it was performed with a front kick following the head shots and a round kick from 45 degrees.

The final section looked at groundwork and the basic set-ups from guard. We looked at the arm-bar starting position and then contingency techniques like the oma plata shoulder lock and the triangle choke.

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