Sparring at all Ranges Part 2 (diary entry)

clinch strike


The thirteenth lesson in my client’s second course on Mixed Martial Arts for Martial Arts Cross Training continued the sparring theme. Tonight we focused on the clinch and specifically striking within the clinch.

The lesson began with some focus mitt work. We started on the Western Boxing focus mitts and then went onto the Muay Thai focus mitts. We then did some clinch-positioning. This began with some simple entries and then moved onto “bulling”, where the upper-body gripping and transitioning is worked. From here we did some grip-fighting.

Looking at the clinch positions we brought in strikes. Rather than taking a Muay Thai perspective we focused on the MMA route, taking advantages of punching at close-quarters using the smaller gloves. Some of these tactics are reminiscent of Western Boxing’s clinch fighting where’s trapping elements are not a million miles away from Wing Chun or some Filipino martial arts. We looked at breaking clinch holds and striking with the gripping hand, setting up for a strike with the other hand in a see-saw motion.

We then incorporated elbow strikes, knees and takedowns before putting under pressure with some specific sparring.


Above photo from “The Bloody Elbow” website.

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