Teacher Development Programme: Grappler’s Clinch (diary entry)

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Tuesday night’s first lesson brought my teacher client up to the sixth hour of his sparring development programme. Moving on from the Muay Thai clinch work we had covered in the previous two lessons we explored clinching in general, using methods from Wrestling and Judo. After a thorough stand-up grappling-based warm of callisthenics and dynamic stretching, we moved onto partner work. Client feedback on grappling was that the teachers struggled to get students to relax and flow more as well as to move more. Again, in order to build more confidence in sparring and to promote these two areas I used the drill/spar approach.

Neck/Collar & Elbow Tie: We looked at fluid transitioning through stances and grips, “bulling” to promote a push/pull dynamic and fighting for the dominant grip to set up takedowns.

Sweeps and Major Outer Reap Throw: These two throws were an ideal way to move off the collar & elbow tie as well to use the front and rear leg.

Wrist Grips: This simplest of techniques is important for simple control points, establishing grips and to lead into larger positional attacks.

Arm-Drag: We drilled the arm-drag and then the arm-drag/counter drill.

Grip Sparring: This is a great way to warm-up and build confidence in attacking as well as defending grips. We layered in grips to the back of the knee, foot-sweeps and outer-reap throws.

Pummelling (Under-Hook/Over-Hook): This is a simple warm-up drill to establish front body-locks. We drilled this as a flow movement into a spar and then back to flow. This is a great way to teach grappling and to get students to relax more as well as vary intensities.

Rear-Waist-Lock Takedown: This simple technique is a great way to teach taking the back and to get into full force takedowns.


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