Thursday night saw my regular Monday night client return for the sixth hour of my course on Basic Muay Thai for Martial Arts Cross Training. This lesson was entirely focused on clinch-work.
We warmed up with some specific calisthenics not just for striking but also in preparation for the stand-up grappling that will be involved this time. This included Indian press-ups, which are an excellent all-round development exercise that can be performed at a good range of intensity and act as a form of dynamic stretching.
Technique training then began with setting up knee strikes. Before moving onto clinch it was important to ensure that the basic spear knee was being delivered in the correct fashion and in coordination with the hands. We trained it from both a jab and jab/cross combination using a switch-knee strike. Here I was able to concentrate on engaging the hip movement better as well as timing.
The clinch section began in earnest with basic neck-wrestling, using the plumb position. We trained acquiring the plum clinch in the same fashion as a jab/cross punching combination in order to prevent telegraphing. Aspects of the grip were covered, such as keeping it high to maintain control of the head, controlling the centre position and keeping the elbows in tight. With a flow-drill established to acquire and reacquire the middle grip, we now brought the footwork back in. From here I taught my client how to move and break the posture of an opponent in the clinch. We covered forwards, backwards and angling off. Finally the knee strikes were brought in, both the spear knee and the diagonal knee. Next we looked at breaking the clinch and different arm positions to set up for knees. We also briefly covered takedowns from the lock-off position and round knees from the arm triangle clinch.
The lesson finished with technique/speed/power three minute round focusing on knee strikes – 2 x 30 seconds punch/knee combinations, 2 x 30 seconds speed knees and 2 x 30 seconds lock-off single diagonal knee strikes.