Thai Clinch

To establish the thai clinch, cup your hands, one on top of the other, on the crown of your opponent’s head (where his bald spot would be).

Using your BACK muscles & biceps, squeeze your shoulder blades together and curl your arms to break the guys posture and bend his head forwards.

Place your head tightly to the side of his head, so he can’t punch you or push your head away

Step back and snap his head down to land a knee or set up a guillotine.

You can set up a double leg (or single) takedown by snapping the head down, then shooting as your opponent tries to posture back up


You can land elbows from the clinch, and set up foot sweeps by stepping forwards and to the side, then pulling your opponent’s head down and to the side.

Top Tip – in MMA, when your opponent’s is busy pummelling for underhooks, grab the Thai clinch


Thai Clinch Defence

As soon as someone put one hand on your head, shrug it off, or push on the armpit to defend and prevent getting in a thai clinch.

To stop your posture being broken, shrug your shoulders as high up as possible, tense your neck, and thrust your hips forward (like at the top of a deadlift).

Try and re-pummel so you have the Thai clinch yourself – thread your arms inside his, one at a time

If you can’t repummel, reach around his clinch and grab the back of his head, step forwards between his leg so he can’t knee you.

If his clinch is extremely strong, try establishing double underhooks.

Tip – if you’r eating knees to the body (which happened to me in a fight), if your posture isn’t completely ‘broken’, throw your own knee up to block the incoming knees.

Tip 2 – The elbows are generally a good place to attack if you’re stuck in any position.  You can drop your level and pop the elbows up by pushing them up, but this is pretty risky. Keep as a last resort.