All Roads Lead To Rome: Clinch Is The Key

What does a boxing match, kick boxing match, wrestling match, stick fighting match, a street fight and a rape all have in common?  If you can answer that question, you’ll have one of the keys to winning most of the violent altercations you might find yourself in.

The thing they all have in common is close quarters.  The fighting range right in between boxing and wrestling ranges.  Some call it the clinch, some the pummel range, others call it close quarters and some others still call it the “lock up”, or some version of that. 

If you know how to defend yourself in this range, and more importantly get comfortable in it, that is a huge advantage in a fight.  I want to cover four different position in this range, which will give you some reference points to fight from, and more importantly train in. 

From there you can insert whatever techniques and moves you want, but first we have to lay the ground work, as to where do we start from.  The first is the “Thai Boxing” lock up.  Yes, you now where it comes from, although this position has been around for awhile.  This is where you have your hands wrapped around someone’s neck.  An important tip is to keep your elbows locked down and low for more leverage and protection.

The second is the Krav Maga clinch.  Once again, you’ll find these positions come from many different arts, but you’ll see this regularly in Krav Maga.  To get in this position, you must be on the opponents side, putting pressure down on their neck while also holding their arm. 

Third, we have a two for one with the pummel position, which is found in countless grappling arts, so much so that I like to divide it up into a “high” pummel which wraps the neck and arm, and “low” pummel which wraps up the opponents mid section.     

See these three in a progression from working high to the lower line.  Why is this important?  Because by learning these three, you can train and even master most of the common positions you’ll find yourself in at some point in any fight, regardless of “how” you fight, or the attacker fights you. 

Being “comfortable” in this range, and these positions gives you the high ground, as you can literally insert dozens upon dozens of moves.  However, my point is not that you become an encyclopedia of moves, but a master of this range by being comfortable.  

Therefore, before throwing one powerful knee or brutal elbow, know how to flow from position to position, making it “your” range.  I’ve included a video so you could see the movement of these position, and gain the comfortability for yourself.

Please check out the video I made on training with these positions here: