Rather than explaining what you should do if caught in the Muay Thai clinch, the following explains what you should not try and do. They are common mistakes people make and ones, if avoided, should keep you out of danger in order to start thinking about an escape.
Don't try and move away – Trying to move away from your opponent when caught in the Muay Thai clinch, will extend the distance between the two of you and will provide enough space for them to deliver knee strikes with a full range of motion. You actually want to try and minimise the space as much as possible so knees can not be thrown easily or at all.
In Muay Thai don't try and grab your opponents hand to break the grip in Muay Thai– Many times people actually reach behind, in order to try and pull there opponents hands off the back of the head.
This has even been attempted while wearing boxing gloves. By doing this you open up your midsection and weak ribs to knee strikes.
Don't try and turn your back to your opponent – If your opponent has a good solid grip of the back of your head with both hands, if you try and turn away, you shall simply twist your neck which could result in injuring yourself as well as leaving yourself on the receiving end of some knee strikes.
Don't try and swing you head under your opponents elbow – If you try and duck under your opponents elbows at the same time he/she delivers a knee strike upwards, well you get the picture…hopefully.
Don't strike the midsection – Although some may disagree with this Muay Thai, it is one open for debate.
Some people feel in Muay Thai that by striking your opponents midsection with punches you may be able to make them release there grip in order to protect themselves. This may work against beginners but against fighters who have been training for a long period of time and have conditioned there midsections to take these blows without flinching, all this shall do is annoy your opponent and will probably make them more eager to end the fight quickly. However, an alternative may be to try and strike there face area with hooks or overhand punches. This will give you a better chance of them letting go of there grip.
Don't panic In Muay Thai- This is the most important point to remember. If you get caught in the clinch the last thing you want to do is panic, tense up, use up all your energy via the tension and find yourself in trouble. Just relax, take your time, concentrate on closing the distance between you and your opponent and work towards escaping.
It takes practise and time to be able to learn what to do when caught in the clinch. It is not something where one can just do a couple of sessions on it and expect to be able to defend themselves adequately. Muay Thai Clinch fighting is an art form in itself and something that requires constant practise.
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