Side Clinch

I’ve written extensively on the fact that there are only five areas of self defense: Kick Boxing, Close Quarters Combat, Ground Fighting, Weapons and Mass Attack. That’s it. Take a snapshot of any fight, any altercation or attack, and you would be able to categorize it in one of these five areas.

However, when it comes to self defense, there is one range or “area of combat” which everyone needs to know, because over the course of most altercations, it shows up the most, and that is Close Quarters. It is the range right in between grappling range (really close to your opponent) and boxing range.

When in this range, being able to control your opponent is paramount, and learning how to “clinch” properly with them is the key to doing so. There are several ways you can clinch up with your opponent, such as the Thai Boxing Clinch or wrestling pummel position. The one which I specifically like is a side clinch position, where you pull the opponent down where they are bent over at a 90 degree angle and then you position yourself on their side, perpendicular to their shoulder.

Please note this is best done after you have already used a quick strike like a kick to the groin, eye jab or throat punch. These moves will soften them up so you can enter in more easily.

This side clinch position is powerful, because it not only gives you control over your opponent, but lines them up for a barrage of strikes.

In addition to that it also gives you these thirteen advantages:

Multi person defense, as it lends a hand in taking people out of commission quickly, in order to defend against the next oncoming attacker. You can also more easily deliver knees to the head, which is one of the most devastating strikes you can fight back with.

This position positions a person where they can’t use their arms easily to defend themselves or mount an attack. At the same time, it makes it easy to disengage while keeping them off balance. This is mainly due to the fact that it is harder for them to move, keep their balance or organize any coordination.

This position also makes it harder for them to breathe, and if they can’t breathe, it is more difficult to fight back. It also makes them easier to dump down to the ground, whether we want to control them there, or simply escape.

Being on the side as shown in the pictures, the attackers realize they can’t use long range weapons like punches or kicks, taking most of their tools away from them. At the same time it limits their field of view, whether they want to offensively attack you or even try to escape.

As stated earlier, in multiple opponent situations they can be used as something to put in-between you and another threat. It also gives you control of the head, which is like a steering wheel to the body!

Using this side clinch increases your field of view, so you can be aware of other attackers, or even where the exit is. But what most people like is that it exposes the back of neck, which can be used as additional targets, when we need to use serious tools against them.

My point is simple, as I could go on and on. Learn this position for your self defense arsenal, and work it as a conclusion to your counter strikes or even a preemptive strike when attacked without a quick escape.

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