The Ultimate Guide to Muay Thai Clinching Techniques

Muay Thai, aka “The art of 8 limbs”, is renowned for its striking and grappling techniques. But another aspect of this sport that often goes overlooked – clinching. Clinching techniques can enhance your fighting abilities and lead to a more well-rounded style. In this blog, you’ll dive into Muay Thai clinching techniques, covering the different strategies and the importance of mastering this vital aspect of the sport.

The Fundamentals of Muay Thai Clinching Techniques

Discover the secrets to mastering Muay Thai clinching and dominating in the ring. Read on to unlock your full potential and unleash the power of this dynamic martial art.

Footwork: The Key to Precision, Balance, and Agility

You can take your Muay Thai game to the next level with flawless footwork. Precision, balance, and agility are crucial to unlocking your full potential in the ring, and perfecting your footwork is the key to unlocking them all. When you master flowing, rhythmic movement, your blows will hit hard and reel your opponent in. Unleash your inner fighter by using these four fundamental Muay Thai drills.

Body Position: Control the Pace and Reduce Injury Risk

Mastering body positioning is a game-changer in Muay Thai clinching. Gain control over your opponent, unleash powerful strikes, throws, and sweeps, and dominate the ring with a low center of gravity, tight hips, and a head off the centerline. Good body positioning is key to clinching victory.

Grip Control: The Secret to a Successful Clinch

Grip control is a crucial component of Muay Thai clinching. The ability to control your opponent’s grip gives you the advantage and makes it possible to employ techniques successfully. You can improve your chances of winning by keeping a firm grip and preventing your opponent from taking the initiative.

Knee Strikes: The Key to Clinching Victory

Unleash devastation with clinching knee strikes. Utilize your hips, legs, and core strength to hit your adversary where it hurts. By becoming an expert in various surprise knee strikes in clinching, you can boost your striking power and create openings for throws and sweeps.

Elbow Strikes: Increase Your Power and Versatility

Damage your opponent with powerful elbow strikes and create openings for other techniques. Effective elbow strikes require precise timing, accuracy, and power. Use your body mechanics and leverage to produce power and hit weaker target areas like the head, neck, and ribcage. Master elbow strikes in clinching to increase your striking power and versatility and become a dominant fighter in the ring.

Basic Muay Thai Clinching Techniques

Basic clinching techniques in Muay Thai include a collar tie, double collar tie, underhook, and over-under clinch. These techniques involve controlling the opponent’s head and arms, establishing a dominant position, and using leverage to create opportunities for strikes or throws.

1. Double Underhooks Clinch

This clinch technique can be a win-win for you if you face a taller opponent [2]. You can take control of the opponent’s head, neck, and body by grabbing both underhooks. It is very similar to a bear hug. You may control the head and body, execute knee strikes, and defend against punches and throws in this position. Strong gripping ability, superb body control, and quick reactions are necessary for the double underhook clinch.

2. Single Collar Tie

The Single Collar Tie delivers knee blows, controls the head, and defends against punches and throws by holding the opponent’s collar with one hand and controlling it with the other. It needs a firm grip, quick reactions, and precise timing to be effective while reducing the possibility of low kicks and stumbles.

3. Double Collar Tie

This technique is effortless and one of the most iconic clinch techniques of  Muay Thai[1]. You can use this maneuver to control the opponent’s head, neck, and shoulders to deliver knee strikes and defend against punches and throws. It necessitates strong grips, equilibrium, and timing yet exposes the fighter’s legs to low kicks and trips.

4. Over-Under Clinch

The Over-Under Clinch involves placing one arm over and another under the opponent’s arms for head control, knee strikes, and defense against strikes and throws. Strong grip strength, quick reflexes, and good body control are necessary.

Advanced Muay Thai Clinching Techniques

Advanced clinching techniques are an essential part of Muay Thai, allowing fighters to take their control of the fight to the next level. These techniques build upon the basics, incorporating more complex movements and leverage and utilizing greater body control.

Advanced clinching techniques in Muay Thai may include knee strikes, sweeps, trips, and throws [4]. They also involve more sophisticated head control and leverage, allowing fighters to generate more power and momentum in their strikes. Mastery of advanced clinching techniques is a hallmark of a highly skilled Muay Thai fighter, enabling them to dominate their opponents in the clinch.

1. Tripod Sweep

In the Tripod Sweep [5], one arm controls the head of the opponent while the other arm sweeps their legs, knocking them to the ground. A firm grasp, excellent body control, and quick reflexes are required for successful execution.

2. Double Leg Sweep

In this clinch, the body is controlled while the opponent’s legs are grabbed and swept to cause a fall. Success requires a firm grasp, good body control, and quick reactions.

3. Ankle Pick

By dragging the opponent’s ankle, the fighter can take down while keeping control of the legs. Strong grasp, body control, and rapid reactions are necessary for effective execution.

4. Rear Clinch

In the rear clinch, the fighter grabs the opponent from behind, providing head control, body control, and defense against punches and throws. It requires a firm grip, quick reflexes, and perfect body control.

5. High Crotch

This move entails elevating the opponent’s legs and taking them down while grasping the waist from the front. Like other techniques, a high crotch also needs strong grips, quick reactions, and body control for takedowns and control.

Importance of Consistent Practice

It is important to note that mastering clinching techniques takes time, practice, and repetition. It is recommended that fighters work on their clinching skills with a coach or training partner and incorporate clinching drills into their training regimen.

Furthermore, fighters should not rely solely on clinching techniques in a fight but rather use them in conjunction with other striking and grappling techniques to create a well-rounded and versatile fighting style.

The beauty of Muay Thai is its diversity, and incorporating clinching techniques into your arsenal can significantly enhance your overall skills and abilities as a fighter. With dedication, hard work, and a commitment to learning and improving, You can become a skilled clinching specialist in Muay Thai.


In conclusion, Muay Thai clinching techniques play a crucial role in the sport and can significantly enhance a fighter’s ability to control the pace and outcome of the fight. The ultimate guide to Muay Thai clinching techniques covered the fundamentals of clinching, including the importance of head control, leverage, and body positioning.

The guide also delved into basic clinching techniques such as the collar tie, the double collar tie, and the underhook, providing a solid foundation for fighters to build upon.

Additionally, the guide explored advanced clinching techniques, including knee strikes, sweeps, trips, and throws, demonstrating the importance of mastery of these techniques in becoming a highly skilled Muay Thai fighter.

So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced fighter, understanding and implementing these techniques can make all the difference in the ring. With the information presented in this ultimate guide to Muay Thai clinching techniques, you can take their clinching game to the next level and dominate their opponents.


1. What is the purpose of clinching in Muay Thai?

There are dozens of purposes of Muay Thai Clinching Techniques, but the most crucial is breaking the opponent’s rhythm and maintaining your dominance to control the fight.

2. How does clinching enhance a fighter’s overall abilities in Muay Thai?

By improving the overall body position and balance, Muay Thai clinching techniques let you take control against your opponent [3]. By controlling the arms and head of your opponent, you make them vulnerable to attack.

3. How can a beginner learn and master clinching techniques?

It’s a continuous learning process. But a beginner should generally start by understanding the fundamentals of clinching techniques.

4. What are some common mistakes to avoid when clinching in Muay Thai?

The most prominent mistakes that fighters make are relying on their strength, neglecting the body position, clinching with other grappling techniques, not controlling the head, footwork, leverage, and improper hand placement. 







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