During the clinch or just prior to the clinch the opponent very often throws knees to the torso area. I am not considering whether the opponent has managed to pull the head down for knees to head.

Putting an arm down to block is a bad idea for various reasons eg. lose balance and get thrown down. not having a guard against elbows etc.

What techniques/defense measures exist to block those knees from impacting on the torso (stomach/rib cage/ thighs/ hips)?

  • The idea is not to block the knees but put your arm on the opposite hip. I suggest you to look some UFC fight.
    – Krokop
    Commented May 24, 2014 at 1:18
  • 1
    @Krokop, are there no Thai boxers here to give a thorough answer? UFC will have some great techniques with more wrestling though. An arm on the opposite hip opens you up to an elbow easily.
    – Vass
    Commented May 24, 2014 at 14:05
  • It all depends on what your goal is. In muay thai they come regain control and staying the quark elbows.
    – Krokop
    Commented May 24, 2014 at 16:37

9 Answers 9


If your opponent throws a knee while not in clinch a good way to stop it is to extend your arm (jab) to their chest. If you lean slightly into it your arm should reach longer than their knee. You may as well hit the chin instead of the chest.

If you are locked in the clinch you can try to throw your opponent off balance as soon as they lift their leg to throw the knee. You do this by rotating them in the direction of their standing leg. (If they throw right knee, you rotate to your right.) Moving their weight beyond their standing leg you may get the possibility of throwing them or to counter with a knee yourself (Right knee). This technique needs some practice because it's usually hard to see you opponents leg when locked in the clinch. You'll have to learn to sense it mostly from how their weight shifts.

Edit: Finally found a Video that shows the throw as a defense against a knee in the clinch: http://youtu.be/Co-rINOoMn8?t=5m15s and http://youtu.be/Co-rINOoMn8?t=18m55s

  • 1
    great answer. I saw this a few times in training I think, by more experienced fighters. I wasn't exactly sure of how the mechanics worked. It makes sense and I will practice it :)
    – Vass
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 22:37
  • also, have you seen a technique of turning the body and placing the shin at the base of the opponent's thigh and then leaning on it while holding their head/neck with the leading arm?
    – Vass
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 22:40
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    I think what you're describing in the second comment is some kind of lock. It is sometimes used in a weak position in clinch because it immobilizes both opponents and will cause the referee to break up the clinch.
    – kioopi
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 12:52
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    Updated the answer with a link to a video.
    – kioopi
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 7:11
  • great videos! and perfect how you linked them to the timing to see immediately the move in action! I have been trying to get it to work in practice, but looks like I need more practice^^ they simply do not fall over like in the videos
    – Vass
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 16:42

I am not overly familiar with the rules, but I found the elbow to be very effective against knees. The elbow should make impact with the muscle of the upper leg, as connecting with the knee will be too dangerous for the defender.

Elbows are also great for "discouraging" kicks to the ribs and it has the added benefit of keeping your hands in a position to guard your face.


First, you need to keep your own posture strong. Then you need to force them to stand up straight, usually by placing your own forearm across their face. They can't throw knees if they are standing up straight.

Second, you can force an arm between theirs, and then use it to lever yourself out of the clinch.

Or you can stand them up straight, grab the side of their arms, roll down like revving a motorcycle so that your hands are under their triceps, and then lift and if you are Matt Hughes strong, carry them and slam/throw them, or for the rest of us, do a de ashi barai.

You can also work on ways to trick their energy and as they go to come in on you, step in on them, and pop the elbow up and off, and then duck under to a side body-lock. This last one is difficult against a skilled clinch artist.


From the clinch:

  • Close the distance: keep your posture and get your hips close to their hips so there is no way for them to generate the power to throw a knee. Be wary of trips or takedowns, or do them yourself.

  • Trip them to the opposite side: when they do a knee, especially one from the side, rotate them rotating them in the direction of their standing leg. This works better when your hips are close to theirs.

  • Block their hip with your elbow. If you're losing the clinch and they're breaking your posture down, use one hand on their hip to block the hip from generating any power. Be prepared to perform a sit out or a shot or to walk your hips below yourself and squat up again.

  • Don't let your posture be broken.

  • good advice to not let the posture be broken. i had that happen last night when a guy brought me down from shear force on my neck and I couldn't squat enough
    – Vass
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 14:19

Although I've never had to experience, but somewhat familiar seeing it on MMA fights. I think the route I would go is to move into it. As they are pulling you in move it so close that they have to continue to step back to use their knees. As your stepping forward make sure to stomp their feet. At any point they loose balance take advantage or push out.

Another thought as when they clinch with their arms around your neck, pop their elbows up and hard, then collapse their arms exposing their face.


block incomming knees with your own knee. must beat the timing and impose your. knee onto the opponets inner thigh area. generally this is a diagonal outward knee.

utub has too many video on thai clinch , everyone needs to use there utube resources.


muay thai clinch throws ?

can you pummel and hand fight like a greco roman wrestler ?

g-r is much like thai clinch entries... you must accept and beleave this .

there are about five different allowed and used methods of throws from clinch .

1)first group is over hook-- plaaam.

2)next is belly 2 belly .

3)mixed grip . i have called half love vs body lock full love .

4) ***half over collar and other hand on bicept - c-grip-some will call this meat hook-swand grip . cobra grip.!!! this is the most desirable grip because you can stear or move into elbow and more.

you must learn to pummel and hand fight -TRANSITION OUT OF THESE GRIPS. slow and light weight pressure -grippings..

if you cant find a partner to practice with lift weights . bumbells and kettle weights- non-stop for five minute sets.. them middel eastern wrestlers use indian clubs and spin them all about the body -over head and around for

strength conditioning.

GRECO clinch aids every thing about muay thai clinch..

lets talk about CLINCH throws .

1 ) there is a knee bump lead in to pull type throw- this is like the one bukow does. this is for a fast nimble fighter only. learn about push pull hand action for throws.

2) there is a leveraged throw -fulcrum , where you place your knee aside of the opponets thigh just above the knee

cap and pull them. YOU MAY NEED TO FORCE AND FALL DOWN ON TOP OF THEM-if fulcrum action is ineffective or failed..

3) twist throw -mostly from body lock . 4) pull down -sit down throw. MOVING FORWARD OR BACKWARD HELPS. backwards is much like a lateral drop but has a knee entry ..

5) from double collar tie-plumm twist an arm and stear the apponent step direction to twist quickly and jerk

there head down. the majority of the time a knee is a predesessor -lead in and PLANTED in the proper place for the next action to

occure. therefore you must have and use a good round knee and PLACE it next to the opponents thigh and explode into

you next move.



watch and study the utube video lessons. make note this can be used as a knee defence during clinching. watch dylon and listen to his clear cut explanation of the move.



now we get world famos bauakaw giving a clinch lesson . figure out the missing picese , some thing major is wrong with the level of instructions. however if you studied the first group of vid lessons you can make up the losses

Buakaw MT Clinch Throws --utube watch it please

now this is a repeate of what bauakaw should have done and said ,

Buakaw MT Clinch Throws-mt33 watch this vid.

for total explaination that should have been given during baakaw `s lesson over seas ..

now here`s a different view and trainer doing the same throw , very nice .

Muay Thai Technique #03 Clinch technique, muay thai throw 'Push & Pull sweep' at Phuket Top Team -look onutube..

this is all good now look at this guy teaching knee defence to reattack , there are 4 vids and they are all very good.

Sweep from Muay Thai Clinch - Part 1 -kings thai boxing -utube

watch this lesson and see the style . clinch throw from the so called inferior grip.

Torrance Muay Thai | Clinch Technique | boxing works -utube find it and study

can any one see whats going on. i know but my question is to everyone watching . do you understand , can anyone make this clinch theres ??

this is also a counter to knee belly 2 belly postion..

I must admit the video`s are all intermediate to advanced clinch skills, now is the time to start learning those type of moves. at least reconise the moves in action ..


can everyone pummel and hand fight greco roman style or muay thai style pummel??

can most transition between belly to belly under hooks to mixed over /under .

can any pummel open / slow hand fight and apply elbows like anderson silva`s video escape clinch says ??

do most of the clinch fighters know of and study greg nelson and eric paulson greco roman clinch - this converts into thai clinch almost like magic.

after doing -using the above mentioned

who will make good use of milieapet`s muay thai clinch video lessons.

all the listed material is so eazy to find . if on was to actually learn and apply the techniques from thos mentioned lessons they will be on a solid path to knowing clinch.

there are even more clinch tehcniques but you must first conquer the above. there are many, many ,additional - single utube clinch lessons scattered about on the tube that eager students will have to track down and study ..

suprizingly the mma fighters are so desperatly deficient in clinch , and clinch is a big part of greco roman wrestling ..

remember greco can convert into thai clinch , DONT GET ANY JUDO IDEA`S mixed into this ..

  • 3
    I have no idea what you're trying to say here. Commented Oct 26, 2014 at 10:15

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