Muay Thai Clinch Techniques – Knees, Elbows, Throws and Drills

Muay Thai Knees, Elbows and Sweep Techniques

The Muay Thai clinch. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy… and I’m guessing you want to be friends with your clinch game right?

When it comes to learning the intricacies of the clinch game it can get a bit overwhelming. There are basically an infinite number of clinch knees, elbows, sweeps, defensive moves and off-balance techniques that you have to be aware of to be proficient when battling on the inside. So, in order to help you add more variety to your and embrace the clinch game I want to share you some of the best Muay Thai clinch techniques that you should consider adding to your skill set.

First I want to show you a couple effective clinch knee techniques that you can utilize to land a flush knee either to your opponents body or head. The first video below is by UK Muay Thai champ, Damien Trainor of K-Star Legacy Gym who demonstrates a useful off-balancing technique followed by a knee. The second video (which is apart of my complete clinch course) isn’t necessarily a “clinch” knee, but it’s still an essential technique to learn if you want to land some brutal spear knees to your opponents sternum.

Muay Thai Clinch Knee – How To Setup a Knee to the Head

Muay Thai Spear Knee Technique

The knee is obviously a devastating strike if landed with power and accuracy, but so are elbows!

Muay Thai elbows inside the clinch can lead to fight-ending cuts or even some of the most spectacular knockouts you’ll ever see. If you’re looking to add some deadly elbow techniques to your arsenal of attacks, then the following two videos are exactly what you need.

The first video tutorial is a killer inside elbow technique demonstrated by Muay Thai champion Mathias Gallo Cassarino of 7 Muay Thai Gym. Mathias has used this elbow technique in a number of his fights (as you’ll see in the videos) so it’s effectiveness can’t be questioned

The second technique tutorial is a dangerous spear elbow attack that can slice your opponents face up shown by former USMTA champ Chris Clodfelter of Eight Points Muay Thai. Both of the Muay Thai clinch techniques in the videos are great additions to any Nak Muay’s fight game!

Clinch Elbow Technique | Slashing Elbow from the Inside

Muay Thai Spear Elbow Setup Technique

And lastly, we can’t forget about the Muay Thai sweeps from inside the clinch!

Being able to show dominance over your opponent by constantly slamming them on their backs is going to score you some major point. On top of that, you’ll also be hurting them, tiring them out (from picking themselves up) and demoralizing them… which is a perfect mixture when trying to win a fight.

The next two videos are two of my favorite Muay Thai clinch sweep techniques that I personally use during my sparring sessions and fights. The first one is from my Clinch King video course and is by far my most effective technique when inside the clinch. The second video is a clinch drill demonstrated by former WKA champ Chris Romulo of CROM Physical Culture. This drill will not only help you sweep your opponent, but also defend certain techniques inside the clinch as well… check em out!

An Effective, Simple Muay Thai Clinch Sweep Technique

Muay Thai Clinch Drill and Throw | Knee Guard Defense to Clinch Toss

muay thai clinch king

Click here to check out the most comprehensive course of the Muay Thai clinch!

If you enjoyed these clinch videos and want to continue learning more techniques, sweeps, knees and elbows from the inside position, then make sure to check out my free 3-Part Video Series on the clinch. And if that’s not enough for you, then check out my Clinch King video course for a complete breakdown on the inside game.

There are NEW Muay Thai videos released on my Youtube channel every week! Make sure to keep checking back and subscribe to my channel for updates on new Muay Thai techniques, workouts, drills and combos!

If you want more in-depth technique tutorials, video breakdowns, training tips and more, then you gotta check out

Like these Muay Thai clinch knees, elbows and sweeps? Comment below and share with us your thoughts!
Also, make sure to share it with your training partners and instructors so you can try it out during your next training session.

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Sean Fagan
Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan owns & operates the largest online Muay Thai community and the #1 training resource for nak muay of all levels.

Comments 0

  1. Very informative vids. I have been following Coach Damon’s videos since Noppadon first introduced them on MMT. My issue is with the Greg Nelson video…..The different Muay Thai holds from the clinch were right on the money however; correct me if I’m wrong but I believe a few of those throws and trips are illegal in Muay Thai.
    respectfully yours.

    1. Hm I believe you’re right. To be honest I’m not 100% certain what is legal vs. illegal, so it’s hard to decipher some. I know hip tosses and trips are illegal, but some of them are cutting it close.

  2. Yes, Nelson`s video lessons are truly more greco-roman clinch than Muay Thai. However, he does an excellent job of spelling out clearly what is needed to be do and emphasizes the much needed details for maximum yield.

    Comparing Nelson to Malaipet’s clinch, I see an omission of detail that one must get through self discovery such as attempting the moves many times just for the absence of description.
    Now for Anderson Silva`s clinch escape video lessons, if you cant pummel and hand fight your out of luck.

    All the mentioned video lessons as a total will make a great clinch fighter, but this could take three years of 3 times a week to to come up speed. Who thinks MUAY THAI IS EASY TO LEARN ?

  3. I had the luck and situation to get excellent stand up wrestling in my skills set. I have boxed and wrestled greco mostly with some free style on the side.

    First I must say judo is not in this game, period… at some of the better equipped wrestling rooms there were extensive expensive throwing machines to help us learn and develop quickly. the head pop – snap machine was one of the very best tool ever invented to help me learn a good snap down and wack -head-club. you cant get work out partners to accept that type of constant punishment needed to develop them moves.

    Additionally we made good use of the tackle sled -dummy set up. Throwing dummy`s and extra fat crash mats – those are life savers.

    Because of my deep background in greco i can watch the thailand muay thai fights and break-down the clinch and throws. Everything makes simple sense to me, the first time I see the clinch. I watched all the youtube Muay Thai clinch lessons I can find and because of my greco experience everything is obvious and falls right into place early on.

    I credit my stand up wrestling “greco” for my success in Muay Thai clinch .

    How about you guys ?

  4. Watch the muay thai minute – note the grips employed for the throws. I say this because too many coaches are unschooled in depths of authentic thai clinch and know so little. Haven’t we all heard everyone shout out plum? Plum and do the double over collar tie. THATS ALL THEY GOT..

    There are quite a few grips and each serves a particular purpose. Knowing which leads well into what is a trainers job to know and teach!! Transitions between grips during pummeling and hand fighting are supposed to be taught during clinch sessions.

    The fake schools only have one trick!!! Therefore beware ! Its really ugly out there with some of the junk being passed off as Muay Thai clinch. Even Malaipet`s clinch dvd lessons could use much more description in all areas of the techniques presented.

    first and foremost,I judge a school by its ability to make techniques clear and understandable. Secondarily, my judgements are for the technical skill level tricks appear to be. Muay thai is an art form in addition to fighting method. Therefore there is win pretty or win ugly..

  5. I have taken lessons, practiced plenty and watched every video on utube and got copies of every thai clinch instruction video and book I can. Now to the root to the matter. on clinch throws I have noticed that many of the teachers do a knee bump and then pull to engage a throw. HOWEVER. during the explanation every instructor neglects to emphasize the absolute importance of the prepatory **knee BUMP!**.

    How can they neglect such a very important detail, not bumping causes you to depend on strength alone. In summary I will re-emphasize the importance of lead in** knee bump** into pull for throws. Now everyone clinch throw them down to the ground and give them a continuation knee for a nice good bye.. thats classic old school style femur all the way !

    1. For sure man. I actually just recently finished shooting a whole clinch course and I’ll be releasing some of the videos from it. I’ll make sure to feature some partner drills with them.

  6. I had the idea of having CLINCH only tournaments ?

    Yes organized clinch only fights of 3 minute rounds , with spelled out rules of engagement, no doubts or quibbling over rules.

    I am talking strict clinch . entries into hand fighting then a grip posture . break or throw to end ,then re-start.

    Lets eliminate kicks, knees and elbows for this meet.
    This could be something like a greco entry contest.
    Perhaps have different levels of skill , bringing in more techniques at different named levels .

    I say this almost to make it mandatory before a fighter can becalled muay thai ..
    Presently we have too much junk calling them selfs muay thai.

    Lets say if a fighter could not demonstrate skills in the clinch fight arena then were baned from other real- higher level Muay Thai fights , this would clean up some of the rotten clincing …

    should GRECO ROMAN wrestling be made a mandatroy pre-requesite for muay thai fighters ?

    Something must happen and soon ?

  7. Permit me to futher elaborate on the concept. For example the olympic gymnastics events have **compulsory routines** the players must execute – failure to perform satisfactorly on said moves, prohibits advancement to the next level of competition.

    Ising this mindset to instill and demonstrate much needed hand fight skills could bring about an enforced elevation of clinching. This is preliminary to allowing fighter to advance to finals.
    Just like racecar drivers have heats, yes??

    Again I say something must be done to stimulate clinch development and eliminate all the poo.
    It’s painfully obvious matters must change for progress to occure.

    A win is not only a win, it’s the style at matters on the higher levels.

  8. Spydaah have you ever watched the inter school fights? It’s a circus chaotic atmosphere in it’s most extreme. The smoker fight mentality with the guy drinking half pints of whisky out of paper bags and the homies smoking pot out side the gym. If there is no ring we hold hand and have bull in a circle fights.

    Aint no boxing commission needed at all.

    Mow cant we have some strict neck wrestling in-between all the gala festivities. Aint no harm gona come from a little pulled neck. I can spin this discussion many ways but we need better clinch.

  9. has anyone converted chest pummeling into muay thai neck pummeling-pulling and defence .

    the video`s of the thai in training camps always do this movment.
    seasons greeting to all and a good hard clinch throw on the way out the door ..

  10. the recient rhonda rousey vs holly holm mma fight and the clinch used by holm.

    i am more perceptive than most reguarding clinching and the like.

    watch the last kick to the head and take note of the clinch moves setting everything up.

    holm takes her left arm and makes single collar tie and immediatly head bangs into rousey, then directly proceeds to employ the modified collar -almost a inside bicpet bang TO A SNAP DOWN !!
    this all moves so smoothly its almost un-noticable , but it was there indeed.
    after that snap down and put out rousey`s head was lowered and thence a very well placed shin across the neck..
    watch holm in here other fights the same chain of events occures with the same outcome.

    go and see if i am right or wrong on the snap down lead in..

    its an excellent continuation move in old school muay thai.

  11. greco hand fightings vs judo jacket grabbing !

    the contention of the efficiency vs inadequacy of wearing a costume to work out.

    holly holm had more greco on here side where as ronda rusey was a judo hugger .

    and so the argument continues of which is superior in stand up situations .

    place your bets if you so strongly believe.

    was it holly`s anti- clinch greco hand fighting or not ?

  12. There is some video evidence on the clinch development that HOLLY HOLM used on Ronda Rousey.
    Holly executed a modified and well excuted collar bang to control and shove Ronda away and make distance.
    Watch video`s and look for the forearm placement to enable collar bangs and or snap down movements.

    More will follow in a future message

  13. coming soon holly holm vs Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko:

    that bullet girl is a very intresting clinch fighter.
    she is not 100 % muay thai clinch and throws , however she possesses the highest clinch and throw skills i have ever seen out a woman .

    watch that bullet clinch and throw.

    too bad she is smaller than holly- this puts here at a severe disadvantage..

    her long time trainer just to shot and is incapacitated.

    what the bullet does know and do – all foreign fighters should know and then go to thailand and learn the rest..

    valentina has greco roman and stand up freestyle wrestling from her russian exposure and it absolutely shows, no doubt.

    i truly believe there could be some excellent clinching in this fight.

  14. let me introduce some previously unmentioned clinch training video lessons.
    randy couture clinch video 1-5 with 1,2,3 some excellent clinch – found on youtube or bought.

    randy couture clinch video 1-5 with 1,2,3 some excellent clinch – its also on youtube two one hour lessons…

    i have found the presentations to very clear and understandable.

    both of these video lesson will aid the full on muay thai clinch fighter .
    there is much valuable skills and technical data to be learned from these excellent video lessons.

    details and subtleties are well explained .

    additionally there is the ** shoot box rua ** video lessons – this has excellent brazilian style belly to belly clinch techniques set..

    to some students these video lessons will be a revelation rather than a review or supplement to the leaning training.

    in any case let the material be known to those who want this enhancement and knowledge of clinching skills.


    DAN HENDERSON TRAINING VIDEO – there is lots of good clinch training on this youtube as well.

  16. now lets get to some more advanced deeper clinchings:

    BELLY TO BELLY posture: and a few grips and throws will be listed and can be looked up – researched on you tube for video examples – yes there are good videos related to the names.

    Dan Gable, the Man behind the Gable Grip. READ about his grip and then use it for neck locks- body locks- as needed . modified into thai clinch situations.

    one step beyond beginners clinch grips and concepts.


    yes for you tube finding:

    1 ) Underhook to Pinch Headlock Attacks

    2 ) Pinch Headlock To Twist throw.

    3 ) Push pull bump throw muay thai.

    4 4) LATERAL DROP !!!

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