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Climb Atop Your Opponents With Saenchai

Climb Atop Your Opponents With Saenchai

Being able to climb up on top of an opponent and attack them is one of the most powerful moments in all of martials arts. We should mention that we aren’t talking about getting a top position in MMA on the ground, we are talking about pure striking, specifically in Muay Thai. This is a technique that has only ever been done successfully in competition by one man. That man is the living legend of Muay Thai and one of the only active fighters to ever be considered the GOAT of the sport. 

That man is Saenchai, known for being one of the most wild and outrageous, but also one of the best Muay Thai fighters of all time. In this video Saenchai shows how you can get into that position, what to do from it and how to escape safely. While this technique is seemingly impossible to pull off, there are a few ways to make it work. 


The first reason that Saenchai can make this technique work is that he is usually shorter than his opponent. Seanchai is usually a lot shorter than his opponents, usually by at least five or so inches. This means that there is literally enough of his opponent so that he can climb them. This means that if you are a shorter fighter this technique might be a possibility for you. If, on the other hand, you are a taller fighter, this might be impossible for you. This is because you are too large and you are already above your opponent. 

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The second reason that this technique works is because Saenchai isn;t necessarily looking for it during his fights. Saenchai gets to this position from the clinch and doesn’t always go for it from there. In fact the majority of the time he is just doing standard clinch fighting. This is what creates the opening for this technique, as his opponent won’t be expecting it. 

To perform the actual technique, you are going to want to be in the clinch. Preferably you have been in the clinch a lot beforehand to set up the technique. From there you are going to want to have at least one hand on the inside on either your opponent’s bicep or in a collar tie. From that point of control you are going to want to start trading outside knees with your opponent. This will get them thinking that you are only looking to knee fight. 

From there you are going to block your opponent's leg at their inner thigh with your shin. When you block the knee you're going to pull yourself up and climb your opponent. From that position you can start dropping elbows. 

This is a great crowd pleasing technique and is bound to score some points in Muay Thai. While this is a good technique under Muay Thai rules, it isn’t a good option for MMA for a few reasons. The first reason is that this technique in MMA rules is likely to lead your opponent to just slam you on the ground. This will do some damage to you and also put them on top with the ability to drop some heavy ground and pound attacks. 

The second is that even if you manage to get this position without getting slammed and have the opportunity to attack, the only attack option is illegal in MMA. The only real option that anyone has to deliver damage from this position is by using the 12-6 elbow, which is banned in MMA. Even though this is largely considered a terrible rule by fans, fighters and analysts alike, it is still a rule that can get you penalized or even disqualified. Those two reasons are enough to steer clear from this technique in MMA. It’s also not a good option for kickboxing as all elbows are banned in that sports rules. 

Combinations and Clinch Work by Saenchai
If you want to learn more Muay Thai techniques and drills like this one from the legendary GOAT of Muay Thai Saenchai, then check out our complete video series featuring him, available now!