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Headbutt And Elbow In The Clinch With Dave Leduc

Headbutt And Elbow In The Clinch With Dave Leduc

In a fight, if you’re able to break the posture and destroy the balance of your opponent you are going to be at a huge advantage. If you are able to break their posture you can control your opponent and without any balance they won’t be able to get any offence off and you will be able to attack pretty much whenever you want. 

The easiest way for you to destabilize your opponent is to be in the clinch. In the clinch you will have a level of control on your opponent and be close enough to have a lot of options at your disposal. Breaking your opponent’s posture in the clinch will allow for more control and give you more options in terms of both attack and defense. Whether you’re fighting in MMA, Muay Thai or even Myanmar Lethwei, knowing how to break your opponent’s balance is important. 

In this video, The King Of Lethwei Dave Leduc, shows a Lethwei style clinch break to a headbutt and elbow. Dave Leduc is the most popular Lethwei fighter in the world and is one of the sports top competitors and is one of the reasons the sport has had a recent rise in popularity. 


The technique that Leduc shows is a fairly simple one but adds some lethwei techniques to make it more unique. It starts out in a fairly standard fifty/fifty clinch position with both fighters having one collar tie and their other hand on their opponent’s bicep. In terms of your foot placement you are going to want to have your lead foot in between and under your opponent’s hips and close to your opponent’s lead leg. 

For this position you are going to bump your knee inwards to bump your opponent’s lead leg. At the same time you’re going to pull on your opponent’s head with your collar time arm in the opposite direction. This will destabilize and move your opponent, if not just completely sweep them onto the floor. 

If your opponent manages to still be on their feet, they will be off balance. This is the perfect time to strike. Of course, Dave Leduc shows the way that you would follow off this bump in Lethwei. 

When your opponent is off balanced, the opportunity to go for a Lethwei style headbutt is there. After landing the headbutt you can add onto this by going for an elbow. Leduc says that if you want to increase your chances of this technique working, you need to work fast. Leduc says that you should be the first to go for the bump.

Leduc also states the importance of keeping the collar tie throughout this technique. Keeping control with the collar tie with help pull your opponent into the strikes that you throw. The collar tie will also allow you to steer your opponent in the direction you want them to go. 

Obviously since the follow up to this technique that is shown in the video is a headbutt, it would be illegal in MMA and Muay Thai. That being the case just following up with the elbow instead is a solid alternative. If you are competing in Lethwei, or if you are doing this technique in a street fight or a self defence scenario, the headbutt is actually a solid attack to go with, especially if you are aiming at your opponent’s nose. 

Foundation of Lethwei by Dave Leduc
If you want to learn more Myanmar Lethwei techniques and drills check out our video series “Foundation of Lethwei by Dave Leduc” available now!