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Maintain The Clinch With Peter Aerts

Maintain The Clinch With Peter Aerts

The clinch is one of the most important parts of both Muay Thai and MMA. Getting in a strong position in the clinch from the start is important if you want to make the clinch a solid part of your game plan. Being able to get into the clinch from range safely and maintain a strong position to control your opponent can lead to an easy win and maybe even an easy knockout for you. 

There are a few different ways to enter the clinch safely and in this video Peter Aerts shows a simple clinch entry and how to maintain a strong posture and control. Peter Aerts is a semi-retired heavyweight Kickboxer at the young age of 49. Known as the Dutch Lumberjack for his proficiency with kicks and he is extremely experienced in Kyokushin Karate, Kickboxing and Muay Thai. If anyone can show you how to be successful in the clinch, it’s him.


The video starts off with Aerts showing the proper way to enter the clinch from range. Aerts says that the beginning of the clinch is the most important part as it is your chance to start off the clinch fight in a better position than your opponent. It’s not a good idea to just try to walk in with your arms outstretched like you're trying to give your opponent a hug if you want to get into the clinch. 

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This is a bad way to enter the clinch but is a great way to make sure that you get punched in the face. Instead you want to move forward while keeping your hands up and elbow forward. You want to do this until you are close enough that you can safely grab a collar tie with your lead arm on your opponent. 

From there you can work for the second collar tie for what is known in Muay Thai as the “Plum” position or what is generally called the Muay Thai clinch or the full Muay Thai clinch. When you are going for this position, keep in mind that you should be trying to get the palm of your hand or glove on the back of your opponent’s head, not their neck. You also want to have your arms on the inside of your opponent’s because then you have much more control over them. 

If you have your palms on their neck, then you won’t have any control over your opponent’s posture and your attempt at clinching becomes much easier to defend. Having your psalm on the back of their head around the crown area will help you break down their posture, which in turn will help you control them better. 

This way you will be able to move them around and land knees to the body and even to the head. You can even land quick, short elbows from this position , as your opponent is likely going to be focused on your legs rather than your hands.

The Lumberjack Manual by Peter Aerts

If you want to learn more striking techniques and drills like this one from “The Dutch Lumberjack” Peter Aerts, then check out our complete video series with him, available now!