Help! Overpowered inside clinch!

I recently did some neck wrestling and clinch fighting with a guy who was larger and stronger than myself.

As much as I enjoy clinch fighting usually, I had such a torrid time of it due to the strenth difference. I was having serious trouble getting inside control and the guy had so much power that it felt like I was in a standing neck-crank.

In a Muay Thai environment, I'm guessing that many people are thinking that I should just try to body lock him and fight from there.

But firstly, sometimes the guy was so strong (and with his height advantage) he was able to get my head low fast. Clinching, we were going near full power but not the knees. If knees were going at full power, I admit I would be very hurt.

Secondly, I dislike bodylocking in Muay Thai because I feel it neutralizes my own clinch and isn't attacking enough. I knee damn hard for my weight but just couldn't get into a position where I might let them go.

I've very frustrated because I normally enjoy clinching and kneeing a lot but the power difference meant my game was near useless.

Can any of the wise heads here give an insight as to how I might approach such a situation. Is there something I'm overlooking or should be doing?

Cheers gang!!!

Can't understand why you are so frustrated when going up against someone much larger, ergo stronger.

Your training partner needs to ease up a bit to help you get something out of it too. My trainer outweighed me by 80lbs. and went at a level that pushed me hard without cranking me around. We both knew I was no match in a real situation, so he adjusted his power and focused on technique. I developed good clinching skills very rapidly and got a great workout to the point of exhaustion every time. If the bigger guy wants to really go hard clinching, find someone big a strong to go against him.

Assault&battery shut the fuck up with ure fantasy fucken street bullshit


I'm not 100% sure what to say since I cannot see specifically what you are doing. BUT, if you are not already doing so, I would suggest "lowering your sights".

In other words, try to wrap up around his body and use short, sharp knees to attack your opponents legs. Don't worry about hitting with power, because it doesn't take much to frog someones legs.

Another thing you can do is hook your hands into the cradle of his elbows from the outside, and apply pressure downwards while arching your neck in resistance. This braces your head/neck position so that you don't get cranked around as much, even IF your opponent is significantly more powerful. At the same time, you should be keeping your elbows as close together as you can to present an elbow spike barrier vs. your opponents knee attacks.

The only problem at this juncture is that you CANNOT stay in that position for very long or your opponent will end up tagging you. You need to use it as a transitionary position. After blocking one or two knees with elbow spikes, you should then move to working another position to setup your own offensive strikes.

Khun Kao

Do NOT be afraid to put one or both hands on his hip or hips creating space and manipulating his body to cause an opening. It is virtually impossible for him to knee if you have both hands on his hips. Just RELAX and wait for the opening. But remember, especially if he is bigger, to RELAX and wait for an opening rather than tiring yourself out trying to MAKE one against a stronger opponent. Also, if you have control of his hips you can slip a devastating low kick in. Of course this is just one of MANY ways to deal with this problem.

"so what would happen if you run into this guy on teh str3t? "

Firstly I'd learn to type like a normal person, then knee him in the groin, thn jam my thumbs into his eyes and repeatedly headbutt and elbow him until he fell down, and follow up with a few soccer kicks till he stopped moving, you can't really do that in training and competition environments.

My 2 cents, trip him down when he starts to take control(inside sweep works nice while he's throwing a knee), always a much better idea to pick at heavier/more powwrful opponent from the outside, and i has the big plus that all that getting back up plays hell with a big guys cardio, this is how I told my friends to deal with guys like me.

Inside sweep works well if you are desperate or a kung fooey fighter. Stay standing, Stay Strong, wait for openings, and RELAX.

I take it you don't watch Thai's fight, they sweep/throw people all the time, it's kind of an insult, a

"I can put you on your ass anytime I please"

kind of thing.

True. Still, throws from the clinch are bit hard to explain in print.

Basically, since your hips are lower, you can toss him fairly easily--a basic bodylock, lift and footsweep with do wonders.

I take it you don't TRAIN with Thais. Sweeping the leg leaves you off balance and vulnerable to an array of attacks, especially if the guy is much bigger and already overpowering you...Cobra Kai...must have watched The Karate Kid too many times. "sweep the leg Johnny"

A guy with 5 posts trying to tell me how to train, how long have you been thaiboxing little man, a couple of weeks at most, uppr body(greco style)takedowns and inside/outside sweeps(back heel trips) are some of the mainstays of fighting from the clinch, it's not all just knees and elbows you know.

And as for you're question, Yes, I have, but not for a while.

And just for you're own edification, in "the Karate kid" that was a low kick to the knee, something most of us do.

Guys... Chill out. If you wanna argue, take it off the boards and continue over email.


OK, I'll be calm.

*sits for hours writing haiku*

LOL Assault n Battery dude that was pretty funny response.

Sweeps are good but while training it is better to stay standing and learn to deal with being "overpowered". Chances are if you try to sweep someone who is much stronger and hanging on your neck the sweep will not work and you may just end up on the ground with someone bigger and stronger. I hope this helps.

"I am sure you saw my video posted earlier in Feb... punk :-) "

No, Didn't, not exactly impressed either, you'r opponent had about the worst palms up defence I've ever seen, seemed to think he was fighting a switch and was dumb enough to drop his hands instead of checking, you had you're left hand too low and you're chin so high a good uppercut would break your neck plus you dropped you're hand a good halfa second before you're kicking foot left the ground.

Tat and the fact you're about 5'8" kinda precludes you being much of a threat to me, I'm 8 inches and by the look of it about 65 pounds above you.

And as for being on the ground with a big guy we're talking MT, not MMA.

*remains very calm :)*


Thanks for the responses guys.

I can kinda see the logic in what all of you are saying.

The guy I was partnered up with is a bit of a muscleman/bodybuilder, and a bit bigger than myself. What was alarming for me was that he literally applied his arm strength and forced my head down despite my full resistance. In reality, I would've seen tree trunk legs rushing up at me as I drop my arms to try and block.

I don't think too much of using spike elbows from the position I was in because I know that if the situations were reversed, I would have such a variety of knees/angles/options that the possibility of my leg striking the elbow would be a lottery. In fact, I'd be rather glad that my opponent would be passive, waiting for my attack.

Hands pushing out at hips sounds like a good idea to stall, but wouldn't a pull and spin from him negate this very quickly?

In a pure Muay match, I know that if I were to lock my arms round his, then my legs around his so that I let his body take my weight whilst I hang off him, the ref would come in to break. But this is so negative and doesn't show fighting spirit.

Throwing a heavy guy sounds really hard. So you bodylock, lift, then sweep. But do you aim to throw forwards (push) or sideways? If you sweep with the right leg, you throw/lean him that correct?

Thanks for your's helping me find a solution to this frustrating situation.


"I am sure you saw my video posted earlier in Feb... punk :-) "

I just showed that video to my friend and in response to the guy getting kicked he said: "why does that guy look like he does MT only to wear those tassles on his arms." Priceless.

On a side note, johnny, I am tall also, about 6'5 and just started in MT. Are there any moves you tend to favor as a tall guy? I am getting quite attached to a left hook.


Please play nicely folks. Keep things civil. There is no need for you guys to be talking smack with each other this way. We're all fighters here. We should let our fists, feet (shins), elbows, and knees speak for us.

Respect one another. We're all fighters here...

Brooks (Khun Kao)

Clinching against bigger and stronger guys isn't easy. I find that wedging my forearm in their throat and getting an underhook works really well though.

Also don't play the neck wrestling game with a much taller opponent(except in a specific drill).