Mucho gracias Paul... another great post! I'm on the same page now.

Greco-Girlie... I'm all ears!

Aus... sorry I somehow missed your earlier post. Yes, I am having trouble getting the underhook. Got 'stuff'?


Ryan, great to hear from you. I know Dayton isn't as bad as it looks. My job has given me the chance to see some of the city's worst parts.


Hi Paul,

You wrote... "Hope this helps and I hope to see you guy's in Ohio in May."

I will definitely train that this week!
...appreciate the pointer.

Say what?!?
Are you coming to Ohio?
Details man... details!


When you say... "... sink your hook, dominate head position, wedge and move so you can start getting him off-balance while you tighten up the hook or transition to your next objective."

Does "dominate head position" mean pushing into the opponent's head with your free hand, and does the "wedge" refer to the pressure of moving into the opponent, combined with the triangle formed by the underhooking arm, and the arm controlling his head?

You wrote..."then chain bumps with russians and level changes to take him out of his game". I know I've seen "russians", but I'm not sure what they are.... can you refresh my memory?



To get an idea of what it feels like to have someone dominate head position on you, while you are sitting there try to touch your right ear to your right shoulder, without moving your shoulder up to meet your ear. Thats what your opponent should feel like when you have your head on the left side of his face/head. That is dominate head position and that is why I just have to wonder what the heck people are doing in the Clinch that gives someone the chance to bite them without getting seriously pounded in the process. When you dominate head position your opponent cannot shoot on you, but you can shoot on him, he can't hit you with anything effective, but you can T-off on him and he is seriously open for head peels and other simple setups for the FHL. Thats the basics of it anyway, play around with it and I think you will see an improvement in your Clinch game. When I pummel, my training partner and I are constantly butting heads because we both are trying to take that inside position. Again, motrin...,

Wedge is my lower body movement with the intent of breaking down his balance and movement. Different wrestlers call this different things but that is the gist of it. Say you are digging a left underhook, as you drive your left shoulder in, drive in with your left leg, jamming it and your left hip hard into his hips and taking his lower body centerline. You know this already but, this is not a static position so as soon as you hit it use this positional dominance to force him out of his game.

Simple russian, partner puts hand on neck in weak neck tie, say his right hand on left side of your neck. Shrug your left shoulder up, really pop it, and twist to your right (inward), his hand should pop off and go past your face. We chain that to bumps as a simple counter to a single neck tie. Add in the level change to force him to adjust his tie and usually you will force an opening.

Hope this made some sort of sense, I think I'm having a reaction to my dramatically increased application of propecia.

-Paul Sharp


I have made clinch work a part of our regular workouts for the last year, but I'm not able to use the underhook much. The Muay Thai plum (prumb?), arm drags, snap downs etc... are working pretty good. But nary an underhook for me. Any tips???

Thanks in advance...


Yep got Lotsa Tips:


The way I use the most, and it seems to work well for everyone, is to push out on one elbow like you would if you wanted to re pummel for inside position on the neck. Instead of taking the neck, grab the underhook on that side while his elbow is out.

Not to plug the tapes, but if that doesn't make sense I do show that exact move on the second series clinch tapes. And Adam, and Rory are very familiar with that as well if you are attending that workshop.

-Matt Thornton

I'm glad you brought this up Kev...I am having the same problem, especially when striking is involved for some reason. When just clinching w/o strikes, sometimes I can sink it in and feel some control, and sometimes can set up some takedowns. But when strikes are involved, I seem to not have the same sucess w/ it. I'll have to review the tapes myself. Also Kev, I contacted Adam about a possible seminar, and I would definitely like to do it in the future. It will probably have to be after my wedding in May though. How many Ohio or surrounding area people would be interested???? Mike H

I'm live in Dayton, OH and would go to a StraightBlast
Gym seminar anywhere in the state. Where are you located Kevin?

Hi Ryan,

I'm up in Cleveland... but Mike (the potential SBG host) is located in Columbus.


Matt, do you recommend trying to clinch with a good
striker or would you rather go for a takedown without clinching?

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the reply.
I know what you mean, and I do have the tapes... maybe I just need to isolate the entry into the underhook a little.

Normally clinch work for me includes light strikes and takedowns. Just thinking out loud and bouncing some ideas... maybe I will limit the clinch work to working the plum(omitting strikes and takedowns)... and whenever one of the "clinchers" sees the opportunity... they push out on the elbow and go for the underhook. Of course I will do this with my opponent resisting. At the point in time I master this technique (ha!), I will again add in the strikes and takedowns.

I'm out in Ohio, so I won't be attending the So. California workshop. Even though I have never met Adam, I consider him a friend. I hope to someday be able to attend a workshop by him and his brother. I'm hoping that MikHam might make this happen!

Thanks Matt... I appreciate the opportunity to interact. You ever going to get those t-shirts together? You've got some great looking graphics... make it happen!


Hey mikham777, I would be interested in attending an SBG seminar.

Ryan Thatcher- I just moved to Dayton this month. If possible could you please email me?

I am working on it kev. As soon as I get that online store done I will let you know. It's been a hassle. I am lucky I can even turn a computer on most of the time.

In regards the underhook, I understand what you are saying. That is one of the major frustrations with video tapes. They are great for some things, but it's impossible to get the 'feel' of a move through the tv set. I can tell you that having a regular person work an underhook on you, and having someone like Couture or Henderson work from that position on you is like night and day.

Most all of the SBG Instructors have felt that, and those that have not worked with Randy or Dan, like Sharp in Chicago, have gone out and worked at the local college level Greco teams. Paul had worked with them for some time before I even met him. I could not reccomend that enough for you. If there are any Greco guys in your area, find them, and train with them! Then you will get that feel.

I promise you that just like BJJ caused a revamping, and re-evolution of fighting in general, Greco will do the same with the clinch. Those that don't cross train in Greco/Freestyle/Muay Thai combo's will be as helpless in the clinch as someone who doesn't understand the positions of grappling is on the ground. It will be huge.

If you need specific advise drop me an e-mail and I may have some pointers, but to get that 'feel' you need a good Greco guy. They are the black belts in clinch/trapping range.

There is no right answer to that, it depends on your opponent, and your game. Personally I would probably be more apt to clinch, then take a shot. I am not a wrestler. But someone like Jeff Munson would probably take a shot as he has a double leg from hell! It just depends on your game and circumstance. Spar it and try both out.

-Matt Thornton

I would be very interested in a SBG seminar. Matt is one of the best coachs in the world. I hope to someday meet him, but would attend a SBG seminar no matter who is doing it.

That's cool you live in Dayton. (:Don't worry it's not as bad as it looks. I'll send you an e-mail right away.

take care


Are you being Underhooked? Is this why you can't get it or are you just having trouble pummeling into it because of how your partner is keeping his elbows?

Let me know, because if it's the former I'll put up some 'stuff' on how to get an underhook from a variety of other ties including when you are underhooked or even double underhooked yourself.



Like Matt said, people can give you pointers but the best thing is to get in there with some good greco guys. I talked with Luis pretty often when making the transition and he gave me lots of pointers but nothing compared to getting in there with some guy's that have competed at a national and world level to really help you "get it".

Alive, experiential training will bring undisputable change when you tie up with a legit greco athlete. Just remember, ice and motrin are your friend. As we like to say, it will give you a realistic view of your abilities.

Matt's tapes are the best, along with Coutoure's and Henderson's. I don't say that because I am affiliated with the SBG but because athlete's I respect have watched those tapes and given great feedback on the material contained in those tapes. I have had the chance to watch some recent tapes put out by some of the top name guy's in martial arts, my friends at the greco club watched as well. Trust me when I say some people should never let the word "pummel" cross their lips again. Heads bent over, or straight up and unprotected, no dominance of head position, elbows flared out, no forward pressure, no jukes, no intensity, no wedge, and completely clueless to their incredible display of ignorance. Then to throw in a caveat that their approach to the clinch is based on fighting and striking, if thats the case then why are you leaving your body completely exposed? First year grade school wrestlers know better than that, as a matter of fact, one friend that coaches a local high school team is using two of the tapes to teach his guy's what they should not do! But, I digress, my point is simply this, find a good greco guy and you will figure all this stuff out the best way possible, experience.

Here is something you can drill a little than wrestle. Training partner grabs you with a single neck tie, put your hand on his ribs under the neck tie elbow. Now just take your other hand and bump/slap the bicep/elbow of his single tie arm out and away from your center, now drive your shoulder that is connected to the hand that is on his ribs, hard into the opening created by your bump, drive hard into his arm pit with your shoulder, your hand should pop out behind him, sink your hook, dominate head position, wedge and move so you can start getting him off-balance while you tighten up the hook or transition to your next objective.

We call these bump and runs, do about fifty or sixty with your training partner, go two for two (you do two, he does two), one on each arm than switch so your arms (biceps/elbows) don't get too banged up. Than we wrestle for position with the objective of using this move as the trick of the day to achieve position. The secret, if there is one is to bump and run on the neck tie before he has it sunk, bull your neck to make it harder for him to sink it, than chain bumps with russians and level changes to take him out of his game.

Hope this helps and I hope to see you guy's in Ohio in May.

-Paul Sharp


Hey Kev..I think Paul was referring to my post about maybe having the Singer Bros. in around or after May! I really hope to make this happen....

Great posts Matt and Paul! I'm going to train this this week as well, and review my SBG Clinch video!

Aus...I would like to hear your input on the subject if you have a chance!

Thanks fellas!!!! mike H