When you are clinching with a sparring partner you may find yourself locked in a body lock with your opponent. This is a common clinching position and can be used to score knee strikes or sweep your opponent off balance.

Since you have one arm over and the other under your opponent’s arms, this is a neutral position because neither person has the advantage.

An example of the neutral body lock position

While you might be able to get away with off balancing someone new in the clinch, if you face someone experienced you will need to utilize skill to throw them off balance. Waiting for your opponent to throw a knee strike can allow you to take advantage of one foot being off the ground.

Petchboonchu was extremely good at the body lock position in the clinch because of his excellent balance, skill and strength. Once Petchboonchu locked his arms around an opponent, there was often little that person could do to escape the lock.

The following video showcases Petchboonchu demonstrating an effective sweep from the body lock position in the clinch. 

Things to Consider

Patience and timing is everything when it comes to sweeping your opponent. If you try to perform a sweep without waiting for the right moment, your opponent will have both of his feet on the ground. This will make it difficult to throw him, unless you are trying to use brute force to do the throw.

Skilled clinchers can use their opponent’s body weight and momentum to throw them off balance. They don’t have to put much force into their sweeps, they are able to harness their movement of their opponent to throw them off balance.

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Clinching is an art that requires you to have a good sense of balance and control. Practicing these techniques in a controlled environment can help you develop the necessary technique to be able to perform it when you are clinching with someone who doesn’t know what you are trying to do.

The goal of any technique is to practice it enough so that you don’t have to think when you perform the technique. Therefore, repetition is important in learning how to perform different Muay Thai techniques.

If your opponent tries to pull off these sweep against you, you can push forward as they go for the sweep, which can help throw them off balance at the same time. This can interrupt their sweep and make it easier for you to stay on your feet.

Special thanks to Petchboonchu for demonstrating this effective technique. If you want to train with Petchboonchu you can learn more by visiting Evolve Vacation.