3 Ways Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Can Improve Your Muay Thai Clinch

Thai mixed matial arts star Stamp Fairtex throws some knees in that clinch

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai may appear to be vastly different sports and, in many respects, they are. But when it comes to the Muay Thai clinch, these sports work hand-in-hand.

After all, what you learn in BJJ can improve your skills in the all-striking art immensely.

Below, we outline three ways Muay Thai athletes can enhance their clinch by incorporating techniques from Brazil’s greatest cultural treasure.

Practicing Hand Fighting In BJJ Improves Your Control In The Muay Thai Clinch

Mikey Musumeci Jarred Brooks ONE Fight Night 13 79

When fighters engage in the Muay Thai clinch, they often “swim” in and out of each other’s guard in an attempt to gain a dominant position. This can sometimes become chaotic and result in eating elbow strikes.

Jiu-jitsu’s hand fighting is extremely versatile, as it can be applied both when wearing a gi or while training no-gi. We seen this in the matchup between ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey Musumeci and strawweight MMA kingpin Jarred Brooks at ONE Fight Night 13.

This means you can use what BJJ teaches you about hand fighting in Muay Thai. After all, it provides a way to break past and gain an advantageous position.

By mastering the art of hand fighting, a Muay Thai fighter can apply this knowledge to their clinch game and experience a dramatic increase in their performance and skills.

Knowing How To Frame In BJJ Develops Arm Control For The Muay Thai Clinch

Marcus Almeida grapples with Simon Carson at ONE 158

Anyone familiar with the Muay Thai clinch knows that the key to maintaining control is proper framing. Unfortunately, many inexperienced fighters make the mistake of simply yanking on their opponent’s neck, which is not enough to achieve a dominant position.

BJJ athletes are experts at creating frames, whether they control their opponent from underneath or look to take them down from a standing position. This skill can be incredibly useful for Muay Thai fighters looking to level-up their game.

Having a grasp of this part of jiu-jitsu will prove invaluable. You’ll learn that proper framing and posturing are the keys to success, enabling you to control your opponent in the clinch, land punishing strikes and sweeps, and ultimately claim victory.

Learning How To Posture In BJJ Makes You More Balanced Inside The Muay Thai Clinch

Stamp Fairtex Alyse Anderson ONE Fight Night 10 23

Maintaining proper posture in the Muay Thai clinch is essential for success. If you hunch over, you risk being kneed in the face, while standing too straight can lead to being swept. Finding the balance between these two extremes is the key to success in the clinch.

There’s no doubt that former two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex knows how to makes these rules work in her favor. She is a master at controlling the clinch, as seen in her win over Alyse Anderson at ONE Fight Night 10 on Prime Video — ONE’s historic on-ground U.S. debut.

Understanding proper posture is essential in jiu-jitsu. It can be the deciding factor in whether you break your opponent’s guard or get pinned. A strong posture can help you free yourself from the closed mount, or allow you to exert your will and gain the upper hand. Mastering the right posture is key to ensure victory in jiu-jitsu.

Muay Thai fighters can benefit greatly from studying the posturing techniques of BJJ athletes, as the slightest arching of the back can have profound implications for the success of a given move.

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