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Clinch Lesson #5: Control & Strike from the One-arm Collar Grab (3 videos)

This is the 5th lesson in our Clinch 101 series.

The collar grab clinch (aka collar tie) is a crucial technique to learn as part of a well rounded self-defense program. Additionally, the one-arm collar grab clinch, also known as the collar tie, is a favorite among many Muay Thai Kickboxers, MMA fighters, and Krav Maga practitioners for its simplicity and brutal effectiveness. This technique is essential when defending yourself in the street or in the ring.

Unless you are fortunate enough to knock out an assailant quickly (which is easier said than done), you are more than likely going to end up in some sort of clinch situation. If you don't know how to successfully fight in the clinch, you risk getting knocked down or taken down to the ground, leaving you in a very vulnerable position. Trying to get up off the ground when a bigger or stronger person is on top of you pounding down onto you is a nightmare!

This offensive variation of the one-arm collar grab involves initiating the clinch to set up striking combinations, (a defensive version is covered in a later lesson).

How to perform:

  1. To perform the one-arm collar grab, face your partner and wrap your hand (thumb and four fingers together) around their neck, ensuring your wrist is at the back of their neck.

  2. Squeeze tightly while pulling downward, maintaining a stance that avoids standing upright or leaning backward. This position provides control and leverage in the clinch.

  3. Do Not lean backwards or reach too high when trying to secure this clinch. Instead, strike the assailants groin to get them to lower their head so you can get the collar grab.

Strikes from this clinch include:

  1. Deliver knees to the groin, solar plexus, or head if the assailant is bent down.

  2. Deliver horizontal or vertical elbows to the opponent's torso, face, or head.

  3. Scratching, and biting the assailant can also be used if other techniques don't stop them.

Training drills that are essential to mastering the one-arm collar grab:
  1. Practice controlling and moving a willing partner around in the clinch.

  2. Practice controlling and moving an resisting partner around in the clinch.

  3. Practice delivering strikes to partner (have them use protective gear) while moving them around in the clinch.

  4. Practice using the clinch in various defensive scenario (offensively, and defensively).

Below are three videos: one demonstrating the one arm collar grab clinch, another demonstrating knee strikes from the clinch, and a third demonstrating elbow strikes from the clinch.

If you're interested in learning more essential self-defense techniques and strategies for yourself and your family, check out my book, "The Short Fight," available on Amazon via this link:

As a bonus, you'll gain free lifetime access to my video library, containing over 100 self-defense and fitness videos, accessible at 

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Until next time, Stay Safe!

Lawrence Castanon

Author, The Short Fight


One Arm Collar Grab Clinch

Collar Grab to Knee Strike

Collar Grab to Elbow Strike

#theshortfight @theshortfight

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