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The Back (rear) Clinch (video)

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

When competing, I learned very quickly that standing in front of a bigger, stronger guy was a bad idea. However, getting around to an opponents back negated their strength and size advantage. It also minimized the amount of damage I received.

Likewise, in the street, taking an assailants back gives you multiple opportunities to end the fight quickly utilizing takedowns, trips, throws (i.e.. Suplex), ground striking, and submissions like chokes or armbars.

How to perform the rear clinch:

  1. Get to their back either by a front clinch(i.e. over-under clinch), or a takedown attempt (i.e. a failed double takedown)

  2. Wrap your arms around their waist and hold with a gable grip (palm to palm -don't interlace fingers).

  3. Squeeze tight, and press your ear and chest into their back.

  4. Control him by constantly shucking him off balance. This will allow you to set up a trip, throw, or takedown.

  5. Drive them down to the ground.

  6. If throwing (i.e. Suplex), lift with your hips not your back.

  7. Practice with a partner. The more you drill this technique the better you will get at it.

  8. At first your partner should be accommodating while you learn the technique. After you have a good feel for it, your partner should gradually increase the resistance until you are both working at full speed/strength.

Below is a short instructional video on how to perform the back (rear) clinch.

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Lawrence Castanon,

Author, The Short Fight


The Back (rear) Clinch

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