When locked up with another competitor against the cage, throwing the right knees can make all the difference in a fight. Battling for the right position in the clinch means being able to control your opponent’s position and controlling the direction of the fight. Here are 3 ways to throw a knee from the clinch.
Knees to the thigh
Pull from your grip on the opponent’s head using the strength of your core and bring your knee into the inside or outside of your opponent’s thigh. Depending on how your opponent is positioning him or herself, it may be easier to go for the inside or the outside of the thigh, but be sure to be extremely cautious of low blows when going to the inside. Attacking the thigh first will impair your opponent’s mobility, making them a fixed target for your next series of strikes. When you start to hit your opponent’s thigh, it also works to create space between you and your opponent
Knees to the Body
Hitting the solar plexus, ribs and abdomen with the power of your knee is a devastating strike. Fighters will commonly bring their knees up vertically or use strikes from the side in what is called a curved knee, round house knee, or side knee strike. If you are having trouble generating the space from the clinch to bring your knee up vertically, try torquing your body from the side and reach your target with a different method of attack. The body’s natural reaction is to double over at the onset of abdominal pain, giving you more space to work with and set up the deadliest knee strike possible.
Knees to the head
With the space created from knees to the thigh and knees to the abdomen, you will find an opportunity for using the knee to the head. This technique only works when your opponent’s posture has been broken down, and will not likely be successful without the space generated in the first two strikes. Once you have your opponent’s head secure with your grip, pull down on the head at the same time that you bring your knee up to generate the most power for a knee strike from the clinch. This is a kick with tremendous knockout power, and one of the most devastating blows in MMA.
Getting into the clinch and throwing a knee requires you to put all of your weight onto one balancing foot. Knees from the clinch require a lot of balance to be successful because your opponent can push you pack on your single leg quickly to get a takedown. Watch Anderson Silva demonstrate the Muay Thai clinch to master the finer points of making sure you win the battle in the clinch for the proper set up before you start throwing in knee strikes.