So, we started a vlog! This is the first episode!
Ok, so, yeah. I have been doing tutorials, so it's not exactly a new thing I'm doing here. However, I'm specifically creating this as an intentional vlog series, so I can compartmentalize the different styles I cover in tutorials. That means I will have another training vlog on Choy Lay Fut Kung-Fu forms. And a separate one on Choy Lay Fut Kung-Fu basics and pad drills. And who knows, I may even start a Tai Chi one, although, I'm hesitant about that one because there are too many people ready to troll Tai Chi stuff, so I may leave that one alone.
So back to the topic at hand. The clinch. What a great technique! 99% of martial arts styles will tell you to stay standing and try to outstrike your attacker. While that strategy could work, it's not scalable, meaning, that will not work for the majority of folks, if you take into consideration that the opponent is:
I'm not saying that striking is useless. I'm a Kung-Fu guy, and our main bread and butter is strikes. I believe in using strikes, but not as the dominant form of survival. I believe in neutralizing their attacks, first, by getting into a safe position. From there, let them exhaust their energy. Then, I use strikes to improve my position. After that, then I'll go for a submission or escape. That's how I feel strikes can best be used. I'll use the strikes as a way to make them move in a way that's more advantageous for me to control them. I'll talk about this in another vlog episode.
There is one thing that is uncomfortable about the clinch strategy - you have to get in there! You have to get comfortable with the closeness. Look, I know you're probably a Kung-Fu or traditional striking based martial arts practitioner, or you've not done any martial arts at all, and this idea does not seem appealing. I get it. It's a personal space issue, and I totally, 100% understand, and don't blame you for not wanting to try or practice this. I was pretty averse to this, as well. Until I saw the undeniable and scientifically proven and scalable value of this strategy. And I realized, if I can avoid having my students do full contact, striking-based sparring for acquiring self defense skills, and have them work on developing these strategic and scalable tactics, I will be giving them way more realistic self defense tools to not get beat up. Yeah - it's uncomfortable, I get it. But, any type of combat training is uncomfortable. It is, after all, combat. So either full contact fighting with strikes - which is very dangerous to those involved, relies on athleticism, not scalable to size/strength differentials, quite demoralizing (people tend to quit once they start hard sparring), and injuries ALWAYS happen... or The training of managing the distance, getting in close, neutralizing attacks, patiently holding position while they exhaust, improving your position (if need be), and ultimately getting them to submit to your control.
This can be done cooperatively, lightly at first, and eventually, randomized with a progressively higher levels of resistance. It's a very safe practice, no injuries should occur, and it is done in a way where we are helping lift each other to prepare for a typical street attacker, always assuming the numbered list I outlined earlier. Both methods cause uncomfortability. Again, this is combat - it will be uncomfortable. But the training method of the latter is, IMHO, way more effective, way more scalable, way way safer, and very uplifting. We are preparing for the worst case scenarios. So, all that to say, please- give this clinch strategy a try. All of the videos in my self defense training vlog will be us staying in close, and understanding the science of leverage mechanics, distance management, and human bio-physics. I would much rather you have this as your reflex, than to think you should go toe-to-toe, trading strikes with a bigger and stronger attacker. I just don't want you to get beat up.
What more can I say? I will tell you this - I'll keep hammering this message, because I know it will take a lot of repetition, demonstration, and just exposure to help cultivate the mindset to consider this option for self defense.
Follow me for more Martial Arts Instruction on social media:
Twitter - @AustinKungFu
Instagram - @AustinKungFuAcademy