Book Review: “Fighting in the Clinch” by Loren W. Christensen and Mark Mireless

Another book review for you: Fighting in the Clinch by Loren W. Christensen and Mark Mireless:

The book starts with a foreword by Big John McCarthy of UFC fame and then goes right into the nuts and bolts of clinching. The authors briefly cover clinch models for Greco-Roman, Freestyle, Judo, Sambo, Western Boxing, Muay Thai and what they call “Street Slop”

Next up is the fighting stance and some footwork drills. Chapter three goes into the outer-perimeter clinch and goes into detail on concepts like the tie ups, controlling the box, the post, clearing his arms, inside control, hand fighting, set ups and much more.

Chapter four is a big one, it covers a variety of takedowns for the street and how to get them. The chapter starts off with an interesting section of “do’s and dont’s” and then delves into the techniques: double leg, single leg, high C, lift  and slam, they’re all there.

We then move on to close-contact clinching, which is what most people’s idea of a clinch really is. Once again, you can find a generous amount of techniques, concepts and tips.  From the modified muay Thai clinch to the drive down, from the arm drag to the foot sweep over pummeling and so much more. This chapter alone gives you a full course on clinching, making it one of the key chapters of this book.

The next three chapters go into the aspects that are critical for street self-defense; using your attackers clothing against him and striking (both with the upper and lower body) in the clinch. If the previous chapter gave you the “pure” wrestling techniques, these here teach you how to combine them with striking. The authors show numerous hand, fist, elbow and shoulder strikes you can do in the clinch, along with kicks, knees strikes, stomps and rakes for good measure.

The final chapters puts the icing on the cake by delving into pinching, ripping, tearing and head butting. From tearing off eyelids to ripping off nipples, you learn all sorts of dirty tricks for the street and how to combine them for best effect.

“Fighting in the Clinch” is a great book for anybody interested in the clinching aspects of street self-defense. That said, it’s of particular interest to MMA practitioners or anybody else who uses the clinch in their combat sports. The reason’s very simple: This book shows you the differences between clinching in the ring or cage and out there on the pavement arena. Sure, there are  loads of similarities. But it’s those differences that get you hurt or killed and that’s what this book focuses on.

If you’ve been grappling for a long time, chances are you’ll know a lot of the material here as far as techniques go. And if you’ve competed a lot, you’ll have run into a number of “illegal” moves too. Still, you’ll likely pick up a couple things because of the focus on self defense.

If you’re new to grappling and want to train for self-defense, then I recommend this book 100%: The chapters cover all aspects of clinching,  the  emphasis is on techniques and the authors give you plenty of them. If you study the book with a training partner, you’ll have pretty much a full curriculum to practice and increase  your skills in the clinch. Don’t hesitate, pick up a copy.

Nothing to say but good things. The pictures are clear and formatting is good.

Buy it HERE.


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  1. seeing is beleaving says

    make a demostrative video to complement the book

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