Muay Thai is known for having one of the best clinching games in the world of martial arts. You can punish your foe with brutal knees, punches, and elbows. But there is another fabulous possibility–sweeps and takedowns.
Sweeps are mostly game-changers, because your opponent usually ends up on the ground. If you’re skillful, you can slam your foe on the canvas and score points.
Good arm position and perfect timing are vital for a successful sweep. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most often used Muay Thai clinch sweeps and takedowns. We’ve got every single aspect covered!
NOTE: Huge thanks to Jeff Chan of MMA Shredded for creating this useful video that we were able to convert to written content.
Minor Reaping (Wheel) Sweep
You can do it against an aggressive opponent who constantly goes forward and tries to grab you to establish a dominant position.
Step 1. Grab the foe’s left triceps with your right hand. Place your left arm under the opponent’s right armpit.
Step 2. Pull the opponent down with your right hand. Push with your left hand up at the same time to get him off balance.
Step 3. Bend your left knee and put the outer part of your left thigh between the opponent’s legs. Put your right leg in the level of your foe’s ankle.
Step 4. Drag your right leg back and continue rotating your opponent clockwise. If you do everything properly, he will end up on his back.
- The hand under your opponent’s armpit must push him up, not left or right.
- Do not drag your leg backward too much or too little, because the opponent won’t have a hard time defending your sweep attempt.
Swan Neck Inner Reaping Knee Sweep
You can do it as soon as you establish a dominant position. React quickly to avenge your foe’s pummel attempt and earn points!
Step 1. Move towards your opponent, putting your arms between his arms. It will stop his double collar tie attempt.
Step 2. Put your right hand on the opponent’s left biceps. Place your left hand behind your rival’s neck, in the level of his cerebellum. The hand on the biceps pushes, while the hand on the neck pulls.
Step 3. Step to the right side with your right leg.
Step 4. Knee the inner part of the opponent’s left thigh. Push the opponent’s biceps up and away from you. Pull your foe’s neck counterclockwise in a circular motion.
- You must continue turning the opponent after you land a powerful knee to the thigh because he might eat a knee and remain on his feet. That’s the only way to disrupt his balance.
- Push and pull move has to be simultaneous. This is non-negotiable.
Front Foot Sweep
Your opponent will try to establish a double-collar tie many times in the fight. Here’s another creative way to stop him.
Step 1. Put each hand on the opponent’s biceps as he goes forward.
Step 2. Your right arm pulls the opponent down and clockwise, while your left arm pushes him forward and away from you.
Step 3. Tap the lower part of the opponent’s shin with the inner part of your right foot.
- You can perform this sweep with one hand on the foe’s neck too.
- You must continue turning your opponent even after you tapped his shin to disrupt his balance.
Over-Under Outside Reaping Dump
You can take your opponent down even if you have one under-hook in. Here’s a perfect example.
Step 1. Put your right arm under the opponent’s armpit, and place your left arm over the top of his right tricep.
Step 2. Take a Step with your lead leg (in this case left leg) behind your opponent’s right leg. Buckle his right leg inwards with your left knee.
Step 3. Push forward and to your left with your right arm to trip the opponent.
- You can rotate the opponent with your left arm to take him down more easily.
- It is very important to put your left leg directly behind the opponent’s right calf, otherwise, he’ll defend this technique easily.
Step 1. Establish an over-under position, keeping your right arm on the opponent’s left scapula and placing your left arm over your foe’s right triceps, on his right scapula.
Step 2. Try to pull your opponent down with your right (under-hook) arm. At the same time, your left arm is pushing clockwise to the side.
Step 3. Bend your left leg, pushing forward and straighten your right leg to trip your rival.
Step 4. Quarter-turn your right leg to finish the sweep.
- The push-pull move has to be simultaneous.
- Try to feint the opponent before attempting this sweep.
Full Clinch Dump
The starting position is different. In a typical clinch position, you are trying to pummel your opponent and knee him to the face.
But you intend to trip him!
Step 1. Wrap your right arm around the opponent’s neck, reaching your left arm over to the other side and gable grip in your hands. Your left arm’s forearm is tucked against a foe’s clavicle and chest. Your left elbow is pointing down to the floor.
Step 2. Push your head underneath the right side of the opponent’s chin to his neck.
Step 3. Pull the opponent’s left arm down and to your right (clockwise) with your right elbow. At the same time, use your left arm to lift upwards until your opponent ends up on the canvas.
- For step 2, there mustn’t be any space between your forehead and opponent’s neck and clavicle or he’ll slip away.
- You must pull and lift at the same time, otherwise, the opponent will escape the clinch by putting his left hand over your right shoulder. As soon as he extends his left arm, you’ll eat a brutal, potentially fight-ending right knee to the face.