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Take-down from the Clinch – with Mike Gillette

Being in the clinch in a street fight is a dangerous place. An attackers buddies can attack you from behind, you don’t have much mobility, you can be easily forced to the ground, and it typically lengthens the fight (exposing you and your loved ones to more risk). For those reasons you want to transition from the clinch as quickly as possible. The reverse arm bar in the clip above taught by Mike Gillette is a technique you need to have up your sleeve. It’s simple and it works great, even for smaller guys like Mike.

The first step is to make sure that you do the lock while at least one of your arms is on the inside. If both your arms are on the outside of his, use another technique, there are plenty of other great options (knees to the groin, headbutt etc.).

Once inside the clinch make sure that you do the lock while at least one of your arms is on the inside.

Take the arm that is on the inside and loop it up and around his arm and back toward your body as shown in the video. This will give you a leverage advantage locking his joint and giving you control over his body. However, the key to making this work, especially with a large attacker, is a distraction strike. As Mike shows in the video this can be a throat strike or simply snapping the head up and over by striking the chin.

Either way the goal is to distract the attacker and gain another point of control over his body to complete the take-down.

The goal is to distract the attacker and gain another point of control over his body to complete the take-down from the clinch.

In the video, Mike explains these two components separately. In real life they need to happen simultaneously. The attacker will be thinking about the throat strike and not even realize he is being put into a joint lock.

Now there are certainly less complex ways to transition out of the clinch, however this technique will give you control of the attacker and prevents him from recoiling from a simple throat strike or eye gouge. Some times control is necessary, especially when you have loved ones who need to escape, or if you need to do more severe damage if you are in a place where you cannot escape after a few simple strikes.

For more simple combat technique from former Army Airborne Soldier, Veteran Swat Cop, and Police Chief Mike Gillette check out his DVD package here.

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20 thoughts on “Take-down from the Clinch – with Mike Gillette”

  1. Very nicely done. Clear explanation and viewed from a couple angles.
    I like it. Plan on using it too.

  2. Watched the short video and thought it was an excellent move. I’m 65 yrs old now, don’t know how I got this old so fast, and am still in good health. However, i’ve slowed down some. Things like this are really good to know. Thanks Jerry Kirk

  3. I would be inclined (being 5’7″) to bring both of my arms from the inside around to the outside (the demonstrator uses his left arm singularly) and break/dislocate the opponents elbows and head butt his nose, thereby fracturing it.

    Btw, I am not law enforcement just John-Q-citizen protecting my wife and kids.

  4. Great move it works a treat ive read all emails from you i love it all totally ruthless very effective i would love to purchase your dvds but i am not in the position at the moment im itching to watch em it will be interesting to see how it comiares to bruce lees techniques please keep in touch thanks jamie

  5. Thank you Mr. Gillette, another great defensive move. These are much appreciated!
    Sending to my grandsons! Thanks again!

  6. This “Take down from a clinch” looks remarkebly simple and effective. Keep the extremely usefull tips coming.
    I am not in the position to purchase any of your videos at this time, but hopefully will be able to in months to come. The conversion rate USD to SA Rands is exhorbitant.
    Much appreciated.
    Jerry Paice
    South Africa