Being able to fight or grapple from the Clinch is one of the most important aspects of Jiu-Jitsu.
Unfortunately, it’s also one of the least trained skills in many schools.
In order to have functional, self defense-based Jiu-Jitsu, you should spend as much time as possible practicing how to get to the clinch and how to maintain, attack, and takedown from there (as well as how to disengage).
And, as with anything in Jiu-Jitsu, it’s important to practice being comfortable in these positions so that you can make intelligent decisions on the most efficient option.
We take the submission, pass or sweep the opponent gives us not the one we want because that is efficient – and efficient saves us energy (crucial in a fight).
That said, one of the advantages of grappling over striking is the ability to manipulate an opponent into the position where he gives us what we want. We’re not forcing the thing itself but creating the environment for it to happen.
In this situation, I’m setting my opponent up for one of the most powerful and fundamental takedowns there is: the Leg Hook.
It’s important that I recognize the correct cue for which takedown applies so I’m not setting up the takedown so much as setting up the cue.
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