Muay Thai Clinch Sweep: Off-Balancing Techniques

(Last Updated On: August 2, 2019)

By far one of the hardest to learn, the Muay Thai clinch sweep (off-balancing techniques) can take a lot of effort to be able to use it effectively in the ring.  There is just so much to learn and too many techniques to master to be able to do it swiftly and effectively.  From clinch knees to elbows, defensive moves, sweeps, and of course, off-balancing techniques, digging deep into the clinch realm requires in-depth research of how Thai fighters do it from they were 5 years of age.

What Makes A Good Clinch Sweep

Clinching, in fact, is considered part and parcel of a Muay Thai fighters prowess.  In Thailand, it is the potent action that subdues opponents before they get their combination moves on.  It is every Muay Thai local fighter’s way of life.  Definitely, it is not just kicking the living daylights off your opponent’s legs or strangling his neck towards your knees or elbows or sweeping him off his feet.  While Western Muay Thai seems to focus on sparring, the Thai’s concentration is on honing their clinching skills and creating varied techniques with one ultimate goal– to make your opponent lose traction on his strategies and dominate the game.


When it comes to clinching, developing excellent arm control and breathing are often taken for granted by many fighters.  Gaining potent control of your arms allows you to gain dominance when clinching regardless of good, bad, or neutral position.  With excellent arm control and proper breathing exercises, you can gain strong balance, fortify your endurance level, and prevent opponent counter attacks leading to a clean sweep.  Training your arms including the elbows, hands, and the shoulders to gain strength, flexibility, and agility will help master control– allowing you better chance of dominating the Muay Thai clinch sweep (off-balancing techniques).

Another important aspect for a perfect Muay Thai clinch sweep off-balancing technique is to hone your balancing skills.  With varied techniques to pursue in clinching an opponent, you need to learn how to stay balanced and up on your feet, no matter how vicious you get thrown to the ground.  When fighting, it is essential to keep your hips square to that of your opponent’s.  This stance allows you to effortlessly adjust your footwork and shift the weight from one side to the other when being swept or when positioning to sweep your opponent off-balance.


Check out this pic above.  Two Muay Thai fighters, while keeping their hips squared to one another have plenty of room for a knee attack.  When trying to gain an upper hand while maintaining stability and control on all limbs, always strive to leave as little space for the opponent to throw a knee or a kick to sweep you off your feet.  When on an aggressive stance, make sure to push the opponent to give you wide girth to sweep him of his feet.

Clinch, Sweeps and Timing


As a rule of thumb, sweeping an opponent and throwing him off balance is the core of clinching.  In professional fights, sweeps from a clinch often garner the most points.  This is even more so when one can throw an opponent off-balance without falling on the ground himself.  It is a way of showing dominance when both of you are head-to-head, arm-to-arm, elbow to elbow, knee-to-knee or even toe-to-toe.

To learn more, here’s an excellent VIDEO Tutorial to kickstart your clinch sweep off-balancing technique in Muay Thai.

While it may be easier to attain a perfect clinch with a sparring partner, it can be quite overwhelming when facing an opponent who trained as much as you have.  Resistance will be more or less equal or may even surpass your own learned skills in clinching.  The idea behind well-executed Muay Thai clinch sweep off-balancing techniques, however, involves a lot of timing.  Beyond good arm control, balance, flexibility, and good position, it is having a keen eye on observing when an opponent is on the verge or slightly off-balanced then, executing the perfect sweep to plant him to the ground.

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