We’ve All Seen it Before...
“What are you looking at, bro?” The Instigator postures up, inflates his chest and holds his arms further away from his body in an attempt to make himself look bigger and more intimidating. His piercing stare is meant to induce fear into his Opponent.
“Huh? Nothing. What’s your problem?” The recipient of this attention is initially taken off guard but is unwilling to concede or lose face to the Instigator in front of the others in the room.
“You’re my problem, bro. Checking out my girl and staring at me like you’re a tough guy.” The Instigator uses accusations to justify his need to initiate a conflict with his Opponent.
“You better get out of my face.” The Opponent is making a stand and showing that he is willing to throw down by making a threat of his own.
“Or what?” The Instigator tries to elicit an ultimatum from the Opponent so he can force him into a position to either put up or shut up. To either fight or lose face.
“Or I’m gonna kick your ass”, says the Opponent, as he shoves the Instigator away with a two handed chest push. Physical contact has been initiated. The ritual has moved into the next phase.
Let’s take a look at a Muay Thai technique called the Front Clinch, or the “Plum Clinch”, and its potential effectiveness as a self-defense technique or as a defensive tactic in the modern world.
What is Muay Thai?
Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) is a combat sport that can be traced to the middle of the 18th century. It has always been a combat sport involving empty handed one-on-one combat between two fighters. It’s known as the art of eight limbs because it uses eight points of contact to strike the opponent: hands, elbows, feet and knees. Striking the legs as well as clinching and tripping are legal techniques.
Here’s the scenario: You’re curious about training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) for one reason or another. You contact an academy and set up a trial class so you can get on the mats and see what you think about it. Afterwards, the Instructor or Program Manager sits down with you to go over the schedule and membership rates. You may be unsure of how often you're expected to train, or how often you should be training for the best rate of progression. Or, you could be one of those people who are either "All In or All Out". In any case, let me shed some light on starting out in BJJ and optimal training frequency for new students.
Jason Clarke. Owner & Head Instructor of Iowa City Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.