The Outer Clinch is a specific form of clinch.  It is unlike most of what you would see in the UFC yet is very common in law enforcement.  For those who understand Mixed Martial Arts, The Outer Clinch is when you are close enough to grab arms, wrists, hands, fingers, or clothing, but not close enough or in deep enough to underhook.  If you are close or in deep enough to underhook then you are in the Inner Clinch, or Clinch as it is referred to in MMA and wrestling.  For those who dont understand Mixed Martial Arts, all you need to know is that The Outer Clinch is a way of controlling a dangerous person from a relatively safe position without getting too close.


The Outer Clinch in sports

In a wrestling match, without strikes, there is handfighting, where fighters battle with hands for control of hands and wrists to set up attacks.  In a judo match, there is grip fighting.  Of course, when two fighters in the octagon are allowed to use strikes handfighting is not so important and gripfighting is a non-issue because they don't wear long sleeves. (Jon "Bones" Jones is a glaring exception to this no handfighting in the Octogon rule.)


The Outer Clinch in self-defense

In the real world, even with the strikes, the handfighting is still important.  The reason is because in the real world, fighting doesn't begin at the bell.  It begins when somebody attacks. In the real world there are many violent situations in which violent people will ALLOW you to do things to them that a UFC opponent would never allow you to do.

That is why the Outer Clinch is very relevant to self-defense, especially in law enforcement, despite not being very relevant at this time in the UFC.   Handfighting and gripfighting are arts used to establish position. Without a good position, you cannot get good leverage and without good leverage you cannot have good grappling. If a Badguy in the real world gives you an opportunity to take position, and he often will, you must take it.

So now you know that handfighting and gripfighting are part of the Outer Clinch.  What else? 

Any 2-on-1 control. 2-on-1 is a wrestling term that has since been borrowed by both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo.  2-on-1 is a large family of moves, attacks, used to control an opponents single arm, wrist, or sleeve with 2 hands, just like the name says.  A 1-on-1, grabbing a wrist with one hand, is also part of the Outer Clinch as is a 2-on-2.

Pretty much any standing arm, wrist, hand, or finger lock or manipulation is part of the Outer Clinch. Thus Chin Na, Aikido, etc. have aspects of the Outer Clinch in their game.

In my humble opinion, Wing Chun, when applied properly, is just handfighting with the strikes added.  You battle with hands and forearms to control the Badguy's hands and forearms to establish a superior position to deliver and defend strikes. So Wing Chun has part of the outer clinch in its game as well as all of the " trapping hands " styles: hung ga, white eyebrow, silat, kali, etc.


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