Kaensak’s Clinch Defence Mastery: Part 1

Kaensak Sor Ploenchit is well-known for being one of the most well-rounded muay Thai fighters of all time. He was mainly a Muay Tae (kicker) fighter but certainly didn’t lack in other areas – including the clinch.

As a former Lumpinee and Rajadamnern champion, and a two-time “Fighter of the Year” award winner, Kaensak was one of the most successful (and one of the most popular) fighters of the golden era.

The fight above took place in the early nineties vs Lamnamoon Sor Sumalee – a Muay Khao (knee fighter) who piled immense pressure onto his opponents’ defences to get into a range where he could utilise his best weapons – his knees.

Although he stood at a mere 5ft 7inches in height, Lamnamoon was a lanky fighter and almost always had the height advantage over his opponents – and this fight was no different.

Lamnamoon piles on the pressure from the off, attempting to force his way into knee-range.

An obvious tactic for Kaensak was to nullify Lamnamoon’s advances and stay out of clinch-range to avoid Lamnamoon’s huge thighs.

Kaensak displays some of the most efficient clinch defence techniques I’ve seen across the entire fight.

Some of the techniques he uses to fend off Lamnamoon’s attacks are knee bars, knee blocks, parries, slips, side-steps, arm-holds, hand-palms, pushes and teeps. He intersperses these defensive techniques with offensive strikes to pull off the win against the towering 4x Lumpinee champion.

His constant changing of angles shuts down Lamnamoon’s attacks again and again as he is forced to reset his feet each time to launch another linear attack.

Kaensak and Lamnamoon fought a total of three times – Kaensak won two of these encounters and the other was judged to be a draw.

Both fighters are now considered legends of the sport.

Watch Kaensak’s Muay Thai Highlight.

About Aaron Jahn

Aaron is an active muay Thai fighter and coach from the UK. He holds a BSc (hons) degree in Strength & Conditioning and is currently studying a Sports Therapy Master's degree in Leeds, UK. Aaron has fought over 20 times in Thailand and has spent years training at different muay Thai camps all over the country.
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