Clinch and Wall

The Clinch and Wall dynamic drill is where it all starts–on the feet. Here are the major elements we start with:

  1. Wrist Grip
  2. Collar Tie
  3. Level Change
  4. Wall Press

Wrist Grip

We’re looking for wrist control so that we can use the arm-drag and other arm-based controls in general. The arm-drag is a key element in the standard Down and Up dynamic drill.

Collar Tie

The collar tie gives us control over a challenger’s head which, in addition to wearing them down, leads to the front-head-lock. The front-head-lock turns into a guillotine-choke and/or takedown to top-rear-mount.

Level Change

The ability to drop down, squatting, gets us under a challenger’s defenses and sets up our shots. Shots, or shooting, is grabbing on to the legs for a takedown. It’s is a key element in the standard Down and Up dynamic drill.

Wall Press

Pinning our challenger up against a wall is a good strategy for controlling them, wearing them down, and setting up takedowns like the double-leg used in the standard Down and Up dynamic drill.

While most jiu-jitsu schools don’t make use of the wall as a regular part of training, we use it in our fundamental curriculum–and beyond–for the sake of self-defense.

In a typical sport oriented BJJ school you might see a handful of techniques taught–a few self-defense tricks just in case. In our curriculum though, we make constant use of the wall as a strategic element. We use it standing and from the ground. Playing the wall builds greater awareness and adds certain tactical advantages over someone who isn’t used to it.

Multi-Level Strategy

Collar ties give us a way to attack at an upper level, wrist control happens at middle level, and the level change gets us down to the lower area of the legs. With these three elements we can mix our attacks to throw off our challenger. Fake high, go low. Or the other way around. Move left, then suddenly cut right. Get them pushing into you, then pull to over extend them. The more we can mix our attacks the better.

The wall part of the Clinch and Wall drill helps us mix the ranges we use as well. When we pin someone on the wall, known as pressing, we force them to work at very close range. When we’re in the middle of the room but still tied up with our challenger we say we’re at a more open range, because there’s more room to maneuver. Finally, we can disengage completely and work from a long range.