Dai Sempai Andrew and Instructor Luke will take you to a four-week course on simple yet effective Muay Thai grappling techniques. First up is the top lock technique. Check out the video to see the correct demonstration.


Hey, team! Dai Sempai Andrew here and I just want to take you through a four-week course, going through some very simple, yet very effective Muay Thai grappling techniques. Got instructor Luke helping me out today, and the first thing I want to touch on is maintaining that top control. It can be a tricky thing to do if you’re more at the beginner level or even some of those advance guys as well if you’re not practicing it too often.

Now remember, the main key to a nice, strong top lock is making sure that I’m not holding too long on the neck. Really want to make sure that my hands are nice and high. The elbows should be sitting around about on the collarbones with my hand locked onto that wrist. Without Luke there, this position here. You can see that if I’m on the back of his neck and he keeps his head up nice and strong, I’m trying to get that pull down, could be near on impossible. But if I can get those hands nice and high, now I can work on that nice, strong leverage and be able to bring that head down and control.

So once you get to your nice, strong top lock position, I’m going to really try and bring the hips nice and square, and bring my shoulders in and bring head in nice and tight as well. This is going to limit the gap between my elbows. So when Luke starts trying to do that position reversal, I’m going to use the elbows to shut him down. So as he changes, you can see I’m really controlling with the elbows.

Alternatively, if he tries to come around the top, all I’m going to do is start to use those elbows to control around his shoulders, again the other side, and I can steer and control his body. The more he starts to fight, obviously, the more he’s going to tire, and I’m just going to use my bodyweight to really hold on.

So again as Luke tries to come through the middle, again, I’m shielding with those elbows. Other side, elbows in nice and tight. If he comes over the top, I’m using those elbows to control. If I get his bodyweight moving to my advantage, I can then use that to add in those turns, which we can counter with the knees and everything else as well.

That’s just a recap for you, team. And when you are grappling, take your time. It’s not a strength competition. You really want to be able to work together well with your partner so you can get a good feel. Elbows on the collarbone, hand on the top of the crown, and I want to bring that head in nice and tight and shoulders high so I’m really starting to limit that gap between the elbows. As he tries to come through the center, we’re blocking with the elbows, steering, controlling. If he comes around the outside, again, I can use those elbows to control and use that tipping bodyweight to my advantage for my turns as well.

Thanks, team. Check out next week when I show you some defenses when someone is trying to use that bridge position as well.