A Brief Guide to Elbow Strikes

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by AndyMaBobs, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. AndyMaBobs

    AndyMaBobs Brown Belt

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    THE HOW-TO OF HELLBOWS: VOLUME I
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    When fans think of this sport, they first imagine razor-sharp elbows cutting through the air and slashing skin from skulls. Whereas boxing is all about the hands, Muay Thai is defined by its elbows.

    A well-placed elbow is a close range, devastating strike that is woefully underused in the West. This is surprising as they are one of the most diverse weapons a fighter can have in their arsenal.

    While we do occasionally see close range elbows used to devastating effect, it is very rare that you see a farang muay thai fighter or a mixed martial artist use elbows to their full capacity. Elbows are commonly thought of only as that “brutal” technique that you throw from the clinch. This a very limited way to think of elbow strikes.

    Today we are going to go over the good, bad and ugly of elbow strikes, plus the various strategies that you can employ to make the most out of them.

    FINDING THE CORRECT FORM
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    First, we need to go over the dos and don’ts for the three basic elbow strikes. Correct form will maximize your power with the bare minimum effort required from you.

    UPPERCUT ELBOW
    This simple strike should be the first elbow you learn. To perform the elbow, you simply step towards your target and whip your elbow up vertically in a motion similar to combing your hair. This elbow is particularly useful for slashing up and between the guard of your opponent, hitting them directly. It also serves as a great ending to a combination.

    Common mistakes include:

    • Failing to raise elbow high enough. This results in less elbow strike and more forearming your opponent in the face. While a forearm to the face certainly isn’t comfortable, it doesn’t have near the devastating impact of an actual elbow strike. When shadowboxing an elbow, you ideally want your elbow to be pointing out from your eyes to ensure it properly hits your opponents chin.
    • Not taking a step. Taking the first step towards your opponent gives you more reach and power. Elbows are a close range weapon, so you need all the extra distance you can. When your opponent is advancing towards you, that forward step will cause a collision and likely bust up their face.
    HOOK ELBOW
    If you throw a lot of lead hooks when you fight then this should be a fairly straightforward strike for you.

    You begin by bringing your arm up in the same way you would to throw your uppercut elbow. However, as soon as you bring your arm upwards, it is time to turn the elbow horizontally to slash across your opponents face. In order to generate power, you should pull backwards the hip and shoulder opposite your striking elbow, shifting your weight to the opposite side to properly pull the elbow through the target.

    Common mistakes include:

    • Pulling your arm outwards and towards the target. A proper elbow strike should come up and in, not unlike a proper round kick. This prevents telegraphing it and speeds up the strike. It also gives the elbow more power as you hit them in the middle of your strike rather than at the end.
    • Not shifting your weight. If you throw a right elbow, you need to shift your weight to your left and vice versa. This will keep you balanced and allow you to get far more power into your strike.
    OVERHAND ELBOW
    While it’s hard to throw an overhand elbow without a telegraph, it is one of the best elbows to throw in combination.

    Start with a step off your opponent’s centerline and allow your elbow to come up, before bringing it down on your opponent – like an axe chopping a block of wood. As you do so, you again bring your weight to the opposite side of the elbow you’re throwing to remain balanced and deliver more force.

    Common mistakes include:

    • Staying on the opponents centerline while on the front foot. When you are on the offensive, it’s important to take the step off line. If you take a step directly towards the opponent, not only are you putting yourself at risk by not taking any angle, but you are also making it harder to land an already fairly difficult strike.


    The rest of the article covers boxing with elbows and how to split the guard!

    http://www.muay-thai-guy.com/a-guide-to-elbows-in-muay-thai.html
     
  2. Silver tongue samurai

    Silver tongue samurai Ronin

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    Definitely giving this a read! Been trying to "sharpen"up on my elbow knowledge and i love your previous work my dude
     
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  3. AndyMaBobs

    AndyMaBobs Brown Belt

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    Awesome dude thank you for the props.

    I hope it works, I'm turning more and more into an elbow and knee specialist and I don't very often see them talked about here!
     
  4. ARIZE

    ARIZE Blue Belt

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    Maybe because you people wont stop posting about punching and head movements and other nonsenses for MT, instead on focusing on the basics... Teep, roundhouse, elbows and knees...

    Will read the article and come back to you later.
     
  5. Silver tongue samurai

    Silver tongue samurai Ronin

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    what-do-you-mean-you-people.jpg
     
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  6. Silver tongue samurai

    Silver tongue samurai Ronin

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    I totally agree! Im one of the only two guys who owns elbow pads at my gym so majority of training them is on a double end bag (i feel like it teaches to cut more than a heavy bag) and your artical was an awesome brush up on the mechanics. Cant wait to learn about defensive elbows (any 52 blocks in there;) haha)
     
  7. AndyMaBobs

    AndyMaBobs Brown Belt

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    Not even kidding, I've been involved with Muay Thai for 5+ years and I'm getting to the point where I'm going to be coaching - and I've never even owned my own shin guards.
     
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  8. Mik3ThaMartian

    Mik3ThaMartian Teh Black Jew

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    I’ve always thought of elbows and punches to be like a brother and sister.... they essentially use the same mechanics the elbows just tend to have more violent energy due to it being a very short range weapon
     
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  9. Silver tongue samurai

    Silver tongue samurai Ronin

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    LOL all well and good but youve been able to find ones to use? My gym doesnt have spare so im isually just left elbowing to myself, quite the sad ordeal
     
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  10. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    I find there's 2 type of tactics for elbows. The cutting one which we all know, and "bashing". Personally I've never been good at cutting type, but bashing does wonders for me. One of my favorites is a downwards one, the elbow moves kind of like a 10 to 4 motion. It sounds like a horizontal one, but its a vertical one.

    One problem I had as I've mentioned, was being rangy with my punches (even my hook tends to be slightly more open than normal), and when I started doing elbows I didn't know how close the range really was. I was always missing my strikes by an inch. Once I got it down, it became better. That's something to keep in mind, esp. someone's heavy on more "boxing" mechanics

    Another thing to note is having the other hand up when in range as I'm elbowing; As soon as I throw one, I'm receiving one immediately. It surprised me how fast theirs came out, close to 1/5ths of a second

    @AndyMaBobs just bangs without protection!
     
  11. ARIZE

    ARIZE Blue Belt

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    I was taught to use the 10-4 to cut, and the more horizontal/upward to bash. If i see an opening to the chin, I bash, if I only have an opening to the forehead, I cut... I just try to graze with the pointy part of the elbow, so a lot of times I miss, but if I make contact, it's almost a guarantee cut...

    For me it's the exact opposite... Never really used hooks in MT. But when I train pure Box, I've got a good powerful tight short hook (inside fighter style), but an awful long hook, specially with the lead hand. But for MT, it's kind of useless for me, since when I'm in range for a short hook, I use the elbows... And I never throw long ones...

    Basic rule for the elbow inside the clinch, is to control the opposite arm before throwing the elbow. The usual answer to an elbow, is the elbow...

    @Silver tongue samurai

    You know who I'm talking about... And they know... Facking traitors...
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  12. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    @ARIZE

    Most of the time for me hooks are for setups to kick. Other than that I tend to get it mostly as a counter. I credit learning more "hands on" before elbows is due to the ruleset. Banning of elbows until intermediate+ is the way its set up here. And even then, the elbows are padded with a bulky pad, no cuts is happening with padded elbows + headgear. Once I hit intermediate, we started focusing on elbows. Looking back, it would have been better to have been taught from the ground up on elbows than just jumping straight into it.

    manlets
     
  13. AtlSteel

    AtlSteel Blue Belt

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    Here's a good way to split the guard with an elbow -
     
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  14. Silver tongue samurai

    Silver tongue samurai Ronin

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    Works well off the jab to start an elbow combination i find
     
  15. AndyMaBobs

    AndyMaBobs Brown Belt

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    This is good, but i'd recommend getting good at a regular up elbow to split the guard. The elbow that Silva threw worked because the opponents guard was already open thanks to the opponent keeping ear muffs on.
     

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