Muay Thai, how to throw an elbow?

Ok, so I’m teaching myself Muay Thai at home, because I’m going to start it at a gym very soon. I’ve had boxing experience, so I can punch, and I’m getting the hang of adding kicks and knees. But I can’t elbow. Whenever I try against the bag, I either miss or scrape it. So what is the best way to throw an elbow?

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  1. Jon, 28 March, 2010

    if your planning on attending Muay Thai classes then why are you bothering to teach yourself Muay Thai at home, what is it you think they’r going to do at the class? not teach you? You think your getting the hang of kicks and knees, but without someone to tell you, then how do you know? you could just be developing bad habits and wrong technique. Just go down to the gym and they’ll teach you exactly what you need to know

  2. L@L, 28 March, 2010

    Muay Thai’s Elbow Basics
    Probably the most feared of all techniques in Muay Thai are the Elbow Strikes. With good reason! One well placed elbow can (and does!) end a fight during any round.

    There are a number of different strikes from numerous angles. I will try to discuss the most commonly used elbow strikes.

    A few bullet points first. I will try to remember them all this time rather than have to keep re-posting. (wish me luck…)

    *When you strike with the elbow, you ideally want to hit with the sharp pointy bone. If you were to hold your arm in front of you as if you were throwing a hook punch, the part of the elbow that you want to strike with is the sharp pointy bone on the bottom. To make sure that you are striking with this part of the elbow rather than flush or with the top part of the bone, you should hold your open palm towards the target.

    *it is of UTMOST importance that you keep your guard high and tight when executing elbows. If you throw an elbow, rest assured you will be given one (or more) in turn. Keep your guard high so that your wrists are at eyebrow level.

    *DO NOT REACH for the elbow strike. With very few exceptions, the elbows should be thrown at "CLINCH RANGE". They are designed to be subtle, yet quick and powerful. If you extend to far from your body, they lose power and are easily seen and avoided.

    *Because you are standing very close to your opponent, you must widen your stance to maintain balance. Face it, when that close, your opponent will grab you and try to throw you off balance. Learn to use the elbows WHILE clinching… find your opening and strike quickly!

    *Keep your elbow glued to the side of your body for as long as possible when executing an elbow strike. This makes the elbow harder to see coming. Also, the closer the elbow is to your body (center mass) the harder the strike will be. (this is some physics principle that I’ve heard of but am unable to quote. I do know that this technique works though…)


    Ok, on with the show.

    HORIZONTAL ELBOW STRIKE: Thrown the same exact way as a hook punch in boxing. Make sure that BOTH feet rotate.

    UPPERCUT ELBOW STRIKE: This elbow is best used to defend against a punch. Step inside the punch, bending you legs a bit (just like Mike Tyson does when he’s loading an uppercut). Bring the elbow straight up as you straighten your legs ALL THE WAY OVER YOUR HEAD! Keep the arm bent. Your hand should reach back and practically be touching your shoulder. As you staighten up and execute this elbow, you should rotate your body sideways to get the extra torque into the strike.

    VERTICAL or DIAGONAL ELBOW STRIKE: This strike is one of the hardest to learn, yet the most effective. Most people are aware that a Thai boxer uses the Peek-a-Boo guard. If you throw a horizontal elbow, you only hit his guard. What you want to do in this case is throw your elbow so that it comes straight down the middle, in between his guarding hands. In many ways, this elbow is similar to the horizontal elbow, except that you lean over your opposite knee as you throw. For example, you are in an orthodox stance (left-side forward) You wish to throw the right handed DIAGONAL elbow strike. Step with your left foot sideways as you lean your upper body over your left knee. Throw the elbow as you are leaning so that the otherwise HORIZONTAL elbow is now striking VERTICALLY in between his guard hands.

    These are the three most basic elbow strikes. There are a few others, of course, but we can get into those later.

    Again, I’ll wait a day or two for comments before getting into "when" to use the elbow strikes, and also how to use some of the elbow strikes not covered in this posting.

    Khun Kao Charuad

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