Sunday, January 31, 2010

Muay Thai Elbow Strikes Adapted for the Street, Still Useful in the Ring

The elbow strike in both muay thai and in MMA has been taught/trained as a close quarter strike, usually employed only in the clinch. I say, that's not entirely so. Adding drive to en elbow strike can not only be thrown from a longer distance, but can actually replace the heavy handed cross punch.

In the context of a street fight or close quarter combat situation (which is the main focus of my teaching) this driving elbow is a very important weapon in my arsenal. Here's my top 3 reasons why this technique is so important to know:

1. Power. The added force from your drive makes this elbow strike harder than a stationary round elbow by at least 70%

2. Dynamics. Unless your on the movie set, its a bad idea to believe that a single hit will end a fight. The driving elbow allows you to move while you strike, at an angle, moving you away from your opponent's center line. Since you drive in at an angle, you remain close enough to the bad guy to continue using elbows and knees while staying deep inside his range. Always throw multiple strikes (at least 3-5), then move and repeat.

3. For muay thai and MMA practitioners the drive elbow can help you blast through your opponent's cover, or at least the barrage will make him rethink how he needs to defend your upper body attacks. It's also a great technique to integrate in to combinations.

Here's a combo to try the next time you're in the gym:
Jab > Cross > Left Driving Elbow > Right Driving Elbow > Right Knee > Left Elbow
These strikes should force your partner to move backwards as you throw this combo. Note how your weight shifts as you strike with the driving elbows, and the last elbow should be thrown as you're coming down from the knee (no movement wasted). Let me know how it goes.

Tehcnorati - 2P6ZEU7EZD6E what a pain.