I'm Happy Elbow-ing Jacob in the Chest
Last Thursday we were doing a self defence drill against a bear hug from the back. The mian points were to steady oneself, perform a footstomp, extricate the hands, and elbow the opponent. Of everything the footstomp would probably be the real deal closer.
However, I spent some time talking about the elbow. Most of the elbow strikes I saw were striking the opponent with the length of the entire tricep. So I decide to get our resident green belt Jacob, and I proceeded to strike him fairly hard in the chest with the technique. The flat of the tricep meant that the strike bounced off him and he was shifted back. No real power penetrated into the body and no real pain was inflicted.
The elbow is best served front on. So in a backward facing strike, I would prefer to strike with the elbow in a downwards fashion. However, allowing myself to wind up by extending my hand forward, this position to 'ram' the elbow 'happily' into the opponent requires you to quickly bend your arm mid way, and then change the angle of your body (and position of the shoulder) in order that the force is sent from the point of the elbow (and not the triceps) into the opponent. Even lightly, this inflicts discomfort into the opponent.
Cause and Effect
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The Perkiti Tersia System
Chinto Bunkai Gankaku Angles