Muay Thai Elbow Strike

Nat and Mark have a post highlighting the very effective and devastating Muay Thai elbow strike - a great technique any serious martial artist should learn early and learn soon. It generates great power simply, forces you to get close, and allows you to have both hands up covering your body and engaging the opponent.

Original links to their posts:
TDA Training: Muay Thai Elbow Strike Muay Thai Elbow Strike

But the elbow strike should not really be considered more lethal or vicious than any other technique, even if they're introduced at a basic level. To do so misrepresents martial arts. Many beginners think that the techniques they learn when they're white belts aren't worth s***. WHy? Because these techniques could also be associated with their learning proper distancing in a controlled ... and often times tentative sparring/one step environment.

Within our taekwondo training program, I make concessions for this type of thinking early on due to the fact that beginners have to learn a lot of gross motor coordination. But I do try to aggressively dispel this notion that basic techniques are useless once these students are maybe 4-5 months into their training.

What do senior and more experience fighters use? They use staple taekwondo techniques all the time ... and very effectively at that. What is the recent one punch can kill campaign all about? It's about punches ... not your 560 degree tornado kick.

While control and tentativeness are a must for an exercise like sparring, there should be no question about the lethality of your 'basic' beginner strikes. The martial art student should be shown that lots of power can be generated, such power can be used to strike vulnerable areas on the body ... and they should understand the self defence issues of pulling out a properly executed martial technique. You don't just knock-out your cousin who's just insulted you at the family christmas party. Or decide to 'juice up' your uncle for grabbing a piece of your butt. There are implications.

Keep thinking, folks.


ps. Good post Marks. :-)
Colin Wee
Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia.

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Hey. Thanks for the shout out!

I agree with you that the elbow strike is devastating, but not as much more so than other techniques can be.

Personally, why I think that the elbow is so devastating is that it can be very unexpected. Because the elbow is pointing down and in most cases behind the fist, which is probably the more expected striking weapon, sometimes it can be shocking to be struck with it and can seem to come from nowhere.

Also becuase the elbow is one large sharp bone it can easily cut an opponant and to some, the sight of blood can make it seem that it is a more devastating blow than others.
Colin Wee said…
Enjoyed adding my two cents worth and adding another entry on my blog. You're right about the use of the elbow ... it comes from nowhere, doesn't it? Colin

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