Elbow strikes are one of the weapons that are unique to Muay Thai. Elbows in Muay Thai can give an impactful damage, even to knock out the opponent since it usually targets the head area of the opponent, including their jaw.
Elbows come in many styles, from the simple to the flashy, they’re all equally deadly when executed well. Here, we look at five ways of using elbows to strike in a Muay Thai fight.
1. Horizontal Elbow
The horizontal elbow, also commonly called as sok tad, is one of the most commonly used Muay Thai techniques and the most straightforward elbow techniques to master since it’s very similar to throwing a punch.
To perform this technique, start in your fighting stance with your hands protecting your face. You can throw your elbow towards your opponent while torquing your body. After you land your elbow, bring your attacking arm back to its starting position.
2. Slashing Elbow
Slashing the elbow is quite similar to the horizontal elbow technique. To throw the slashing elbow, you must raise your arm angling the elbow slightly higher than your head and bend the elbow so that the upper forearm is almost touching the biceps. Twist the shoulder while throwing the tip of your elbow downward in a 45 degree angle. The hip should be rotated inward at the same time the shoulder is twisted to add power to the strike.
3. Downward Elbow
The downward elbow is an effective technique to get through your opponent’s guard. This technique squeezes through your opponent’s guard to hit their most vulnerable areas like their nose, forehead, or cheeks. It can be used as a direct attack or as a counter.
To execute downward elbow, throw your elbow toward the target, angling it slightly downward.
Turn your hips and feet to put more force to your attack.
4. Upward Elbow
Upward elbow, also known as uppercut elbow, is another basic striking technique in Muay Thai. The move is mostly used from within the clinch to target the chin or as a nose breaker.
Performing this elbow technique is very similar to when you throw an uppercut. But instead of using your fist as a contact point, you are using your elbow.
5. Spinning Elbow
Spinning elbow is more of a flashier elbow technique used in Muay Thai, but that doesn’t make it any less effective then other elbow technique. When it’s executed well, a spinning elbow lands with enough force will surely turn your opponent’s lights out.
This elbow technique can be thrown both from striking range and the clinch. Spinning elbows from the clinch are typically the most devastating since they’re harder to see coming from that position. To do this technique, you need to rotate your left shoulder toward the right side of your body. Twist your torso and send your right elbow into your opponent’s face.
6. Diagonal Elbow
Diagonal elbow, also known as sok chieng, is a Muay Thai elbow technique that is commonly used to cut open the opponent. To land a successful diagonal elbow, it requires a close distance between you and your opponent. That is why this elbow is often utilized from the clinch where both fighters’ heads are pressed close together and there is limited room to throw elbows.
To execute a diagonal elbow, pick up your elbow and drive it down diagonally over or between your opponent’s hands. Pivot on the back foot and rotate your body to transfer the body’s power into the elbow.
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