Muay Thai Techniques
Elbows in Thai Boxing
Using the elbow is a feared and dangerous tactic. The elbow is good for attacking and defending. It is especially useful when in close with your opponent. Practice working both of your elbows to perform flexible and quick attacks. The way m practice your elbow is by walking forward, lifting your elbow up and swinging it down with each step, Utemating between elbows as you step forward with each foot. You must also practice the eleven action steps for the elbow. These actions range from easy to bard, and each step is used for a specific situation during the fight. Therefore, you must not only learn the actions lit also consider when they are most effective. Your ability to use the elbow partly depends on how smart you are in strategy tactics. The purpose of the elbow attacks and the area of impact can be anywhere along the arm from the wrist to the shoulder. Look at the picture below for more understanding.
The sharpness of the elbow is equated to that of a razor blade. The elbow is deemed to be lathal weapon producing ghasthy cuts, a valuable tool for ultimate victory in the art of survival with bare hands. No other weapon could rival the elbow in terms of violence and blood-drawing capacity.
The elbow of a skillful boxer will always give the opponent anxiety and fear for his own safety. It could main or even sometimes kill the person at the receiving end. In Thai boxing, one has several types of elbow strike depending on the timing and opportunity. The following is about the use of the elbow, our lethal weapon for ages.
Mechanisms for the use of elbow At the beginning, one should practice the elbow against the punching bag so as to increase the toughness and sharpness of the elbow. The part which makes contact with the target is the sharpest and most pointed tip of the elbow.
To throw a sharp elbow strike, one must attempt to swing the elbow in the narrowest possible angle to increase it sharpness. The tempo most conducive to the inflicting of wounds is when the elbow tip just scratches by. The effect is similar to a thin and sharp paper going through our flesh very quickly, leaving behind a very deep and tidy cut. If a trickle of blood could be drawn, then one could use the subsequent elbow strikes to widen and deepen the wound. Do not hope that the first elbow that hits the target will finish the fight through TKO.
To throw an elbow properly, the posture is rather important. Both legs must stand fairly firm, acting like the pillar to prevent any stumble. The front leg moves towards the target, pressing the tip of the foot against the floor for a firm hold. The tip of the back foot should also press against the floor likewise. But the difference lies in a further movement, namely, at the instance of launching the elbow strike, twist the heel in synchrony to add to the momentum, while also twisting the hip and waist so as to facilitate the movement of the shoulder in swinging the elbow towards the target. Do not hit the target too bluntly. For example, if you want to open a cut around the eyebrow of the opponent, you must try to let the elbow point just lightly scrape the target, but the movement itself must be violent and sharp so as to open a cut. It is a perfect combination of delicate touch and force. However, if you want to hit the elbow against the opponent’s chin, you must use the elbow point to strike against that target squarely and with full force so as to knock out the opponent. Similarly, if you want to rupture the nose bridge of the opponent, your elbow must strike hard at that target sharply and decisively. In any case, you must be ever cautious by using the other hand to guard your face so as to protect against the counter-elbow strike by the opponent who is waiting to counterattack with his elbow.
The more quickly you twist your body and the more you could narrow the angle of your elbow strike the better will be the result, namely, in terms of reliability, precision, and confidence.
Types of Elbow Strikes
Muay Thai Direct Straight Elbow Strike:
Aspects of the Direct Elbow Strike:
Generally, Sok Ti is used to attack the target areas around the chin, the nose bridge, the point between the eyebrows, and the solar plexus.
To practice this method of elbow swing, you simply bend the elbow closely against the arm, as if they are together. Twist the shoulder, sending your body into the opposite direction, aiming to strike the elbow against the upper targets. In case the opponent counters with a punch, you should parry that punch away with your first, and swing the elbow against the desired target. Pick your time glued very carefully. Do not overuse this ploy, or else the opponent could preempt it.
Sok Ti could be used as a follow-up to the swing punch, namely, when the opponent steps closer, we could counter by throwing a swing. When the swing hands on the target, bend the elbow to strike against the target immediately.
In another case, when the opponent advances by throwing a hook to your ribs or your flank, you deal with it by using the fist to parry off that hook so that his upper body will be exposed. At that instance, you could strike the elbow at the areas from the forehead to the chin.
Sometimes if the opponent shoots a hook to the body, raise and tighten your arm to block it. At the instance of impact, you should tighten your whole body muscle to absorb the force of the punch. At that moment, the opponent will open the gap, so you strike the elbow against the area between the nose and mouth. This movement should be practiced by someone with sharp eyesight, great speed, and mobility. This elbow strike is so powerful that it could abruptly send the opponent unconscious onto the floor.
Furthermore, Sok Ti could be used in conjunction with the knee. When the opponent conies towards you, throwing a hook to your body, you can counter by throwing the knee thrust to his body while using one hand to hold the opponent’s arm and elbow to force open a bigger gap, then striking the elbow against the areas from the forehead to the top of the head. This method could open up a cut quite immediately.
In case the opponent steps to the inside, aiming to get a good clinch for knee-thrusts, you could easily deal with this. You should tighten up your whole body to counter his strong clinch, and try to extend your body with both feet touching ground still, then strike the elbow on to the area between the eyebrows. This could immediately open a gash.
To Counter Sok Ti
This is the secret of the Thai boxing circle. It is better explained by pictures than words. You would see from the pictures how to counter Sok Ti effectively. To counter
by this method could break the opponent’s hand. The more powerful the opponent strikes his elbow, the more violently will his hand be broken.
Some become overconfident when the first elbow strike hits the target squarely or quite satisfactorily, so they would try to use it again and again. One could cope with this by raising the hand to guard the upper body and not exposing any gap around the body in any case. Then use Та Harm Tap (Stop the Army Movement) by thrusting your foot against the upper thigh of the opponent. The more powerful is your thrust, the more your opponent will lose his balance or stumble away, leaving you with an easy target of your choice.'
Another countering method is when the opponent moves into launch an elbow strike against the upper target, raise and tighten your arm in the guard position as mentioned earlier or parry the elbow away with your hand. At that instance, launch a hook to his solar plexus. If this happens when the opponent is tired or around the end of the bout, your opponent will be very winded and his heart could even stop temporarily.
Or diagonal elbow - Sok Ti.
Step forward with your left foot and raise your left arm to protect the left side of your face. Your weight should be on your left foot as you bend your right elbow at 90 degrees and raise it to be at the same level as your right ear. Swing the right side of your body forward and thrust your elbow at your opponent in a circular motion. Your left foot should be the center of your swing, and the right foot should be pushed off of. You are attacking your opponent’s face with this elbow action.
Muay Thai Forward Elbow Thrust:
Or Horizontal Elbow. Step forward with your left foot and raise your left arm to protect the left side of your body. Raise your right elbow up to be 45 degrees off of your body. Swing the elbow forward and sideways. Swing the right side of your body and your right shoulder forward also as you push off of your right foot. Your left foot is the center of the swing. The target area is your opponent’s chin.
Muay Thai Elbow Uppercut:
Step forward with your left foot and raise your left arm up. In this position, you can protect the left side of your face. For attacking in this position, swing the right side of your body backward. Bend your right elbow and swing your upper arm forward. Swing your elbow sideways and forward fast and hard. You push off of your right foot for more power. Hit your opponent’s chin or chest with your elbow.
Muay Thai Degree Elbow Strike:
Step forward with your left foot and raise your left arm to protect the left side of your body. Bend your right elbow 90 degrees and lift it so that it is against the side of your face and your elbow is at the level of the top of your head. Swing the right side of your body forward and drop the elbow downward onto your opponent. Your left foot is the center of the swing, and your right foot is pushed off of for more power. This attack targets your opponent’s head and forehead.
Muay Thai Slash Elbow Strike:
Soak-na (Slashing Elbow) Step forward with your left foot. Lift and bend your elbow up and outward from the right side of your body. Swing the right side of your body, arm and shoulder forward, and bring your elbow forward and across. The target area is your opponent’s face or chin.
Muay Thai Spinning Elbow Strike
Step forward with your left foot, with your foot landing at a 45-degree angle away from your right foot. Put your weight on your left foot and lift up your right elbow and swing it backward. Pivot on your left foot and push off of your right foot as you swing backward and around. Your elbow, coming back around from the left, will attack your opponent on his right side.
Muay Thai Mid-Air Elbow Strike:
text from the books:
"Muay Thai Self Study" by Blackrouse group
"Muay Thai. The Most Distinguished Art Of Fighting" by Panya Kraitus