My first lesson of the day was my client’s fifth lesson in Basic Muay Thai for Martial Arts Cross-Training (the seventh lesson in her second course with me). This became an elbow strike clinic, revising the previous lesson and introducing some new techniques.
We covered the slashing elbow, the horizontal elbow, the backward elbow, the uppercut elbow, the diagonal elbow, the chopping elbow, the spear elbow and the side elbow strike. These were worked in isolation and then combined with each other, with knee strikes, with punches, with kicks and within a clinching context.
The elbow strike features heavily in Muay Thai. It has evolved in the sport to be primarily a tool for causing cuts late in a fight, although knockouts are not uncommon. Being a weapon that is not easy to integrate in light sparring I used my overlapping training concept to help create as complete and realistic a training picture as possible. The technique’s niceties were addressed using touch contact application to targets. This was sometimes overlapped by using bare palms to protect the human targets. In order to increase fluidity, had the moves practised using training blades. These are also useful tools to convey the slashing, slicing, stabbing and all-round cutting delivery concept of Thai elbow strikes. The strikes were then taken onto Thai focus mitts to increase power. At this stage footwork is coupled with the techniques. Finally we did some specific sparring, using a head cage. The sparring was governed by having the fighter focused on attacking with elbow strikes and the coach using primarily kickboxing techniques.