Four More Elbows (diary entry)



Monday night saw the final lesson of my client’s second course in Muay Thai/Kickboxing. We looked at four new elbow strikes – uppercut, side, chopping and upward diagonal – and generally revised a lot of work done during this course.


The lesson began with mirror footwork. Next we went straight onto the pads warming up with punch/lock kick combinations followed by teeps and then moving onto a wider range of kicks. This gave me an opportunity to go over a few new combinations taught during this course. We also went through a section on clinching, covering posture and balance as well the curve knee drill.


I then brought in elbow strikes. We covered a few combinations opened up by the spear elbow and looked at setting up the smash-down elbow by datum setting with the lead hand. We used the jab to set up a lead horizontal elbow and, following the same principle, did the same with the lead hook and backward elbow. Spinning elbow was also used in conjunction with a lead hook and so was the kick-catch. Slashing elbows were also mixed in with punching combinations.


The uppercut, chopping and upward horizontal elbows were taught in the clinch. Upward horizontal was also taught off parrying punches – both inside and outside versions. The chopping elbow is a diagonal variation of the smash-down elbow. According the UFC’s Unified Rules, this is the type of elbow strike that is legal in competition although both chopping and smash-down (aka 12 to 6 Elbow) are completely legal in full Thai Rules Muay Thai. The chopping works well in conjunction with the upwards diagonal, striking along the same power line in different directions.


The side elbow was taught as a body shot in conjunction with a sweep. We used it off the back of deflecting a lead teep.


The lesson finished 4 x 3 minute rounds. The first round consisted of my client permitted to use all techniques but focused on getting in elbow strikes. The second round took place the clinch allowed elbows to the head by both fighters. The third round was full Thai rules. The fourth round was regular European rules (no elbows to the head).