The Thai Elbow
A great weapon to have in your self-defense arsenal is the Thai overhand elbow. Few martial artists examine their underlying assumptions, or really pause to consider the question, “What does it take to stop a fight?” Some styles believe in multiple strikes, some believe in pain compliance, others believe in strikes to vital points, etc. My belief is in mass (size/area and weight) delivered powerfully. As I’ve said earlier, if you have to drop someone bare-handed, go to the knee.
Another good choice is the Thai overhand elbow. Since I fight out of a right-forward stance, I deliver the overhand elbow with my left elbow. The overleft elbow comes from 10 o’clock and moves downward diagonally.
Because the elbow moves diagonally, rather than horizontally like other styles, it can slice in between the opponent’s guard.
What makes the Thai elbow different from other styles is that the shoulder joint is loose. The tip of the elbow is whipped into the opponent’s temple or bridge of the nose. In Thai boxing, they actually cut with the elbows, because they are moving fast and are hitting with the tip of the elbow, not pushing with the forearm. I think of it like pitching a baseball –the arm follows a diagonal downward path, the shoulder is loose, the arm is whipped, and the waist twists to add power.
Practice the right jab, overleft elbow combination on a focus mitt or heavy bag. When performed correctly, the elbow will “fwap” the bag, like a snapping jab, not land with a dull thud.