Though maybe not the quickest strike, the elbow strike is an extremely powerful and resourceful technique. It is in almost every striking martial art, including kung fu, karate, muay thai, and other martial arts used in MMA. The elbow strike can be used as a strike, but by slightly changing its angle it can become a block at the same time. Every martial artist should have this technique in their arsenal.
Correct Execution and Technique
There are a few different kinds of elbow strikes. For the first one, the horizontal elbow strike, lift your elbow to the side, equal with you shoulder. Keep your arm drawn in towards your chest, the hook of it facing the target. Now turn your body towards the target, rotating the elbow with it. Strike the elbow into its target.
The second kind of strike is a upwards strike. Just snap the elbow straight upwards from your guard, arm tucked in again like the first version.
The third version is a thrust. Instead of rotating it into the target, hitting with the outside of it, thrust the elbow out to the side, where your shoulder points. The impact is more on the back of the elbow.
Tips and Usage
The use of this technique is surprisingly versatile. The horizontal style can be an attack to the body (ribs, chest or solar plexus is desirable), the neck, or the temple/head. Try grabbing the head with the opposite hand, pulling it towards your strike and sandwiching it in.
The second kind is best served to the area under the jaw. If practiced often enough to gain considerable power, you can knock an opponent out.
The third type of elbow is best used to strike the solar plexus, ribs, neck and face. Because it is a thrust and is executed to the side, you have to position yourself in the correct angle, as well as be close enough. Whereas, with the horizontal version which is also short range, can still be executed by grabbing the opponent and bringing him to you.
Another tip on using the elbow is being resourceful enough to double them as blocks. If you make a horizontal elbow strike, but the opponent attacks after you do, you can raise your elbow to deflect it. Also, draw power into your strikes by shooting the energy up from the floor through your legs into your hips, which flick forward and propel the strike much like a punch.
You won't be sorry if you add this technique to your arsenal!