Muay Thai Kickboxing, is a hard style of martial art form originating from Thailand. This "Art of the Eight Limbs" incorporates the use of both hands, feet, elbows, and shins when attacking. This article focuses on muay thai elbow techniques.
There's basically three types of elbows you can throw. The football player elbow, Karate elbow, and Muay Thai elbow.
First, the football player elbow. These are the elbows you see thrown on the line of scrimmage after the ball's snapped. It's mainly designed to knock somebody down. It's basically a push with the forearm as a buffer. You don't do a lot of damage with it, but if you throw it hard enough you will get someone's attention.
The second elbow is the Karate elbow. Like the football elbow, the Karate elbow is thrown with the attacker's body weight behind it. This elbow is designed to smash through an opponent like a sledgehammer. The difference between these two is that you're definitely trying to hurt somebody with the Karate elbow, not just block or knock them down.
Lastly, and my favorite, is the Muay Thai elbow. The Muay Thai elbow is a nasty move designed to cut your opponent. Elbows are for close quarter combat. That means you have to step in close - you're definitely aiming for the face with this one. The Muay Thai elbow, when executed properly, draws so much blood because the sharp bone of the attacker's elbow is what makes contact with the opponent's face. The effect is akin to a cut from a knife blade.
There are a few things to remember when delivering elbows. First, as mentioned earlier, you have to be close. Keep in mind, when you step in to deliver an elbow, you run the risk of receiving one yourself. Make sure you keep your guard up with my inner forearm running in a direction parallel to your nose and torso. Some people like to keep a boxer's guard with the opposing open hand or fist resting close to or on the cheek or temple. That's fine, but I think someone with proper technique can blast an elbow through that type of guard and inflict some damage. Anchoring the palm of the opposing hand guards against this. In my opinion, it's the best way to protect against a counter-elbow strike.
Second, when training on the heavy bag, make sure you deliver your elbows strikes using solid blows to the bag. Don't scrape or drag your elbow against the bag - you'll just tear the skin off your elbow and make yourself sore. You won't hurt the bag and you won't look cool. Just don't do it.
Muay Thai elbows gives the practitioner and added advantage to the elbows found in other martial art styles. When executed properly, these elbows will devastate your opponent and end the fight quickly.