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#194534 - 10/16/05 07:59 PM Fists and Elbows
zanshi Offline

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 21
I was just wondering if anyone could tell me what the advantages and disadvantages of using elbows over fists are if any. I know that several "self-defense" courses don't advocate the use of the fist because it is something that "takes years to perfect" and you risk injury to yourself while hitting your opponent. An elbow seems like a logical alternative, and I'm told they have a lot more power than most punching techniques taught in "traditional" MAs. Any imput is welcome; I was also wondering if any of you practice a MA that emphasizes elbows over the fist? What is the basic reasoning behind the preferance for the elbow?

#194535 - 10/16/05 10:15 PM Re: Fists and Elbows [Re: zanshi]
Leapordsknowbest Offline

Registered: 11/24/04
Posts: 100
Loc: Nashville,Tenneessee
Muy Thai empizies on useing joints to strike.(elbows, knees, shins) Why so well test this. Have some punch you in the face;then elbow you in the face. You will know which hurts 100% more. Also fist break lot easier than elbow or shin do.

#194536 - 10/16/05 10:35 PM Re: Fists and Elbows [Re: Leapordsknowbest]
Mike_L Offline

Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 420
Loc: Rio Rancho NM/Louisville KY (U...
Its spelled Muay thai! And the elbow is a harder target but has a shorter range than a punch. You should use both punches/kicks at long range and elbows/knees at close range.
"There is no such thing as Perfection... Only excellence"

#194537 - 10/17/05 12:45 AM Re: Fists and Elbows [Re: Mike_L]
h2whoa Offline

Registered: 10/16/05
Posts: 427
Loc: Fiji
Elbows are my weapons of choice, using elbows makes your opponent lack power in his kicks and punches because you are to close for him to gather momentum!!

Not alot of people know how to fight in close. Unfortunately a lot of SD teaches you to "catch" strikes at the end of its arc!!

Good self defense is also jumping inside the range and smashing a good elow to the chin,cheek bone,collarbone etc etc.
No matter how fashionable it is on Krypton, I will not wear my underwear on the outside of my Gi!!

#194538 - 12/24/05 07:20 PM Re: Fists and Elbows [Re: h2whoa]
mantraman Offline

Registered: 05/12/05
Posts: 20
The elbows are used extremely well in bare knuckle muay thai. You can also see the additional use of the vertical fist punch, check here:

#194539 - 01/20/06 11:06 AM Re: Fists and Elbows [Re: zanshi]
RavenG4 Offline

Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 34
Loc: New Jersey, USA
The other thing isif you are in too close for an effective punch or kick the next available weapon would be your elbow or knees depending on where you were hitting. You need to use the right tool for the job.
"Evil is Powerless if the good are unafraid."- Ronald Reagan

#194540 - 01/21/06 05:27 AM Re: Fists and Elbows [Re: zanshi]
Subedei Offline

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
Range, pretty much. Hands also have a significant speed and repetition advantage.

Joints have excellent solidity and mass, but you've got to set them up. Anything that can get your hands behind your opponents kneck, for instance, sets you up for pulling his head down to meet a rising knee. Double knife hands to the temples for instance for quite well. In this instance his head isn't only accelerating towards your knee, your hands brace it.

#194541 - 01/21/06 06:02 AM Re: Fists and Elbows [Re: zanshi]
Taison Offline
The Forum Dragon
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3629
Loc: BKK, Thailand
Now the thing you have to understand is that punches should travel in a straight line [with the exception of hooks], when it does and your wrist is not in the same line, it could bend at impact and break. The thing that is good with punches is that they generate power all the way into the center of the target. I recommend that you hit with your knuckles squarely on your target.

Now, elbows needs torque. Elbows lack the penetrating power of the fists but is more powerful and is a lot sharper than fists. Don't hit squarely with an elbow and you can draw blood from your opponent.

The reason why many believe elbow hits harder than a punch; It doesn't hurt as much doing an elbow when compared to punch. Try punching a wall, it hurts. Now do the elbow, it doesn't hurt as much. It's actually quite all about physics. The longer the tip of the object, the more powerful will the impact be. Now why does elbow hit so hard? The turning motion of the body, shoulder, elbow and hips. That turning movement is a lot more powerful when doing the elbow then when doing a punch. That's the reason why elbows hit hard. The human body is a complex piece of machinery and sometimes, when things looks obvious, it isn't. It doesn't hurt as much when hitting hard with an elbow, so many can concentrate a lot of force behind it and smash away while with your fists, it will hurt and thus you won't put much power into it.

Elbow and fists can hit just as hard, it just requires training.

Now, why would you use elbows over fists? Range. Already explained.

-Taison out
I got two fists.. Don't make me use my head as well!

#194542 - 02/08/06 07:21 PM Re: Fists and Elbows [Re: zanshi]
swift Offline

Registered: 02/02/06
Posts: 10
- I beleive the best weapon is the one that will be the most effective. Balance is essential. Balance in the sense of being able to fight from all ranges.
- If faced with an opponent who is skilled and quick and knows how to evade attacks from someone who prefers to fight at close range then what...?
- Attacking with a elbow will not be very effective unless you know how to intercept punches and kicks and use your elbows then.
- Elbows are great to add to your arsenal..and use when effective

#194543 - 03/27/06 05:41 AM Re: Fists and Elbows [Re: swift]
MikeChaff Offline

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 175
Loc: England
There's another side to this, though. Elbows are also very effective against opponents who try to close distance on you. What if he lowers his head and barrels into you? No room for your fancy kicks! But you can still connect a good solid elbow.

#194544 - 04/07/06 09:30 PM Re: Fists and Elbows [Re: zanshi]
Mr_Moogle Offline

Registered: 02/11/06
Posts: 63
Ah yea, the elbow strike. One of my favourite moves to use...

Ahem, anyway here are some differences:
1) The elbow strike is stronger in power than the fist.
2) The elbow bone is harder than the knuckles/fist.
3) Elbow strikes are shorter distance than the fist and therefore are good for close range. At close range, the elbow can reach full distance much better than let's say, a jab, which uses a fist.
4) Elbows can be used as leg breakers. Yep, serious here. If someone fires a high kick on you or jump kick, let's say a hook kick of roundhouse preferably, just charge forward and elbow strike their shin or the back of their shin (depending on which kick they used). I tried this before, it works and it gives them a nice amount of pain and damage, maybe even crack their leg. Also, since your elbow bone is hard, it'll take quite a lot of power from a kick to even phase your elbow on contact, seriously.

Well that is the pros elbows got over fists, anyway, here's the pros fist got over elbows:
1) Longer range, can keep off your enemy.
2) You can use more attacks. You got a jab, crosses, backfists, etc. Elbows can use some of them, but the time difference is at least more than 6 times, at least imo.
3) The fist has a wider range of the enemy's body to hit. Way more places to hit. Elbow strikes can probably hit the neck upward level. Fists can go all the way down to the stomach.
4) The fist can change to other positions for the right situation. If you need to foreknuckle someone in the eye, change it. If you need to spearhand their throat, change it.

Really, in the end, both elbow and the fist are equal. Nearly all body parts are equal. You need your head to think, your legs for kicking and large damage power. You need your elbows for damage, fist for range and diversity, they're all equal. These SD guys aren't thinking properly to see the beauty of the fist and how both of them are just as good.

Now in summary, it just comes to your choice. What do you think is better for you? Power and toughness, or speed and diversity/range?

That's all from me, lol. Hope this helps.
Speed, power, technique and mentality... They are the four aspects of fighting...

#194545 - 04/07/06 10:31 PM Re: Fists and Elbows [Re: Mr_Moogle]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
in the end, its not so much about the fists OR's about the open hand.

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