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#92112 - 01/11/03 07:34 AM The elbow - a forgotten range?
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK
Most people would not dispute the existence of kicking, punching and grappling ranges but what of the intermediate range of the elbow. This range would incidently cover the headbut and the knee strike as well but for the moment i refer to the elbow. This is without a doubt one of my most favoured techniques, versitile, able to be thrown in combinations and from a tremendous variety of angles, the elbow is a gem of a weapon to have in your arsenal. The short range of movement required makes it quick and the striking surface and musculature used, along with the natural use of the knees, hips and back when thrown properly makes it devestatingly effective. My question however is this. Is it an under used technique and if not is it properly understood as being part of a distinct range of combat in its own right, used through choice rather than as a second thought? Any opinions on this one?
Mr V

#92113 - 01/11/03 09:44 AM Re: The elbow - a forgotten range?
judderman Offline

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
It is underused I think. This is more to do with a misunderstanding of how to execute such a technique effectivly. Getting it wrong hurts, possibly more so than a punch. With this, if you hit with the wrong part, the flesh, rather than the boney point, you are more likely to hurt yourself than your opponent.

A good idea to think of it as having its own range and personally I believe it to be more effective and devastating than many strikes. Its incredably fast and has the majority of one's body weight behind it. It make an ideal "weapon" due to the physics of force directed through a small area.

Many I would thought may use the elbow as a follow up or finisher, rather than an initial strike. This is obviously because it takes "nerve" to move into an attack, rather than the natural backing away.

How could you convince people that the elbow is just, if not more, effective than a punch?


#92114 - 01/11/03 03:55 PM Re: The elbow - a forgotten range?
CrimsonTiger Offline

Registered: 12/04/02
Posts: 346
Obviously, certain arts still use the elbow and knees, etc. HOWEVER, for most artists, it is highly overlooked.

I wouldn't say it's better than a punch, because being a tall guy, I like my reach advantage. But I definitely have trained myself to learn how to fight short-range because I used to get rocked by the little guys inside. (My head still rings sometimes! :P)

The two problems I found with the elbow are:
1) Learning to throw it without hurting the shoulder! My elbows can condition themselves, my rotator cuff cannot.
2) Learning how to set them up, or enter with them. It's not something you can usually just walk up and do.

The important thing someone taught me once is that good elbows and knees mean good punches and kicks. One compliments the other. Now if only I could work on conditioning AGAINST those hard bones! :P


#92115 - 01/11/03 06:06 PM Re: The elbow - a forgotten range?
mikelw Offline

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1031
Loc: Bothell, Washington (not DC), ...
If you want to learn good ways to throw an elbow check out Karate-do Kyohan written by Gichin Funakoshi.

#92116 - 01/12/03 10:12 PM Re: The elbow - a forgotten range?
roundhouser Offline

Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 96
Loc: melbourne
Elbows i think can be very effective. What if you where in a head lock or in a bear hug from behind? a quick and hard elbow to the head or solar plexus would be a great help to escaping. Thats just my opinion anyway.

#92117 - 01/17/03 04:02 AM Re: The elbow - a forgotten range?
Jim Offline

Registered: 10/12/01
Posts: 302
Loc: Munich
Elbows are in my opinion best delivered as alternatives to hook chunches or a as a nasty dsitraction in a grappling situation.

One good point with elbows is that often a glancing blow to the head from an elbow is worse than a square strike as it has a good chance of opening a cut up.

#92118 - 01/17/03 10:49 AM Re: The elbow - a forgotten range?
isshinryu kid Offline

Registered: 12/06/02
Posts: 618
Loc: Knoxville tennessee u.s.a
[QUOTE]I Was think'n,That the worst tooth ache,Anyone can get, wld come from an elbow strike to the jaw. [IMG][/IMG]

#92119 - 01/18/03 10:56 PM Re: The elbow - a forgotten range?
Tapoutfighter00 Offline

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 8
Excellent topic! I think maybe most people today aren't really educated on the use of elbow strikes. I think people are mostly concerned with punching...and when someone gets into elbow range, people are very quick to think "grab, wrestle, go for takedown" This is probably due to the lack of emphasis being put on elbows in most schools. I was drilled and then drilled some more on the use of elbows, and I swear by them. There are so many ways to use elbows effectively. I once saw an incident involving a gentleman who was very adept at using elbow strikes....this man got into an altercation, and nailed the unfortunate other man with an elbow that landed right on the corner of the! the man who got hit was in la la land immediately...he probably thought it was a hammer he just got hit with..and the cut that that one hit produced was closing... I personally believe, next to a dog of course...that a well placed elbow is one of man's best friends.

#92120 - 01/19/03 09:49 AM Re: The elbow - a forgotten range?
Jamoni Offline

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
Elbows are neat.
Watch some of Mike Tyson's early (pre-nutball) fights. He'll throw an inside hook, graze the guy with the hook, and then clip him full force with an elbow. CLASSY.
My favorite is to grab hair with the left hand, and then just launch a barrage of hard right elbows.
My old Sensei used to drop his elbow on to the nerve cluster on your thigh if you threw a high kick. OUCH.
Another neat trick is, when you and your opponent are both going down, get your elbow into his solar plex, and let the impact knock out his wind. Old wrestling trick.
Check out Ned Beaumont's "Championship Streetfighting"

#92121 - 01/21/03 03:38 AM Re: The elbow - a forgotten range?
kaliphil Offline

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 6
For elbows go and look at Muay Thai. They have specialised in the elbows and knee attacks available from very close range.

I think that the question of range often confuses people. The common understanding is that there is kicking punching and grappling range. Sometimes with trapping (or elbows and knees range) somewhere between punching and grappling.

This tends to limit thinking on the subject of range.

Arts that kick with the foot have to seperate out kicking range because to land a round kick requires you to be about 6-8 inches beyond your arms reach.

If you look at thai, which round kicks with the shin, kicks and punches can be thrown from exactly the same distance. Front kicks in thai are used as a long footjab with the front leg or a close push kick with the back leg. Side kicks, back kicks, hook kicks etc are less common. The idea is that you can combine punches and kicks fluidly without having to adjust distance to do so.

The idea that ranges are discrete also begins to fall down when you consider that I can punch, kick to some degree, knee, elbow and headbutt at what is termed grappling range.

I have long taught the principle of 3 types of engagement.

Disengaged - both parties are free to move in and out at will throwing strikes.

Single engaged - One party controls the movement of the other strikes or throws and disengages.

Mutual engaged - Both parties are controlling the movement of the other. Even if the original aggressor lets go the other fighter has grabbed hold back and will not let him move back out.

At any of these points of engagement I can still throw techniques from across the traditional ranges.

Thinking like this allows me to transition smoothly from striking to grappling to striking while grappling to submission to recovery to striking again if need be. Disparate ranges are a construct that limits truly creative application of martial arts.

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