Elbow Strike Techniques for Self-Defense [What to Know]

Are you looking to add some power to your punches? In this article, we will introduce you to elbow strike techniques that will help you knock out your opponents with a single blow. Whether you are a seasoned fighter or just starting out, these techniques are sure to up your game in the ring.

You may think a punch is scary. However, when compared to the elbow strike, it is nothing.

The elbow strike is one of the most powerful forms of attacks out there. The elbow is the sharpest and hardest point in the human body and can be used as a weapon to seriously injure. 

There are many types of elbow strikes, which all have their purposes. Certain elbow strikes were designed to knock someone out, while others were designed to physically cut someone like a blade.

The elbow strike is commonly used in martial arts like Krav Maga, Muay Thai, and Karate – and is a favorite for an mma fighter. There are elbow strikes for attacking from the side, the rear, the front, under, and above.

Think this is a little too advanced? Here is a beginner’s guide to Krav Maga where we go over more simple things like the straight punch.

With this technique, you will not have to worry about breaking your bones from recoil or imperfect technique. With the elbow strike, the technique does not need to be perfect. 

Without any further hold back, let’s jump into the ultimate elbow strike guide for self-defense.

The diagonal elbow strike or Sok Chieng /ศอเฉียง is a strong elbow strike that can do massive damage is thrown quickly enough. This Muay Thai elbow technique requires you to be very close to your opponent, similar to most elbow strikes.

When performing the technique, you should aim for the chin, nasal bone, temples, or jaw for a solid knockout; however, almost anywhere on the head is guaranteed to hurt your opponent more than you.

You can use whichever arm you like when performing this. However, my recommendation is you use your right arm if you are right-handed and your left arm if you are left-handed.

You typically want to connect your arms(or have your arms close together) to protect your chin from a counter. You want to aim for throwing your elbow up at a 45° angle when striking at your opponent, with your hands always close to your chin.

This attack should be made at a close distance, and you should not lean forward too much when executing the technique.

As you perform the strike, your hips and upper body should move with your elbow. If the technique is performed incorrectly, then you should still cut your opponent, but if done properly, you will most likely knock out your opponent.

Technique #2. Hammer Elbow Strike

The hammer elbow strike is an elbow strike that is lethal in most cases. This elbowing technique also requires a very close distance from your opponent.

When performing this technique, you should be above your opponent, with your opponent either trying to tackle you or on the ground. You should aim for the back of the head or neck for a solid knockout and potentially lethal damage. 

However, if you can only hit the front of your opponent(when your opponent is on the floor), then the nasal bridge is a good target, but anywhere on the head will do more damage to him/ her than you.

When doing this, you can use whichever arm you want, but again, I recommend you use your right arm if you are right-handed and your left arm if you are left-handed.

The best way to perform the attack is to raise your arm you’re using to strike, along with tipping(for more impact), and then collapse your body weight onto your targeted area. When driving your elbow down, you want your elbow to be at about a 90° angle.

Technique #3. Front Elbow Strike

The front elbow strike or forward elbow strike is the most common elbow strike. This is similar to the diagonal elbow strike.

This attack will require you to be at a close distance or very close distance. 

When performing the technique, you should aim for the chin, nasal bone, temples, or jaw for a solid knockout.

You can use whichever arm you like when performing this. However, my recommendation is you use your right arm if you are right-handed and your left arm if you are left-handed.

You want to aim for throwing your elbow up at a 0° angle when striking at your opponent, with your hands always close to your chin.

Although not completely necessary, you can also set up your feet. Your feet can be slightly wider than your hips, and your knees must be bent slightly too.

This attack should be made at a close distance, and you should not lean forward too much when executing the technique.

As you perform the strike, your hips and upper body should move with your elbow. If the technique is performed incorrectly, then you should still get bruce or cut your opponent, but if done properly, you will most likely knock out your opponent.

By the way, here are 11 beginner self-defense tips you need to know.

Technique #4. Spinning Back Elbow Strike

The spinning back elbow strike, reverse elbow strike, or Sok klap /ศอกกลับ is a more advanced Muay Thai elbow strike and is used as more of a surprise attack because this type of attack is not a common attack. 

This most likely will not knock out your opponent. However, it will most likely break your opponent’s bones. This is also an amazing combo attack. This attack is perfect at a “medium” distance from your opponent.

This attack does require more precision because it is more advanced. This will, however, give you a great attacking angle that is very hard to defend against.

This technique is performed best with the right arm. Your left foot should go in front of your opponent’s right feet to perform the attack properly. Then you should lean into your opponent and then do the spinning elbow strike on the ribs, neck, nasal bridge, jaw, or temple.

Technique #5. Jumping Downward Elbow Strike

The jumping downward elbow strike or Kradot sok /กระโดดศอก is a mediocre technique that you can easily master with enough practice. 

This technique is used when your opponent is on high guard and cannot easily attack back. This technique requires more precision, hence the mediocre label. This technique must be served with the most speed possible to prevent any counter-attack.

This technique is also great for striking the top of your opponent’s head to either knock them out or cutting them if their arm is not covering the top of their head. 

Technique #6. Knee-Elbow Strike

The knee-elbow strike is an elbow strike that is used to attack an opponents head or body from a slightly lower angle. This is a more advanced elbow strike.

To perform this strike, step forward with your lead foot and drive your elbow up from below your knee. The key to this strike is to keep your elbow close to your body and to drive it up with force.

Technique #7. Hooking Elbow Strike

The hooking elbow strike is a powerful and effective elbow strike that is used to target an opponents head or body. This is a mediocre technique that will become easier with practice.

The Hooking Elbow Strike is executed by beginning in a fighting stance and then throwing a wide, sweeping arc with the elbow. 

The elbow should be held in an ‘L’ shape, with the elbow bent at a 90-degree angle, and the forearm and palm facing outwards. The elbow should be positioned at the optimal height and angle in order to have the greatest effect.

The strike begins with a step forward, while the outside arm is extended and the elbow is drawn back. The striking elbow should remain in the ‘L’ shape and should be slightly bent. 

As you step forward, the striking elbow is accelerated and thrown in a wide, sweeping arc, towards the target. The strike should be thrown with full force and the arm should be kept tight and straight throughout the entire motion.

The Hooking Elbow Strike is designed to strike the body, head or shoulder of an opponent with the tip of the elbow. The striking elbow should be positioned in a straight line with the target, in order to maximize the power of the strike. 

It is important to remember to keep the striking elbow in the ‘L’ shape and the arm should be kept tight and straight during the entire motion. 

Technique #8. Backfist Elbow Strike

The backfist elbow strike is an elbow strike that is used to attack an opponent’s head or body from a slightly higher angle. 

To perform this strike, start in a balanced, natural stance. Next, bring your arm up in a backfist position. Your elbow should be bent slightly and your fist should be facing away from you. Then, thrust your arm forward and extend it quickly towards your target.

As you extend your arm, rotate your elbow outward and shift your weight onto your back foot. This will allow your elbow to strike with more force.

When your arm reaches its full extension, release your fist and rotate your arm back in an arc. This will create an elbow strike with the sharp, pointy end of your elbow.

As your arm reaches its full extension, use the momentum of your body to drive the strike forward.

Elbow Strike Technique FAQs

Here are some of the most common elbow strike technique FAQs I get.

What Are the Benefits of an Elbow Strike?

An elbow strike is a powerful and effective way to inflict damage on an opponent. It can be used to target sensitive areas such as the ribs, face, and head. It is also a great defensive technique as its short range, and fast execution can be used to block and counterattack an opponent.

What Are the Risks of Using an Elbow Strike?

As with any martial arts technique, there are risks associated with using an elbow strike. It can cause serious injury to the elbow if the technique is incorrect.

Therefore, it is important to practice correct techniques and safety measures to reduce the risk of harm or injury.

Conclusion

his article covered the diagonal elbow strike, the front elbow strike, the spinning back elbow strike, the jumping downward elbow strike, and more. 

There are many more elbow strikes out there, some of which are defensive like the Wing Chun Bil Jee elbow strike – this is only the beginning. With enough training, you’ll become an excellent fighter – not as good as Bruce Lee, but good enough to ward off most criminals.

If you liked these techniques, try out 8 Krav Maga techniques you need to know for self-defense. Or maybe you thought this was a little advanced. If so, try out the beginner’s guide to Krav Maga

Remember, practice makes perfect, so perform elbow strike workouts and elbow strike exercises.

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