A, 'Elbow Strike' is quite simply any strike that impacts with the elbow. There are different strikes that use different parts of the elbow, and use follow different movements. As such, they are grouped below. Elbow strikes are generally employed at range 2.
'Slashing' and 'Smashing' Striking Movements
Elbow strikes can be sorted into two categories depending on the manner in which the elbow moves into the strike.
Slashing elbow strikes are strikes which follow a curved trajectory towards the intended target.
Smashing elbow strikes are strikes which follow a straight trajectory towards the intended target.
An analogy can be drawn whereby a slashing elbow strike is considered similar to a slap, whereas a smashing elbow strike is similar to a straight palm heel strike. The difference between the two is similar.
'Standard' and 'Inverted' Elbow Strikes
Elbow strikes can also be sorted into two categories based on which striking surface is used:
Standard elbow strikes (also known as 'Bladed' or 'Inside' elbow strikes) use the olecranon end of the ulna which is a large, thick, curved bony eminence of the forearm that continues behind the elbow.
Inverted elbow strikes (also known as 'Blunt' or 'Outside' elbow strikes) use the back of the elbow (where the olecranon meets the humerus). These are the only elbow strikes that can effectively be used against a target behind the striker.
Considerations of the Elbow Strike
Advantages of Elbow Striking:
- They can be used effectively at ranges 1, 2 and 3 with particular ease in close quarters.
- They can be used to strike behind the striker with relative ease (with inverted elbow strikes).
- Given their short range, they are especially useful for intercepting strikes and bypassing grabs.
- The olecranon end of the ulna is often considered to be the hardest bone in the human body, but this is untrue (by most measures, the femur is). However, the olecranon end of the ulna is perfectly hard enough to use for extremely effective striking.
- The shape of the bone serves to focus the impact into a small area which again makes standard elbow strikes extremely effective strikes to use.
- Inverted elbow strikes, while not quite as devastating as standard ones owing to the larger surface area that usually impacts the target, are nevertheless still extremely useful.
- Elbow strikes can be used to cause serious injury such as fractures and can be used to cause knockouts too as it is a movement that can easily be used to generate large amounts of impactive power so they are considered a relatively high level of force to employ.
- When employing a closed guard, elbow strikes are especially quick and easy to use while not compromising the structure and coverage of the guard.
Disadvantages of Elbow Striking:
- Owing to their relatively high level of force, their use may be more difficult to justify than other strikes after some situations.