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Cutting Your Opponent With Devastating Elbows By Cheick Kongo

Cutting Your Opponent With Devastating Elbows By Cheick Kongo


One of the most brutal strikes used in Muay Thai is the elbows; they became the symbol for brutality and gore in combat sports because of their nature to cut a fighter’s face open.


But the elbows are the bread-and-butter of Muay Thai and not just a cool strike; the Muay Thai style is built around the usage of sneaky elbows from everywhere. Although used mainly from the clinch and close distance, elbows can also serve as a counter-punching tool from the boxing range.


The problem many practitioners face trying to use elbows is that they are naive throwing them. Remember, when you are throwing an elbow, you are probably in range to get hit by an elbow, so we must build our elbow game over this principle.


We can solve this problem quickly by using the correct setup for the elbow, reducing the possibility of a counter elbow catching us. Some simple setups we can use are:

  • Timing the jab with an elbow
  • Timing the right hand with a spinning elbow
  • Going for a takedown and throw an up elbow as the opponent sprawls (MMA)
  • Grabbing the opponent hand and lowering it to come with an elbow over the top


In MMA, we can find many opportunities for elbows as most fighters don’t know how to deal with them; for example - we can catch an opponent trying to block knees in the clinch by lowering his hands. 


Moving our hands away from the face in the clinch is a big mistake because now we are open for elbows. You should block knees in the clinch by getting your hips close to the opponent’s hips, so he doesn’t have space to land a knee, and the hands are high, denying elbows from sneaking in. 


In this video, Cheick Kongo will show us a basic elbow counter to the jab.


Who Is Cheick Kongo?

Cheick Kongo is a French MMA fighter and a retired Kickboxer. Cheick was one of the most brutal strikers in the UFC, dominating the Heavyweight division and getting wins over legends of the sport like - Pat Barry and Mirko Cro Cop. Today, Cheick is fighting for Bellator and is ranked #3 in the heavyweight division.


Check Out Cheick's Instructional HERE! Click Learn More!



Landing Brutal Elbows

In this video, Cheick Kongo will show us how to land a devastating elbow that will do much more damage than our normal elbows. When we look at the elbows, we must first distinguish between the two types we have - Cutting elbows and damaging/powerful elbows.


The first elbow we will look at is the up elbow as a counter to the left hand. As the opponent throws the left hand, we want to parry it and come up with an elbow as high as we can so we make sure the elbow is the one landing and not the forearm.


Notice that we don’t always want to hit the face; if I feel it is not there, I can aim the elbow at the solar plexus with the same setup to do a lot of damage. But when we aim for the face, we want to hit the chin and the nose on our way up, so we lift the opponent’s face, and now I can come over the top with another elbow and land it smoothly.


Look at how Cheick is rotating his all body when he throws the second elbow, this is a powerful elbow, and because we are at a reasonable distance after the first elbow, we can land the second precisely with the tip of the elbow and cut the opponent.


But we can also land the forearm of the elbow directly on the chin raising the chances for a knockout. Once we hit both elbows, we can grab the clinch to control our opponent and hurt him with more knees.


When we get the clinch, we want o to have a full Plum as the opportunity arises, and this will let us control his movement as he cannot escape back when we hold him like that. After controlling our opponent, we want to start thinking about hurting him with the knees so we can take our hips back to open the space and land both knees to the midsection or the face.


Learn More From Cheick Kongo

The MMA Muay Thai Manual by Cheick Kongo

If you like this technique by Cheick, make sure you check out his complete instructional to take your Muay Thai to the next level, “The MMA Muay Thai Manual - Elbow And Knee Strikes For MMA - By Cheick Kongo” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking.