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Setting Up The Elbow With Kicks By Manachai

Setting Up The Elbow With Kicks By Manachai


The elbow strike is a primary weapon in Muay Thai where it serves as a knife from close range that will cut anyone that gets hit by them. Elbow strikes are unique and special, but they require a lot of skill and understanding of using them correctly.

One of the reasons elbow strikes require understanding before usage is their nature to give an opening for a counter elbow. The elbow puts us in close range, and when we rotate into the strike, there is a possibility that we will get hit by the opponent’s elbow simultaneously.

So to reduce the risk of elbows, Muay Thai practitioners work on their set-ups, so they put themself in a position to throw an elbow without the risk of getting hit by an elbow. Usually, the set-ups require the opponent’s hands to be busy (blocking knees, for example) or make him defend somewhere else and catch him by surprise.

The elbows are a great weapon once mastered as they can deal with many strikers effectively because of their nature to penetrate the standard guard most fighters use.  

When a fighter uses a high guard, he might block our punches and kicks, but the elbows are thin, and they find their opening in between the hands to cut our opponent’s face. Remember that cutting our opponent can be used to our advantage as the opponent will have a hard time seeing through the blood on his face, and we can finish the fight with a doctor stoppage.

To correctly deal with the elbows, Muay Thai fighters developed the long guard, which is suitable for blocking strikes and creating distance by framing, making landing elbows on us very difficult.


In this video, Manachai will show us a great setup for the elbow using kicks to get in range.


Who Is Manachai?

Manachai, also known as Jirapart Waiprakorn, is a Muay Thai fighting out one of the best gyms in Thailand - YOKKAOSaenchaiGym in Bangkok. Manachai is currently the welterweight champion of the prestigious WMO (World Muay Thai Organization). Manachai is considered one of Thailand’s best fighters with a record of over 300 fights and 210 wins.


2 Kicks & Switch Kick To An Elbow

In this video, Manachai will show us a great combination of using our kicks to set up an elbow. To drill this combination, we will need a partner who will hold the pads for us, and we will throw two body kicks at him, followed by a switch kick to an elbow.


Now notice, as Manachai throws the switch kick, he never steps back into stance; he lets the kicking foot land in front so now we can throw the elbow and reach our opponent.


Remember, if we take a step back, we will never reach our opponent after the kick; it will be like throwing an elbow from the kicking range, which is impossible to land. 


While we perform this combination, remember to have the correct rhythm. So it’s a rear kick, then a stop, and another rear kick with a stop to eventually throwing the switch middle kick with an elbow behind it.


When we make our opponent get used to a pattern or rhythm, it will be easier to catch him once we break the rhythm. For example, in our combination, the opponent is getting used to single kicks, but suddenly we throw two strikes - a kick & elbow, that will catch him off guard.


Learn More From Manachai

Thai Boxing: Low Kicks by Manachai - Dynamic Striking

If you like this content from Manachai and want to learn authentic Muay Thai, check out his instructional  “Thai Boxing: Low Kicks - By Manachai” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking.