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Smash Elbows In The Clinch With Bas Rutten

Smash Elbows In The Clinch With Bas Rutten

Elbows are a solid shot, if you can land them, which is not as easy as one might think. Elbows are one of the shortest range strikes that exist. Even the elbow with the longest range is still a short range attack. This means that you're going to need to be in close if you want your elbows to land with any kind of power. When I say close, I don’t just mean punching range, I mean really close. 

So close that you pretty much need to either have some kind of post on your opponent or just full on be in a clinch situation. This not only is a good range to land power elbows but also allows you a level of control on your opponent. This means that after throwing an elbow, you can reestablish the clinch or turn your opponent to stop them from countering you. 

Even in the clinch, it is still risky to just throw an elbow with no set up. From the clinch you need to let go of your opponent with the arm that you're throwing the elbow with. This means that you're going to be exposed and without control for a second. This means you either need to be really fast, or you need to set up your elbow. Even if you are really fast, it's still a good idea to set up your strike to get a little extra damage and score more points.

In this video, Bas Rutten goes over how to set up a devastating knockout elbow from the clinch. If you don’t know who Bas Rutten is and you’re a combat sports athlete, then you need to brush up on your combat sports history. Bas Rutten is one of the pioneers of modern Mixed Martial Arts. Bas is a former UFC heavyweight champion and a three-time King of Pancrase champion. He retired in 1999 with an unbeaten record of 21 wins and only one draw and was later inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame. Rutten was known for his aggressive heavy hitting and somewhat dirty style, some of which he shows in this video. 

 Land With Hard Elbows From The Clinch!


Technique Breakdown

The video starts off with Bas and his partner, coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig, already in a clinch position with Bas having a single collar tie on his opponent. This is a more aggressive version of the single collar tie, with Rutten pulling his opponent’s head into the crook of his arm under the elbow. 

Ready To Learn Essential MMA Skills From Bas Rutten? Click Learn More!



This means that Bas’s partner is unable to see strikes coming from his other hand but they will be able to see strikes from Bas’s knees. Bas says that this is what you want. You were going to start throwing knees to try to get your opponent to react and defend against them. After getting your opponent to react to your knees, you are then going to wind up your other arm to get ready to throw a strike. For this video, Bas is going to throw an elbow from hell but he says that you can also throw a clothesline for this technique if that works for you. 

After landing one more knee, even if your opponent blocks it, you are going to let go of your collar tie as you bring your leg back to position. As you are letting go and bringing your leg back, you are going to use that twisting momentum to add even more power into your elbow. Doing this, plus the lack of ability for your opponent to see this strike coming, makes this an insanely dangerous technique. 

Like mentioned earlier, you can even do this with a clothesline and whip your opponent’s temples with your forearm. This will be a little frowned upon as you will hit behind the ear a little bit. This will happen whether you throw the clothesline or the elbow, just make sure that you don’t hit the very back of the head or else you could get disqualified or kicked out of your gym. 

Bas Rutten ends off the video with talking about what might just now be his favorite technique, even over the liver shot, the clothesline. Bas talks about how you can throw the clothesline at your opponent when they high guard and it will still aldn. This is because the clothesline loops past your opponent's guard. 

The Tao Of MMA by Duane Ludwig
If you like this technique breakdown and want to learn more from MMA legend Bas Rutten, as well as many other high level fighters and coaches like Duane “Bang” Ludwig, then check out “The Tao of MMA” Available exclusively on Dynamic Striking!