Skip to content

In The Arena Blog

How to Throw Elbows in Muay Thai and MMA

Get 30 Days Free At The Arena Gym in San Diego

In this Tip of the Week, The Arena Muay Thai / MMA Coach Charles Martinez goes over ways to create openings to throw elbow strikes, and how to effectively land them. 


Coach Charles Martinez:
Hello. This is coach Charles Martinez. My tip of the week’s going to be discussing a proper technique of throwing elbows, and then creating the openings to throw elbows.

If Christian is standing in his fighting stance, right, the mechanics for him to throw his right elbow are the same as throwing a right punch from that side. He rotates, he pivots, he drives the elbow forward. Left hand comes to his face, drives the elbow, rotates his shoulders, and delivers the point of the elbow forward, right?

The biggest mistake here, usually, is leaning the upper body, as opposed to bringing the upper body. The mechanics from the hips down are pivoting and rotating. If I throw the jab, my left shoulder and left hip are working. Now, to throw the elbow, I rotate, pivot my foot, rotate my hip. That creates the opening.

First I want to elbow between his gloves. You can elbow up, horizontal, or down. My options are drive the elbow forward, rotate elbow horizontal, turn down, or Tomahawking elbow forward. Just basic options for an elbow. First thing I’m going to do is, I’m going to jab, I jab, cross. I’m having him worried about the middle. I jab, I step forward, I drive the elbow forward. Simple way to split the middle of the gloves, most people’s hands are in.

Another way to get that same angle is to throw two. He defends the two. I throw three, brings his attention out, and I spear the elbow forward between the gloves. Another simple option for getting that in between the gloves.

So, he’s throwing punches down the middle. When he throws the hook, I have to open the cover, that creates this opening in the center. All he does is spear the elbow forward, and drive to the face. If I’m throwing at Christian, one, two, three, I hook, I drive the elbow forward, I rotate my hip, I rotate my shoulder, I drive the point of the elbow.

Another relatively simple way of setting up an elbow is I throw punches, I bring his attention to the middle. I trap, I pull, and I elbow. So, I bring his attention to the middle. I grab outside the glove. Now, as I rotate to pull the hand, I step and elbow. Simple setup for the elbow. Same thing to the other side. I reach, I pull, as I pull, I step and elbow.

So, simple ways to either get the elbow through the middle, or around the outside of the gloves. That’s your tip of the week.

By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from The Arena Gym. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies. You can opt-out at any time by texting STOP, or HELP for any help. View our Privacy Policy.