Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Weapons of Self Defense - Elbow

I can't get my "villains" to stop smiling!

I completed the series 4 Targets of Self Defense last week. In those posts I concentrated a lot on the claw hand as a preferred weapon of self defense.

Now I’d like to expand that arsenal. In fact, there are many parts of the body that can be considered weapons of self defense. The elbows are prime examples of these.

The martial art of Muay Thai from Thailand counts the elbow as one of its primary weapons.  Just like western boxing, Muay Thai matches are held at the amateur and professional levels. But unlike boxing, Muay Thai rules allow for kicks – and elbow strikes, usually to the head.

Let’s concentrate on one type of elbow strike – the lateral swing across the front. This action resembles a door opening and closing. The elbow and forearm swing from the right side across to the left side or from the left side back across to the right side. (Obviously, you can also perform this action with the left arm).

Let’s also choose three types of attacks that can be launched from the front– a basic choke, a lapel grab and a bear hug where the attacker encircles you under your arms. During each of these attacks, your elbows are left free to strike.

Against a frontal attack – bend your arm and swing your elbow hard across from right to left. Bend your knees slightly then pivot your legs and right hip into the same direction. Doing so allows you to strike his head with the force of the entire body!

You have 2 choices now: 1. Pull your elbow back to the right (as well as twisting the entire body back to the start position) – and repeat the same strike. In fact strike until he lets go!  2. Or strike by swinging the elbow back across from left to right.

If you strike across with both elbows back and forth repeatedly from their respective sides he’ll feel as though he’s attacked more than one person. The back and forth twisting motion also allows you to twist out of his grasp much more easily.

The Chito-Ryu style of Karate as it was taught to me by Sensei Monty Guest, features a very powerful elbow strike - performed twice – in a set routine called 27 Movements…grasp your attacker’s head with your left hand and pull it toward your right elbow swinging hard across from the right. This is a very effective strike, especially when it’s repeated.

Targets on the attacker’s head (depending on how he faces you) – the front of the nose, the side of the nose, the eyes, the orbital bone around the eyes, the mouth, the jaw, the chin, the temple, the ears and... the throat and the sides of the neck (if these areas are exposed).

Elbow strikes are short and furious. They’re fueled by how strongly you value your life. Your voice will not be silenced, your life will not be cut short! Believe that – totally – and your elbows will strike with a fury that will leave your attacker reeling.

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