elbow strikes

An experienced muay Thai practitioner reveals the strategies you need to succeed with this martial art's most feared weapon.

When foreigners travel to Thailand to learn kickboxing, the biggest fear they face is the “knives of muay Thai.” Considered the secret weapons of Thai boxing, they’re the top cause of bloodletting in the ring. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, the knives of muay Thai are the elbows. Over the past few decades, they’ve proved so devastating that Western martial artists in Thailand customarily request that their bouts be conducted without elbow strikes. One of the most feared full-contact fighting systems in the world, muay Thai is renowned for developing the human body into a collection of weapons. For maximum effectiveness, the art teaches that each weapon should have a specific bone for striking, a specific movement for power and a specific target for destruction. The application of that ideology to elbow strikes is the subject of this post.

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In this Korean martial arts video, International Tang Soo Do Federation founder C.S. Kim and his son, Y.D. Kim, take you through a self-defense sequence that could inflict significant injury upon an opponent.


C.S. Kim wasn't particularly tough when he was young. Like millions of other kids around the world and plenty in Songtan, South Korea, he had problems with coordination and self-esteem. What made C.S. Kim different from his peers is he found a simple solution to his problems: the martial arts. He started judo and boxing when he was 10. Then he visited a tang soo do school run by Song Ki Kim and joined the next day. "I loved it," C.S. Kim said. "We trained two or three hours a day for five days a week." When C.S. Kim received his green belt, he thought he knew everything and stopped attending class. Three months later, he started up again because he missed it. He worried that his master would be angry about his absence, but the old man welcomed the lost sheep back into the fold. "I never quit again," C.S. Kim said

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In Part 2 of this beginner's guide to MMA, UFC veteran Nate Marquardt comments on the psychological side of the MMA game and techniques to focus on in training!

In Part 1 of this exclusive interview, Black Belt discussed boxing techniques, BJJ techniques, MMA diet and conditioning with Nate Marquardt. You can read Part 1 of this exclusive interview here.

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In Part 1 of this beginner's guide to MMA, UFC veteran Nate Marquardt tells you what attributes you need to get started and the best ways to develop them!

In the early days of the mixed martial arts — back when the sport was called “no-holds-barred fighting" — victory usually went to the competitor who’d mastered one fighting system. Recall how Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylist Royce Gracie beat everyone in the first few Ultimate Fighting Championship shows, often without breaking a sweat. The level of MMA fighters gradually rose, and athletes discovered that cross-training was the key to winning: Master one art and supplement it with techniques from other arts that better deal with the ranges your main style may not address. For the most part, that has remained the recipe for how to become an MMA fighter and succeed — with one important addition: Nowadays, you have to fine-tune your mix with guidance from a skilled coach. Nate Marquardt is living proof of that concept. His 34-10-2 record has stemmed from his ability to master his base — Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing — and his recognition of the need to round out his skill set and hone it under the tutelage of renowned coach Greg Jackson. Black Belt met up with Nate Marquardt at one of his favorite haunts, the Grudge Training Center in Denver. In this exclusive interview, he offered his advice for martial artists looking to learn MMA, whether for competition or personal development.

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