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In horizontal elbow rear in Muay Thai (Sok Tad/ ศอกตัด), what is proper positioning of pivot foot and wrist? When doing a cross-2 Punch, if target is directly front ahead of you, rear pivot foot is keep vertical.

  1. However in Muay Thai horizontal elbow rear with right hand, I've seen it done ways on pivot foot: rotated 45 inward and vertical. Is there proper foot positioning, or do whatever you want ? I tried both ways, actually prefer inward, as some people do not have optimum chest/shoulder flexibility etc.

  2. Also, they say to keep wrist kind of limp and downward. Is that correct? Could that cause slight change of injury if opponent hit and jams into body, etc? What is the proper hand/wrist position? Any tips would be helpful.

Inward vs Vertical pivot:

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Photo 1: Note that the fighter's elbow has travelled past the centreline (as roughly indicated by his nose). He rotates his foot beyond neutral.

Photo 2: The elbow has not yet passed the centreline. His foot remains neutral.

You can try this now, at home, and feel how twisting the front foot inward facilitates the increased follow-through achieved by the fighter in the first photo. This is typically desirable when you are intending to strike through the target and wish to commit more fully to the technique with the intent of maximising damage.

Keeping the rear foot neutral may be sufficient if you are merely intending to throw a quick elbow designed to stun and/or distract, and if you need to maximise retraction speed for defence or a follow-up technique.

Bringing the tip of the thumb of your striking arm into contact with your opposite shoulder (at or just after the moment of impact) provides a good cue; a reminder to bring your elbow further around than you otherwise might.

In relation to the question of whether or not to keep the wrist relaxed, the whole shoulder and arm should remain sufficiently free of tension to enable you to create a snappy, almost whip like action by collapsing the elbow into the strike. You may however wish to tense at the precise moment of impact, just as you would with a punch. Experiment on a bag or pads.

This article and video provides some excellent further information as to the biomechanics of elbow techniques, and in relation to some common mistakes and supplemental training ideas.

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  1. The rear foot drives the strike and is incident to the angle of the elbow. A vertical elbow strike from above or below requires a vertical drive from the foot, into the ground or from the leap respectively. A horizontal elbow strike requires torsion of the foot, ankle and knee to maximise horizontal velocity and force. Flexibility and body type do influence these positions, but the general rule of thumb is the leg drives at the same angle as the elbow to provide optimal force.

  2. When the wrists are strapped, relaxing the body will conserve energy without the loss rigidity. This can however create habits, which will impact behaviour outside of the ring or when the wrists are not strapped. The answer is dependant on your requirements. If it is to optimise performance in the ring and during competition, focus on maximal relaxation for the wrists, as they will be strapped. If you train without strapped wrists, consider a more rigid wrist position as it will avoid injury.

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