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The Reverse horizontal Elbow Strike (instructional video included)

The reverse (or backwards) horizontal elbow strike is an excellent technique that can be performed when the assailant is behind you, and either attempts to grab your shoulder, or wrap their arms around your waist. You can strike their head/face, or torso/ribs, and soft tissue. Striking repeatedly will ensure they release you. Also, if you miss with an elbow to the head, you can extend the arm, turning it into a hammer fist strike.

How to perform the reverse horizontal elbow strike from a neutral stance:

  1. Bring both hands up and clench your fists.

  2. Raise one of your elbows to shoulder height (the thumb of that arm should be at the top of your chest).

  3. Elbow strike backwards by twisting your waist back (behind you).

  4. Turn your feet a little with the strike, so you can hit with more force.

  5. Repeat with the same elbow, and/or the other elbow until you are released.

Keys to remember:

  • Look back before you strike.

  • Turn your whole body for maximum impact.

  • Strike repeatedly.

  • Practice full contact on a padded shield or heavy bag.

  • Practice touch-contact only with a partner.

Below is a tutorial on how to perform this technique.

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Lawrence Castanon,

Author, The Short Fight


The Reverse Horizontal Elbow Strike

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