Elbow #2 – Sideways Elbow Strike How to Get Power

The biggest problem with the Sideways Elbow (Elbow #2) is generating sufficient power. This video demonstrates two details to get more power. It also explains two common errors that some students do to try get more power and why tactically you should avoid them.


“Hey guys. This is Randall with KravMagaTraining.com. In this video I’m going to discuss how you can get more power in the Sideways Elbow or what is also commonly referred to as Elbow #2 in the Krav Maga system of elbows.

Generating power is the biggest issue or biggest complaint most students have when it comes to this particular elbow. Here’s the reason why, is they tend to, just kind of, flip it out there. It just doesn’t feel strong and they get really frustrated with it. And I’m, in this video, I’m going to discuss how you can fix that problem.

In my opinion, the biggest thing that you can do to get power in this particular elbow strike is to make sure that you’re starting the elbow in the correct position. And this is what I mean is, take the front of your shoulder, put it out in front, and then take your elbow and line it up with that. Now from here, take your chin, put it behind your shoulder so you’re protecting yourself against the bad guy here. This should be the correct starting position for the elbow. Because from this position I have plenty of space between my elbow and his face to punch the back of my elbow into that target. What most beginners do, and the reason why they get frustrated on why they can’t get any power, is instead of starting here, they start too far out in front here and it’s just a tippy tap elbow.

Or another common mistake is they’ll start with their elbow like this they kind of flip it up or flap it up like they got wings or something. Those two elbows I think are just not very strong. So make sure that you start here and you’ll have plenty of space to generate that power.

However, some students overcompensate, and what they do is they’re bringing their elbow way back here and try to rotate and twist their body. There’s two problems with that. One is, when you put your elbow way back here to start your eblow strike, it’s, there’s too much space now. It’s going to take too long for my elbow all the way back here to get to this target over right here. Keep in mind, elbow strikes are supposed to be short range techniques. They are designed when your bad guy is extremely close to you. If I deliver it from way out here, yeah, I’ll have plenty of power, but the attacker is going to be able to see the attack coming a lot easier and be able to defend themselves against it. Whereas here, I can still have plenty of power but notice the distance from here to here is a lot shorter, I can punch it in there. If I do this, it takes too long. And also, the other problem is if you wind up like this, notice how I am turning my back to the bad guy. This gives that bad guy an opportunity to get behind me, maybe bearhug me from behind. Either way, if someone gets behind me I’m not going to be able to protect myself as well.

So, that’s basically the proper way to generate power in this particular elbow is that you don’t want to start with your elbow too close, but at the same time, you don’t want to start it too far away. Just take the front of your shoulder, line that elbow up in front of there, and then from that position deliver the elbow strike. To me, that’s the most important thing when it comes to generating power with this particular elbow.

Now, another thing you can do to enhance it a little bit more is to add a slight lean with your body as you deliver the strike. So if you watch, my hips, the distribution of my weight as I’m delivering the strike, notice how on impact I got more weight on my leg that’s closest to the target. This one doesn’t have very much weight on it. Now, don’t do this. Don’t let this foot come off the ground, now you’re off balance. It should be real subtle. I should still be making contact with this foot. Now most of the weight is on this leg. That’s okay. All right.

Now, some people suggest that if you want to get more power that what you do is take this foot, you take a step towards the particular target and elbow it. And I agree, in the sense, that you will get plenty of power with this elbow strike if you do add the step. But my issue with this, and the reason why I don’t teach that is, if you have enough space between you and your opponent to take an advance step towards them to throw that elbow, it means they are too far away and you shouldn’t have thrown the elbow in the first place. Like I said earlier in the video, the elbow is a short range technique. If my attacker is this far away from me here, I shouldn’t be trying to elbow them here. I should be sending a more intermediate technique like the hammerfist to the side. Or if he was just a hair farther, a long-range technique like the side kick. So, I believe, that if you have to take a step to throw the elbow and get more power, tactically, you screwed everything up in the sense you shouldn’t be throwing the elbow in the first place. You should have thrown the hammerfist. It’s better for that particular range. And I think defensively, it protects you a lot better because I can keep my forearm and elbow up as I deliver the strike. For the details on that, I do have another video that you can check out. Hammerfist on the Side and it talks about all the details to the defensive components of that particular strike. Anyways. So instead of taking this step, you should have switched to the hammerfist in the first place. So instead, you should start closer to your target and just focus on that lean.

A classic example of why not to throw this particular elbow from a long range is, if you haven’t seen this fight, go on YouTube and watch Uriah Faber fight Mike Brown. This was a few years back when Uriah Faber was the, I believe, featherweight champ in the WEC, and I believe it was the first fight. I think Mike Brown, it was the first fight, was challenging for the title. And Uriah Faber is an awesome fighter. I’m not talking shit. That guy can kick my ass every which way he wants to. But, what happened in this particular fight is Uriah Faber tried to throw this elbow on Mike Brown. And Uriah Faber is so talented, he’s so quick, so athletic, so skilled, so tricky, that, I can’t quite remember exactly how he set it up but he threw this technique and tried to throw this elbow to just be a little unorthodox, try to catch Mike Brown by surprise. But the problem is he started the elbow from really far away and he had to take this big step, this big leap in to throw this elbow. And because of this distance, Mike Brown had plenty of time to see this elbow coming right towards his face and he treated it just like you would a straight punch coming to his face. He just moved his head off to the side, slipped that elbow, and if I remember correctly, he just blasted him with a right hand, short hook or cross, I can’t remember which, and it dropped Faber and after that it was all downhill for Faber and he lost the title. So, like I said, if you haven’t seen that fight, go watch that and see the end of that and you’ll see that’s a classic example of why NOT to take this big step when you throw this elbow. Instead, start close and just use the lean.

So, anyways, I kind of got off track there. But, to summarize this, to get power, two things. One, make sure, to me, that the most important thing, start elbow in line with your shoulder. And then the other thing, add a slight lean to that. If you do those two things, in the long run, you’re going to have plenty of power in this particular elbow.

Thanks for watching!”

“The reason why Krav Maga teaches so many different combatives is because it allows the defender to use ‘the right tool for the job’.”\