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Hi there,

First post here. First of all, I've been training Muay Thai for roughly 2 years, sparred a lot but no fight yet. 

mostly a question for the ones who had a few fights to a lot in Thailand. 

So my question is about elbows. When sparring, we practice everything except we do not usually "point" our knees. But, we never ever spare with elbows. I know there is some elbow pads that can be used but I never seen anyone sparring with them I've never even seen them in a video. I've only seen them in fights in Montreal (There is no full thai rules in Quebec. The better it gets and it's new from 2016 is no shin guards and elbows pads and no knees to the head). 

On of the main reason of sparring is learning to apply technique in real fight situation. To develop fluidity. To reach the point where you do not think but do right?

But how can you reach that point if you only practice them in the heavy bag? How do you do? Do you take the time to pretend or visualize you're throwing them in sparring?

Beside fights, do they have other drills or very light sparring in Thailand?

 

Thank you

 

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We do a lot of elbows on the pads at my gym, but depending on the clinching/sparring partners you can add them into those contexts in a very controlled manner. Again, it's about control - having someone who you can tell isn't in control of their limbs throwing elbows at you sucks. We basically feint the elbows and pull them so that they are either thrown fast and very real-time speed/power but not even close to landing (a good 6 inches or more away from target), or we pull them in speed and power; this one kid does a fantastic job of putting the elbow on the target and then pushing through instead of striking. Picture putting your fist on someone's chin and pushing to indicate the punch - like that but with elbows. 

With one of my partners, in clinch I'll put my glove or bare hand over his face (so my palm is flat on his cheek or forehead) and then land my opposite elbow on the back of my own hand/glove. I've never seen anyone else do that, but it works for us. He basically just throws the elbow at a far distance where it won't hit me, but it's close enough that I know that it would have hit me. And my trainer throws everything right into my guard, so they're pretty good speed and power but intended to create stress rather than land in an opening.

So, that's a bunch of different ways to train them without pads and in the context of clinching and sparring. But I've heard that there are a few Thai gyms which don't allow westerners feinted elbows in sparring at all, due to lack of control. So, again, it's about whether or not you and your partners can have enough comfort and control to handle them in that kind of context.

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