Elbow attacks are not punches, but since they are used in same way as punches and under the same circumstances as punches, they are included in the punches sections. Elbows require you to be in close range. It is not good to try to get inside just to use elbow attacks, but when your opponent moves into range or you find yourself in close range, remember elbow attacks. When in tight range or in a clinch, punches are ineffective, but elbow attacks may be deadly. Elbow strikes use a short stoke but they allow you to put all force of the large shoulder and back muscles, hip rotation, body mass, and leg power into the attack. Elbows are more effective than hands when used against hard targets, such as the head. A punch to the head may hurt the opponent, but punching hand will probably also be injured. An elbow smash to the head may seriously injury the opponent, while the elbow will probably not be injured. When fighting multiple attackers, you cannot afford to injure your hands.
- Front of Elbow Strike. This is the most common elbow strike. It uses the 6" of forearm just in front of the tip of the elbow. Use it in the same manner you would use a cross, hook, or uppercut. Used for breaking since the striking surface is narrow bone and the full force of the body may be applied behind the strike. A powerful breaking technique is to rotate the shoulder over so the front of elbow strikes downward into the breaking medium.
- Back of Elbow Strike. This strike uses the 6" of the upper arm just behind the tip of the elbow. The back of the elbow may be pulled backward at shoulder level, pulled across the side of the body at shoulder level similar to a hook. It may also be dropped downward in front while the mass of the body is dropped into the attack. This elbow drop is used in breaking because if its power. An effective attack is a spinning back elbow strike to the head. Since the upper arm bone is thick and well padded, it may impart serious injury to the head without injury to itself.
- Tip of Elbow Strike. The tip of the elbow presents a hard bone that comes to a point. This concentrates the force of the strike into a small area, which increases the strength of the force. However, the bone is relatively fragile, so it must not be used against hard targets. However, against soft targets, such as the kidneys, it may be deadly. The tip of the elbow may be thrust backward at shoulder height, under the shoulder, or out to the side. The tip of the elbow may also be thrust downward while the mass of the body is dropped into the attack.
- Twin Elbows. There are numerous combination of double elbow attacks. Each elbow may perform the same attack, or each may perform a different attack. For example: twin high tip of elbow strikes to each side or one low backward tip of elbow strike and one low tip of elbow strike to the side.
- Top of Elbow Strike. The top surface of elbow joint may be jerked upward under the chin, similar to an upper cut. Not an effective strike.
- Bottom of Elbow Strike. The bottom surface of elbow may be snapped inward to side of the head. Not an effective strike.