Welcome to the Slashing Muay Thai Elbow, or Sok Ti — the bread and butter elbow of the Muay Thai fighter.

What is the Slashing Elbow?

Known as ‘the Slashing Elbow’ or in Thai, Sok Ti (ศอกตี (ศอกสับ) ), this is by far the most common type of Elbow thrown in Muay Thai fights and the elbow that most people are familiar with. The motion of the elbow is an oblique downwards angle. The area this elbow targets is usually the top of the head, forehead, and side of the face. The elbow can be thrown with the leading elbow arm or the rear arm.

sok ti slashing elbow muay thai

The elbow must be thrown downward at a 45 degree angle in a ‘slashing’ motion. This sharp angle, if perfectly executed by the thrower, will usually result in a cut or deep gash. Whether it cuts an opponent or not depends on where the elbow strike lands and what part of the elbow makes contact. A clean cut happens if the elbow impacts with the very tip and skips off the opponent’s head. If you don’t hit with the very tip of the elbow because the distance is not perfect, a cut may not open.

This elbow can also be used to KO your opponent if you fully land the side of the elbow onto the face rather than the very tip. This is especially likely to happen if your opponent is coming forward when you land it:

sok ti ko slashing elbow

The Elbow Sash vs the Horizontal Elbow

The Elbow Slash technique is often confused with the Horizontal Elbow. These two techniques while similar are not the same. The main difference is the angle of the elbow strike where The Elbow Slash moves along a downward diagonal angle while the Horizontal Elbow moves along a straight(ish) horizontal path parallel to the ground. If you look closely as well, you may find a slight difference in how the hips are rotated during each strike; the elbow slash, since the strike is slightly downward at an angle requires the hips to be more rotated in a downwards (counter clockwise direction — assuming you throw a rear elbow slash from orthodox stance) direction with the head dropping slightly down to facilitate the motion (and add more power to the strike as you drop your head and body down slightly to the left when you throw the strike). The Horizontal Elbow also requires a hip rotation in the counter clockwise direction to facilitate power BUT the hips rotate more along a straight line parallel to the ground (not dropping downwards) and the head is not usually lowered too much near the end of the strike.

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How To Throw the ‘Sok Ti’ Slashing Elbow


You must raise the arm slightly angling the elbow slightly higher than your head and bend the elbow so that the upper forearm is almost touching the bicep and twist the shoulder while throwing the tip of the elbow downward in a 45 degree angle. The hip should be rotated inward at the same time the shoulder is twisted. This rotational momentum is what adds power to the strike.

This strike can be thrown either from the leading arm or the rear arm. The leading throw (i.e. left elbow) is less powerful (than the rear, right elbow) but quicker to land and works great if your opponent steps towards you or leading with a jab then falling into the elbow right after.


Throwing the rear elbow slash

Assuming are in an orthodox stance, as you throw the strike you change the weight from the rear foot to the front foot while lifting up the rear elbow (your right shoulder should be touching your right ear) up then in a downwards arc; make sure you are  your arm and shoulder. The left glove should be held against your face as protection from any counter strike and your chin down and touching your shoulder (for protection).

rear elbow slash

Here are examples on throwing the rear elbow slash:

sok ti muay thai techniquesok ti slashing elbow muay thai

Throwing from the left elbow slash

Assuming you are in an orthodox stance, make sure you change your weight from the rear foot to the front foot, lift the left elbow (left shoulder should be nearly touching your ear) while curling your arm and bring it downwards at a 45 degree angle. Keep your chin down and your right hand protecting the right side of your face.

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front elbow slash

Here are examples of throwing the leading elbow slash:


More Ultimate Elbow Guides…

Be sure to check out our OTHER Ultimate Elbow Guides:

Horizontal Elbows (thrown on horizontal line)

Vertical Elbows (thrown on vertical line)

Oblique Elbows (thrown at oblique/diagonal angles)

Downward Elbows (thrown downwards)

Jumping Elbows

Spinning Elbows