What is the Downward Elbow Chop?
This strike, known as Sok Tong in Thai, is a powerful downward elbow that’s can render an opponent unconscious if you land it cleanly on the center of the face.
The motion is the reverse of the Uppercut Elbow; rather than the elbow being whipped upwards, the Downward Elbow Chop is smashed downward.
This is a rarely thrown elbow, more often shown in Muay Boran matches due to the stylistic nature.
However, it can be (and is, by some fighters) used in an actual Muay Thai match, though usually only if one of the fighters is technically superior to the other fighter or comfortably winning the fight on points.
The point is, you don’t usually see it in a Muay Thai match and you’ll probably won’t see it thrown by Thai boxers in major stadiums due to the risk of getting out of position by failing the strike.
There are a couple different ways to utilize this elbow:
Standing: The standard technique is to execute this by stepping forward towards your opponent and hammer down the elbow into the nose area.
This is called Sok Tong (Downward Elbow Chop):
Jumping: The technique can also be combined with a jumping motion by jumping up and over your opponent then bringing the elbow down on the top of the head or the front of the face. You have to be quick and often this type of jumping attack requires some sort of faking motions first to force your opponent to cover up from which you can then leap up and execute the Sok Tong movement in the air:
This is called the Kradot Sok (Mid Air Elbow strike or Jumping Downward Elbow):
To The Leg: You can also hammer the elbow down onto your opponent’s leg IF you manage to catch the kick. This is a fancy Muay Boran move that you might be able to pull off in a Muay Thai fight.
Watch Samrak chop someone’s leg with Sok Tong:
How to Throw the Downward Elbow Chop
This elbow makes an appearance, occasionally, in Muay Thai fights, especially at the higher levels. It’s a powerful finishing strike that can end a fight with a single blow, if it lands cleanly. You can throw it stepping forward or while leaping with the rear elbow. You can step forward and throw the elbow with your leading arm as well (this is less common then the rear elbow version).
The key to generating power with this strike is to step forward (or jump forward) while bringing your elbow downward, dropping your body slightly as your elbow comes forward.
How to Throw the Rear Downward Elbow Chop:
Step (or slightly hop) forward while raising your right elbow tip above and over your head your head in an arc and bring it in a downward motion shifting your weight from your back foot to your front foot as you throw the strike (assuming you are doing it from the ground and not from the air after a jump). The strike must be executed quickly to land. You should aim for the bridge of the nose / center of the face.
There rear Downward Elbow Chop is a powerful move and you can easily KO your opponent if you land it flush.
This is also a great move to utilize if you are TALLER than your opponent as you can really leverage your height to add more force to the blow and your opponent will find it difficult to counter it (especially if you start raining these down from the cinch):
If you twist your hips slightly in a counter clockwise motion as you throw the strike, you can generate even more power:
You don’t have to step to far with your left hand; the strike can be thrown just as you reach clinch range:
How to Throw a Leading Downward Elbow Chop
Step forward with your lead leg while raising your lead arm upwards so that your hand is above your head then bring the tip of the elbow down against the top part of your opponent’s head. You can also make a slight hop/leap forwards to give the strike more power.
Here’s how the leading downward elbow chop is used in a fight:
How to Throw a Jumping Downward Elbow Chop
This is a separate technique. Read our Ultimate Guide to the Jumping Downward Elbow strike for the full guide.
Complete List of Elbow Techniques
- Backwards Elbow
- Downward Jumping Elbow (Mid Air Strike)
- Spinning Back Elbow
- Diagonal Elbow
- Downward Elbow Chop