What is the Horizontal Elbow?

The Horizontal Elbow (also known as Sok Tad/ ศอกตัด ) is similar to the Sok Ti (Slashing Elbow) but instead of being thrown at a downward 30-45 degree angle, it’s thrown in a straight horizontal line (the arm is parallel to the floor all the way through the strike). The attack is usually aimed at lower jaw / chin area, and if it connects may result in a brutal KO. As the Sok Tad requires committing your entire body to the movement, the strike should be thrown only when you have solid footing otherwise you might lose footing. To generate the power you must twist your hips and shoulder inward to generate the power.

Elbow Slash vs Horizontal Elbow

Which elbow you use will depend on the situation and the type of guard your opponent has. If your opponent drops his hands at any moment, a Horizontal Elbow can be a fight-ending strike. However, it’s relatively easy to block this type of elbow as long as both hands are held high against the face. The Elbow Slash is more popular than the Horizontal Elbow because it’s thrown at an oblique 45 angle which is easier to land through the opponents guard while the Horizontal Elbow (Sok Tad) is harder to land because it’s thrown horizontally and if the opponent’s lead hand is held at a guard position, the elbow will be blocked.

How to Throw The Horizontal Elbow

The Horizontal Elbow can be thrown with either the rear arm or leading arm; the KO power usually comes from the rear arm Horizontal Elbows, however.

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Target and Angle of Horizontal Elbow


Throwing the Rear Horizontal Elbow

The Rear Horizontal Elbow will be your power strike if it lands clean. To throw it, raise your arm to about chin level so that there is about a 90 degree angle (i.e. a right angle) between the under part of your arm and the side of your body. Throw your elbow straight across your body with the elbow parallel to the floor. The point of contact should be the jaw area / side of the face. As you throw your elbow, your hip should follow the motion at the same time, twisting inward to generate the necessary KO power. Your back foot should twist slightly as well, following the motion of your hip.


Here’s a picture of Saenchai throwing this rear horizontal elbow strike:

saenchai horizontal elbow ko

Throwing the Front Horizontal Elbow

Like the leading Elbow Slash, the leading front horizontal movement follows the same motion. Step forward with your leading foot (left if you are orthodox) and twist your hips clockwise while turning your left shoulder. The tip of your LEFT elbow should swing along an arc that’s parallel to the ground. You should strike your opponent’s chin/lower face area. The Front Horizontal Elbow is quicker to throw than the rear horizontal elbow, but it lacks the same power. You can increase the power of this elbow  by using it as your opponent comes towards you to clinch.


Somrak Kamsing throwing a leading left Horizontal Elbow:


You can watch this video if you want to learn more about how to the the Horizontal Elbow Strike.

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Complete List of Elbow Techniques

Basic Elbows

Advanced Elbows

Special Elbows