The legendary Nong-O Gaiyanghadao from the prestigious Evolve Fight Team is one of the most creative strikers in Muay Thai. The reigning ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion features a myriad of devastating combinations in his striking repertoire.
One thing that separates Nong-O from the competition is his elite-level boxing. Nong-O knows how to use his fists and elbows to great effect. He is quick and powerful with his combinations and has a few tricks up his sleeves.
Nong-O’s jab, cross to elbow combination is a great weapon to add to your arsenal. This incredible combination is a quickly progressing three-hit strike that aims to do serious damage.
The idea is to lead in with a jab or jab feint to raise an opponent’s glove guard. Follow that up with a looping right hand around to the side, and then explode into an elbow strike with the same hand.
It’s essentially turning a punch into an elbow without telegraphing it, maintaining an element of surprise. It’s fast, powerful, and has immense knockout potential.
Learn from the legend himself as Nong-O dissects this combination in great detail, teaching you how to execute with perfection at every step in the process.
Today, Evolve Daily shares how you can add Nong-O Gaiyanghadao’s smooth jab, cross to elbow combination to your Muay Thai game.
1) Distract your opponent with the jab or jab feint
The first step in the combination, and one that is very important, is the jab or jab feint. This is basically the key to the entire sequence and plays a significant role in making this combination a success.
Feints are common in Muay Thai, and they are used to force reactions from your opponents, distracting them from what you have planned or tricking them into a false sense of security. By making them react to a certain attack, and tricking them into defending against that attack which may or may not occur, feints are effective in confusing opponents.
For this particular combination, the jab or jab feint is needed to distract your opponent and cause him to raise his glove guard.
You will use a power jab to first earn your opponent’s respect. The desired reaction is to get your opponent to defend against it. Once that glove guard closes and is up high, you can then move onto the next phase in this combination, which is the right punch.
The jab is so important in this sequence because if you don’t do it first, the opponent will not be distracted. He would then be able to block your right punch and possibly even come back with his own counter, spoiling the entire combination.
2) Throw a looping right hand to the side
Once you’ve achieved the desired effect and your opponent’s glove guard is high, his elbows tucked in close to his body, you will want to throw the right hand. But don’t throw it down the middle. With your opponent’s glove guard closed, there is no avenue to land the punch if you throw it straight.
Furthermore, an opponent’s glove guard is tight and strong. There’s no getting through it even if you throw a powerful straight. What you want is to throw a looping right hand, which will circumvent the glove guard and land on the right side, kind of like a right hook but with less torque.
At the same time, you want to twist your body, carrying the entire weight and momentum of your right hand with you as you take an explosive step forward. If you don’t take that step forward, your punch won’t reach its target, and you will be out of range to land the elbow, which is the next strike in the sequence.
3) Step in with a sharp elbow
As soon as the right hand lands and connects on the target, you need to convert that right hand immediately into a right elbow strike, aiming for your opponent’s jaw or temple. This will complete the combination.
Nong-O demonstrates how to do this, which involves moving in even closer range as you throw the elbow strike. He also reminds students not to cock the elbow or pull the arm back as it is thrown, as it could telegraph the attack and give your opponent a chance to block it. Converting the punch into an elbow is also one smooth motion, which will add to the speed and power of the strike because you’re stepping right into it.
In addition, your opponent will have a very difficult time defending against or even anticipating this elbow because it’s so quick and explosive.
As is the case with any punch, remember to twist your hips and shoulders into the elbow strike while pivoting your rear leg. This ensures proper kinetic energy transfer as you turn into the shot. If you don’t do this, the elbow’s power will be diminished, therefore making it less effective.
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