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Muay Pram: catching, holding and breaking the elbow.

Attacking the elbow is the primary strategy employed by experienced Muay Pram grapplers to “break the wing of the swan”: in other words to put the enemy in a condition of extreme weakness due to pain and physical and psychological stress. The instantaneous result of a damaged elbow is an almost total lack of capacity to offend or defend properly.
The elbow is located between the arm and the forearm and forms the central pivot of the motor chain of the upper limbs. In a fight, if you manage to lock the elbow area of the opponent, as a consequence you also lock his shoulder and, as a result, you can control all of his body.
If the lock is applied with a jerk, the elbow joint may be permanently damaged. The opponent will not be in condition to hit you with his arm or to use a weapon against you: his fighting ability will be drastically diminished.
However, since it is protected by strong muscles and tendons, damaging the elbow joint is not very easy. In fact, if the opponent realizes that his elbow is being attacked, as an instinctive reaction he will tense the arm muscles, further protecting the joint. At this point, completing a lock becomes very difficult. Therefore, in order to apply a lock and damage the elbow you need to operate quickly and with great determination. Positioning is the key word at this stage.
Most elbow locks are applied against grabs or punches. If you want to catch a punching arm, in order to apply the lock properly, you must first learn to detect and control the opponent’s strike. However, since in executing punches the arm is extended and pulled back, seizing hold of the wrist may result very difficult to do. However, in the execution of punches the elbow moves slower than the hand: therefore, when the punch comes seizing hold of the elbow and wrist at the same time or in rapid succession is recommended instead of trying to grab the wrist area alone.
As soon as you get hold of the opponent’s arm, you have to instantly apply a pain-producing lock or a strike: you only have a split second at your disposal before the opponents puts up a defensive action. Therefore, be fast, be accurate and be vicious if you want your lock to be effective.
At this stage, all the sophisticated Muay Pram strategies aimed at blocking punches and catching the attacking arm come into play. A properly trained Nak Muay Pram (Muay Pram fighter) should possess dozens of highly effective techniques to intercept and catch the striking arm of any opponent. For an untrained person, catching and holding a full speed punch may sound impossible to do; however, Muay Pram stylists learn how to do that since lesson one. And they practice these techniques on a regular basis until catching a punch becomes second nature.
The 3 main Muay Pram strategies to defend against head punches and catch the opponent’s arm are the following: the technique of 4 palms (Kan Pad Mue), opening the guard upwards (Poed Su) and putting a flower behind the ear (Dtad Mala).
For example against a straight rear punch to the face, the Muay Pram fighter may just turn his upper body and let the strike barely graze him. At the same time he would hook the opponent’s wrist with his own wrist and lock the elbow with his shoulder. A sudden hip twist and a shoulder push against the attacker’s arm, can easily snap the opponent’s elbow joint.

Otherwise, if the opponent attacks with a head hook or swing punch, the Nak Muay Pram steps into the attack employing the renowned Dtad Mala aggressive-defence tactic. In doing so, the impact is smothered and at the same time the point of the defender’s elbow impacts against the opponent’s throat or face. A quick over-hook can be easily applied at this point. An explosive hip turn is the usual follow up, possibly causing an elbow dislocation of the trapped arm.

For more information: Muay Pram text book.