What is an elbow specialist (Muai Sok)?

An elbow specialist (Muai Sok) is a Muai fighter who specializes in the use of elbow variants. An elbow specialist of Muay Thai is called Muay Sok.

Background

The term “elbow specialist” is not a qualification per se, but an attribute attributed to someone who has proven to be particularly adept at using elbow techniques.

In earlier times, such terms were mainly used to advertise combat pairings to the betting public. At that time, the focus of the bettors was less on points, victory or defeat, but on whether and how, for example, an elbow specialist would prevail against a foot specialist.

The bets were placed accordingly for or against the success of certain elbow techniques for which the elbow specialist was known. In the event of success, the fighters were rewarded with bonuses by the bettors.

Because the discipline MUAI is no longer taught as a martial art but as a “stand-up fight without rules”, the term knee specialist nowadays has rather an academic value. Nevertheless, the curriculum of this discipline provides for some minimum theoretical requirements which would justify such a naming.

Minimum theoretical requirements

In order to name someone a Muai elbow specialist, the following minimum requirements should be met:

  1. The fighter should have qualified as a MUAI-Warrior (at least white belt).
  2. The fighter should be able to safely perform the 200 basic techniques of the MUAI.
  3. The fighter should be able to execute the 39 elbow variants in the offensive, neutral and defensive stance.
  4. The fighter should be able to vary the 39 elbow variants into five attack types each.
  5. The fighter should be able to combine the 39 elbow variants at will with pre-teaching techniques, basic techniques and technical variants.
  6. The fighter should have developed at least nine elbow variants of his own in the ascending, parallel and descending direction.
  7. The fighter should have at least three applications against fist for each of the 39 elbow variants.
  8. The fighter should have at least three applications against the foot in each of the 39 elbow variants.
  9. The fighter should have at least three applications against elbows for each of the 39 elbow variants.
  10. The fighter should have at least three applications against knee for each of the 39 elbow variants.
  11. The fighter should be able to use mainly use elbow variants as counter-techniques against an opponent who uses fist, foot, elbow and knee.
  12. The fighter should be able to use at least 13 of the 39 elbow variants upon prior notice. This presupposes the ability to fully control the fight.

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