MJW Elbow Flare Confusion Explained

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Stuart Gilham, Feb 6, 2021.

  1. Stuart Gilham

    Stuart Gilham Member

    Punch biomechanical analysis starts at 4:20

    There is a youtube video of action film star Michael Jai White explaining some boxing fundamentals to the late MMA fighter Kimbo Slice.

    He argues that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line therefore anyone throwing a punch without a perfectly efficient linear trajectory is throwing a flawed punch.

    Biomechanics experts out of the university of Tehran in Iran carried out a biomechanical analysis of a boxer's punch.

    They noted that by boxers throwing with a pre stretch immediately followed by a stretch shortening cycle they threw their punches with more explosiveness and use of muscle-tendon unit elasticity.

    Which method do you think is superior?

    I think you can argue that in bare knuckle/self defense scenarios the perfectly linear non telegraphed punch will have benefits.

    However, I think it was erroneous to argue that top boxers were doing it incompetently as Michael Jai White seems to allege.
  2. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    One of those two people has documented real bare knuckle and MMA fights which he has not only won but also knocked people out in.

    The others an actor.

    Who would you listen to on boxing and punching.

    And if Whites arguement is valid then wing chun which is all about linear non telegraphed strikes would be the world's best art for no holds barred fighting.....
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  3. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    There is a lot of theory and spin on selective science to present certain methods as the "best".

    You may get to the target quicker, but this method is hard to generate enough power for it to matter.
    There is also a lot more involved in an effective technique then the most direct path, to break it down to a small part if the entire story doesn't give the technique the full justice.
    You want to hit first, your timing and setup can have a lot more to do with this than the most direct path.
    The target you are hitting is best landed with the top 2 knuckles of the fist, this connection is made best from a palm down style punch (with gloves you can get away with variations easier).

    Which is why the "boxer" punch (seen in many other styles) would be better in "Street defence" scenario.
  4. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    Whether it makes a punch better or not is kind of a flawed argument because it very much depends on the context of the martial art or combat sport it is used in.

    Elbow flare is commonly seen in arts where there is some form of grappling. An example of this can be seen in Muay Thai where kicks are commonly caught and countered.

    Arts like Boxing and traditional Full Contact Kickboxing (which doesn't allow kicks to be caught) tend to display less elbow flare and fighers will generally pull their elbows into the bodt more so to better protect the rubs.

    At the end of the day a punch is a punch and that's that really. You don't win without throwing it regardless of your elbow position.
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  5. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    I like Mike. I respect him as a martial artist, as an actor, and as a person. However, he does not fully understand motor neuroscience. His rigid belief in "perfect mechanics" reflects his traditionalist martial arts background but it is not well-supported by the motor control literature. One person cannot throw a punch the exact same way every single time, never mind two people trying to throw a punch the same way. There is simply too much variability in the central nervous system. Factor in other constraints like differently sized opponents, background noise, unfamiliar environments, fatigue, etc. and the punch will vary on every repetition.

    Also, the fastest route is not always a straight line:

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  6. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Gonna lean heavy on the hive mind here.

    I'm trying to find the video, pretty sure Simon posted it on his facebook years ago.

    It might been Nigel Benn? Or another prominant British Boxer that demonstrates similar, in regards to keeping the elbows in.
    He's holding pads and a female boxer had to avoid his slow moving strikes, much like the MJW and Kimbo video.....

    Heres the vid where Benn briefly discusses it but exact same advice... but for some reason, for the life of me I cant find the video Ive described.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
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  7. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Huh, hadn't seen this one until now. I would never write off MJW as simply "an actor", he has something like seven black belts including Kyokushin, and he trains under Eddie Bravo, so...not to mention he's jacked, I would not want to be hit by him.

    There's an extended clip of interaction with Kimbo I found. I just kind of took this as some theory crafting between friends...taking it as far as Platinum Mike Peru did, calling Mike a racial slur and challenging him to a fight seems like the real crime here. Some of these guys are just really insecure about themselves I guess.

    As far as boxing punches in a straight line, it's true the strongest linear punches like jabs and crosses follow that rule (in fact I know I have a boxing book somewhere that says the same regarding punch acceleration), but obviously the big difference is that in the ring theory takes a side seat to chance and timing.

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
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  8. hewho

    hewho Valued Member

    Is that during the filming of blood and bone? 100% wouldn't want MJW to hit me, but I equally wouldn't want to get hit by a boxer (again!).

    I'm with the majority here, horses for courses, how you punch depends on how you're trained, and hopefully why you've been trained that way. In the few full contact matches I had I was never a big powerful knockouts type of fighter, it's not my build, so my coaches leaned towards no telegraphing thinking it would be better to have punches that were harder to see coming.

    @Van Zandt How does that video translate to punching? I'm not trying to argue with your understanding, I'm genuinely curious.
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  9. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    I think that video illustrated that the straight line is the shortest, but you can only get to the end fastest if the power generated is equal to the other routes.
    Some elbow flair could allow to engage the muscles which in turn drive the punch faster to the destination compared to forcing your body into a position where the muscles engage in an inferior connection.

    It seems that a lot of the argument on the 2 main variations is telegraph with speed and power, Vs landing with less power. The latter works for points or setup for combination. Telegraphing can come from more than just elbow flair.

    And I also wouldn't want to get hit by MJW :D
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
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  10. hewho

    hewho Valued Member

    Cheers! Yeah, stringing together 4 or 5 where most of them hit always works better for me, but I've trained with guys where even if you see it coming it hurts!
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  11. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    haha, yes my ears still ring from those times.
    Tyson left hook on its own is telegraphed (as with most hooks) but he KOd many with it.
  12. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    You're supposed to bob right when his eyes blink yellow. I wonder if anybody will get that joke..
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  13. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    That sounds like Super punch out :D
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  14. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Technically close but actually "Mike Tyson's Punch Out" was only available for the original Nintendo, but later on he was scrubbed from the game because of his rape conviction and it became just "Punch Out" with Super Macho Man replacing Tyson as the final opponent.

    But yes in the original Tyson version his eyes would blink yellow right before he threw a flurry of monster uppercuts you didn't have a chance of surviving. You had to he ready to bob several times successfully or it was a KO.

    "Super Punch Out" was the later Super Nintendo version and also didn't have any references to Tyson.

    Little video game boxing trivia for ya. More educational than this thread for sure. ;)
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