Elbow to the Upper Back as a Fighting Technique

I’ve seen this in pro wrestling (yes, I know it’s fake) and in the movies. Fighter A bends down and runs into Fighter B, as if to tackle him. Fighter B holds his ground, and now has Fighter A about his waist, with his (Fighter A’s) back exposed to him. Fighter B drives his elbow/triceps into his assailant’s back, and the assailant goes down.

Is this a legitimate fighting technique? From where I sit, it looks like a best-case scenario is that your assailant gets the wind knocked out of him.

Depends on what you mean by legitimate. It is going to be pretty hard to bring off, since a decent shoot will move you backwards and make it hard to get any power into the elbow. You would probably have to damage the spine or possibly break a rib to have such an elbow strike stop a further shoot.

It isn’t a technique we used much against a double leg pick, if that means anything.


Well in Pro wrestling the tip of the elbow isn’t used. I’m sure full force isn’t used either, but it makes a great slapping noise and the reaction of the one being hit can be impressive. If you are in this position, just dip around his neck and choke him out.

IMO, the back area below the shoulder is probablly the absolute best place to take a blow. If while playing soccer it looked like I was going to get kicked I would turn my back to the person. If I was tripped while running I would try to hit the ground and slide on my back.

Tricep slapping the upper back, not much use in a fight. Tip of the elbow driven down into the spine, neck, or back of the head, much more useful in a fight. This is doubly illegal in unified MMA rules: striking to an illegal area and using an illegal strike, what they call a “12 to 6 elbow.”