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MASTERCLASS PRO takes our Masterclasses to the next level.

Learn how to take the individual self defence techniques and strikes you study in our Masterclass feature and merge them into natural and effective combinations in MASTERCLASS PRO.

Study how you can mix and match different upper and lower body strikes, with different ranges and angles of attack.

This MASTERCLASS PRO covers a close range trio of devastating arm strikes, all naturally following each other in a close quarter combat situation.




Scenario: Bursting in preemptively or in-fight with a DOUBLE ELBOW STRIKE, a simple close range and very powerful bursting in movement where your head is protected by your arms and hands and your striking point towards the aggressor’s face or upper torso (height-dependent) is the pointy part of your elbow joints. The immediate follow-up is a HORIZONTAL FORWARD ELBOW STRIKE connecting with a single elbow to the side of the face or neck, before you complete the trio of strikes with a HORIZONTAL INSIDE FOREARM STRIKE with the inside (bony part) of your opposite forearm into the throat or face of your opponent.


Send your upper body forward by pushing off with our feet. The optimal effect from a static position is to keep your feet in the same line, shoulder width apart, where you can push through both feet simultaneously. If you commence the double elbow strike from a movement position, for example after a kick, simply push off with base leg if you can’t land beforehand.

As your head and upper body start to move forward, slam your hands with your palms facing downwards onto the back at your head in the position where the pointy part of your elbows is straight in front of your eyes. Make sure the elbows are joined together (no more space than a couple of centimetres) and your palms locked onto your head at the top or the rear (not the side) so they don’t move backwards upon impact, absorbing the energy rather than putting it into the target. Do not look down or lower your head unless the opponent’s face is lower, so to connect with the pointy part of the elbows and not the now-vertical outside of the forearms. The latter will significantly reduce the impact of the strike. If the opponent is taller than you and the connection is onto their chest, there is still some pain and expect the opponent to move backwards still.

The arms and hand position around your head will offer protection against head butts or circular punches as you close the distance to the target.


Upon landing, immediately drop your hands down in front of you to regain visibility and to continue with further strikes or to control your opponent via grabbing. If the impact didn’t move the opponent far, or you moved quickly forward to stay in touch with the target, a great follow-up is a horizontal or downward angled elbow strike.

With your hands up and in front of you (with bent arms) send the striking elbow forward until the upper arms is parallel to the floor at the point of contact.

Create a maximum reach and power by also sending the striking side shoulder forward as you aim to connect with the upper and outside forearm a few centimetres below the elbow point (don’t aim to connect with the elbow point itself, target the elbow just beyond your desired striking point).

Anatomically, aim to connect with an opponent’s side neck or side of the face.

Breathe out as you strike and keep the other hand up and away from, but in front of your face throughout the strike.

Aim to ‘go through’ the target by 10-20cm (aim beyond the target) and recoil fast on connection to transfer maximum energy. If you’re able to pivot your upper body into the strike, you will also put more mass into the strike to make it more powerful.

This forward horizontal elbow strike may be slightly angled up or down depending on the height difference between you and your opponent at the moment of striking.


As the impact of the elbow strike moves the head and body of your opponent away from you, a natural follow-up is to strike with the now-nearer and opposite arm. Lower this arm from the position in front of your face and move it outward and backward so it falls parallel to the floor (or into an angle where a forward movement of it can target the head area of your opponent). This backward movement should only be far enough to generate power and not swinging too far back, keeping a slight bend in the elbow, where your entire arm should now be ‘locked’ and ready to be used as a complete striking force. Strike forward aiming to connect with the inside part of your forearm (bony part) either into your opponent’s face or side of the neck (dependent on the position of their head following the previous strike). Use the striking arm’s shoulder to push into the strike so your body mass adds to the power and its not just an arm-only motion. If you need to step forward to reach at this point, move on a line so just to by-pass the near shoulder of your opponent using your forward momentum to add more power to the strike.

This MASTERCLASS PRO combination is a devastating close range striking trio where strikes can be executed very quickly and naturally without even exposing your hands (with more delicate bones and biomechanics) to risk of injury.

Train in slow and in front of a mirror to make it instinctive. After that, it can be practiced easily on a heavier and ideally slimmer hanging bag. When training with a partner, do the actions slowly and safely. Use control if applying protective headgear too, as the strikes are powerful and will move/shake the head and expose unprotected necks to impact.

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