We had a big discussion on what the fuck was up with ‘downward elbows’ a while back and came to the conclusion that it was a generally vague and stupid rule. But from whence did said rule come from? Well now we know:
Joe Rogan and Goldberg were discussing the fact a lot of people were wondering why downward elbows were ok to throw from the bottom, from the guard for example, but not from any of top positions. Rogan said that he spoke about this to “Big” John McCarthy, the UFC ref till he recently retired.
According to McCarthy when the state athletic commissions were reviewing various strikes during making of the rules for MMA, they, specifically banned them due to strong impressions from Karate and other Traditional Martial Arts (TMAs) “effectiveness” of downward elbows for brick and board breaking. Just like most of us, the state athletic commissions thought that if that’s what martial artists could do to a bunch of bricks, what kinds of terribly injuries could happen to a fighter getting with with one from the top.
Most of the Unified Rules came about from people watching hours upon hours of brutal no holds barred fights and rating attacks on a scale of “Tame” to “Brutal”. Headbutts, groin strikes, knees to the ground … all of these were culled from the repertoire after people saw them in action and went “Oooh … yeah, that’s a tad too much.”
So I find it simply awesome that the impetus for the downward elbow rule was based around those stupid board and brick breaking demonstrations by McDojo frauds. Of course, there’s always the possibility that there’s a generally unknown UFC or IVC floating around out there where some Kung Fu master used his thunderous downward elbow to crack his opponents in half like eggs over a frying pan.