Monday, October 7, 2013

How to Throw the Hook for Boxing

The most common knockout punch, the hook has power. Whether you use it in boxing, MMA, muay thai, or a street fight, master the technique of throwing a hook and you'll devastate your opponents.

The Power of the Hook

With a hook, the power comes from the torque generated by pushing off the ground with your legs and twisting your hips for a broad, full-body swing of the arm, sending your fist into your opponent.

It's a versatile attack because it can come from many angles, and works wonders when used to punch the body or the head.

The Hook Technique

There are just a few steps and things to keep in mind when throwing a perfect hook:

  1. Turn your lead foot, your toes come inward
  2. Be sure to keep your balance -- half weight on each foot
  3. Rotate your hips
  4. Keep your elbow bent -- a 90 degree angle is perfect
  5. Let your chest swing your arm in a looping motion
  6. Collide your fist with the opponent's face or body

Should I Throw Hooks to the Head or Body?

People ask this a lot, and it depends on the situation. In boxing, where there are lots of punches thrown and lots of rounds, hooks to the body will wear your opponent down. In MMA or a street fight, however, fights don't last as long, and body shots aren't as highly recommended.

Hooks to the head are also the most common knockout punch due to their unpredictable angles and power.

How to Defend Against the Hook

Avoiding a hook to the head is easy: since it follows a looping motion, you can simply duck if it's aimed at your head. If it's aimed at your body, hop backward or sidestep to throw your opponent off balance, then immediately counter.

Blocking the hook is no special technique: you should always have your hands guarding your face, especially while throwing a punch. A hook aimed at your head is blocked by simply keeping your hands where they should already be, and slightly rolling in the direction of the punch to mitigate its momentum, since a punch landing on its target just a few inches beyond where the attacker intended to land it can make it useless.

Blocking a hook to the body is done more with your elbows or forearms. You keep your face covered and your arms in tight, balling up your arms and body so that any punch to the body will be interrupted by your elbows. It might be tempting to just pull your arms down to completely block the body shot, but don't! It's a very common combo to attack the body then immediately follow up with a huge hook to the head, so if you lower your arms, you might be knocked out with the very next punch!

Countering the Hook

Whenever someone throws a hook that misses -- but isn't blocked -- the puncher is very open to a big counter-attack. Properly recovering from a missed hook is a technique in itself, and after you throw ANY attack, you should always return to your balance and guard as quickly as you possibly can.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Is LA Boxing Legit?

LA Boxing Review

Razor Rob of LA Boxing/UFC GYM
So I was recently offered a position as a part-time trainer at a nearby LA Boxing gym.  One of my fans/friends recommended my name to none other than Mr. Rob Razor McCullough (Former WEC Champion). @RaZoRoB (Twitter) is the director of instructor training for LA Boxing/UFC GYM.  He contacted me soon after and forwarded my resume to a few gyms in the area.  I was asked to come in to a nearby LA Boxing just days later.

Today I had to be a student of one of the kickboxing classes, to get a gist of what it was all about.  And wow: I was blown away!  Sure, going into I was a bit hesitant, judging the franchise as nothing more than a cardio class with a bunch of heavybags.  Having been training in Philadelphia's grungy gyms the past few years, using donated exercise equipment and punching bags held together with duct tape, I thought LA Boxing's class was going to be a breeze for me.  I was wrong.

Let me remind you all: I've trained all over, including in 100+ degree weather in Bangkok Thailand, for 4-5 hours at a time.  And even now, I feel I am still at the peak of my fitness level.  But this LA Boxing workout was TOUGH.  I was dripping in sweat, my muscles were on fire, and I was out of breath just 20 minutes into it.  Then we moved onto technique, starting off with my favorite: shadowboxing.  The trainer showed equal attention to each student, making sure their form and technique was sound.  After that, we worked the bag.  Here we put it all into action.  And it was nice having my own bag for the entire workout.  A lot of gyms only have a few, where you have to practically wait in line just to use it.  Finally, we wrapped it all up with an intense ab workout, to tighten up our core and build strength and condition our muscles.
My bruised shins & foot after my first
class.  Ahh, it's been a while, ol' friend.

What is especially nice about LA Boxing is that any skill/experience level is welcomed and accommodated to.  Today for instance, there was a young teen who was probably 13-15 years old, a 45 year old woman, and everything in between.  Some people were shaking the building with powerful punches, while others were just determined to make it through the workout.  Either way, everyone was covered in sweat and getting a KILLER workout!  You decide how good of a workout you get at this place, as long as you listen to the coach running the class.

But the BEST part about LA Boxing is the ability to get private training from the instructors.  If you want to get in-depth training, advanced fight help, or just individual concentration to get an even more personalized workout, then this is where you're in luck.  LA Boxing provides the best rates around, SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper than any other gyms, let alone private MMA training.
  • So... is LA Boxing worth it? 


  • Is LA Boxing expensive?

Not at all.  Most likely A LOT cheaper than any other privately owned gyms in your area.

  • Is LA Boxing real boxing?

Yes.  I've trained all over Philly, from ghettos to top-of-the-line gyms and you can get the same exact thing at LA Boxing.

  • Is LA Boxing any good?

It's awesome.  Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

I hope this review answers any questions you have.
And let me know if you're in the Philadelphia area
so we can get some training in!

Shane Fazen
LA Boxing - Springfield, PA
ShaneFazen [at] FightTips [dot] com

Sunday, April 7, 2013

How To Fight: Multiple Opponents

Check out my updated FIGHT guide here:

ATTENTION: The two MOST DANGEROUS situations you can be in are 1.) fighting someone who is armed with a weapon and 2.) fighting multiple opponents.  Avoid these situations at all costs!

Before we begin, let me give you some tips on avoiding the fight:

  • Survey your surroundings - Always be aware of the people who are around you, plan escape routes, and be aware of possible weapons and other variables in your current area.
  • Don't make yourself an easy target - Be confident, but not cocky.  Be smart, but not a smartass.  And expect the worst, so you are never caught off guard.
  • If you want to keep your teeth and your life - then swallow your pride and drop your ego.

Okay, now actual tips on fighting more than one person:

Stick and move!
You don't want to get caught up fighting 2 or 3 guys at one time, because let's be honest: you'll get beat up.  You have to exercise good footwork, constantly keeping one of your opponents behind the other.  Throw crisp, accurate strikes (and make them count by aiming for the eyes, nose, and throat), and continue to move.

Use your surrounding to your advantage!
If you're indoors, use chairs and desks as weapons or obstacles.  If you're outside running, run in between (parked) cars and run into churches or stores.  Stay visible to the public!

Keep everyone in your eye sight!
Be wary of the locations of the attackers at all times, to the best of your ability. Be careful of the ones trying to sneak up behind you, or the possibility of knife-wielding opponents.

If you have to fight, be a f$#%ing ANIMAL!
If you have no other option but to stand your ground and fight, then you will seriously need to show some ferouciousness. When attacking, scream and roar. Scare them off, and do as much damage as possible. Aim for eyes, throat, groin, ears, --bite, scratch, elbow, headbutt, etc.

Don't worry about winning!

Once you have a clear chance to run, then GET THE HELL OUTTA THERE!

Do everything in you ability to stay on your feet. If you go to the ground, you will get stomped. This can be lethal. If you do go down, bring someone down with you, or grab a hold of someones leg and get to your feet, then create distance again.

Always be ready.
Shane Fazen

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

FightTips Contest WINNER!

fight tips gang sign
Just a few of the FightTips contest entries

We got a ton of entries for the #FightTips patch contest, and it was hard to choose our favorite.  But after much thought and consideration, we have chosen a #WINNER!  

But, I'd first like to personally thank all of my friends and fans for not only entering this contest, but for being a part of the FightTips movement.  It is you and your support that keeps all of this going on, so please take a minute to pat yourselves on the back.  YOU are helping kids defend themselves against their bullies, YOU give them the confidence to pursue their dreams, and it is YOU that spreads the support and shares strength to those in need.  
You are FightTips.

...And now the winner of our contest, @Grimfangs

Fight Tips Logo
Grimfangs Hellbender

Sunday, March 10, 2013

How to Fight Someone Bigger than You

Check out my updated guide here:

Fighting someone bigger (heavier) than you:

If someone is fat they probably are going to weigh more than you, so this means that:

  • If neither of you are trained then he/she will probably have the harder punches. (more weight = more force)
  • When the fight gets into some grabbing or goes to the ground, his/her added weight is going to make it a lot harder for you shove them around and if they get on top of you then you're in some trouble. But this doesn't mean you should succumb to defeat. Keep moving, keep striking, look for sweeps and up-kicks. Use any ground experience that you have and try to get the dominant position or to get back up again. Just be careful!
  • His/her weight also means that they are likely to be slower; in moving around, in throwing techniques and getting out of the way of things. You need to use this to your advantage!

A few other things on fat people:

  • Mostly they will get tired quicker than thinner people, this isn't always going to happen but it is pretty common.
  • The fat acts as a bit of a cushion, protecting the body. It means they are less likely to get hurt by body shots, however it doesn't protect other areas anymore than normal.

Now for some tips on fighting them:

  • Remembering the things I mentioned before the first thing is to keep your distance.  If they are going to be throwing hard punches then you don't want to be caught by it. So keep them at a distance, move around. Don't get too carried away, you still need to win the fight and all.
  • This also means that you won't get taken down by his/her superior weight.
  • Be fast. When you strike at them you you have to try do it quickly and when moving away from them do it quickly. Let them chase you.
  • Tire them out. If you're moving, making them miss, then they will get tired.
  • The more tired they get, the worse they become. So if you have time go for it.
  • Don't forget to use dirty tactics if you get in trouble, kick them in the balls, poke them in the eyes, whatever... It's about winning not about getting points for being a gentleman!
  • Always remember to play to your strengths and avoid your opponents! So like I've said above; don't do anything that lets him/her use his/her weight and at the same time do things that you can do well.
  • Throw your punches in combos. Using mostly straight punches (your longest ranged punches), step in, throw a combo, then step out of range (with your hands up and guarding).
  • If you can kick use that to stay out at range. But only if you are trained to kick. Otherwise it is too risky. Even if you are trained don't go above the waist: there is too much risk of being taken down.

Now people who are taller than you:

  • Tall people don't have as many things to mention as fat people but the main thing to be careful of is his/her reach.  Since they are tall they will have longer legs and arms, and so will be able to keep you away. They can hit you while you can't hit back.
  • Really tall people, who are almost freakishly tall do have some problems with speed, and they can't quite do anything quickly.  BUT this is only a possibility, they might not be tall, you might just be small.  So don't assume that if they are tall then they are slow.

Of course don't forget that tall people could also weigh more than you as well. But I just told you all about fighting people like that!

So tips on fighting them:

  • Again the main thing is his/her reach advantage: they may not be a trained fighter and not know what to do with this, but even then it will still work in his/her favor.
  • So, you need to get in close.
  • Wait until they throw a punch, try avoid it by slipping FORWARD (not backward), then push in.
  • When you get in closer throw tight, hooking punches, or overhand punches. Refer to: Hong Man Choi vs Mighty Mo

  • Body Clinch them tightly around his/her lower waist, and work leg trips or slams.
  • Try to get them down as quickly as possible, so they can't get you away.
  • Don't be afraid, if you keep backing up, they're gonna get you.
  • Again if you need to, fight dirty.

So that's pretty much it, I haven't included any detailed techniques, but those are the sort of things that are best learned under some training.
So please feel free to add your own thoughts!

And now (thanks to Shane) in video form!

Thank you to our elite member Stuart for writing out this guide.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How to Throw a Punch

proper fist chart
Sometimes a fist isn't the best choice for throwing a punch

Check out my UPDATED How to Throw a Punch guide here!

Learn Street Boxing

The first technique anyone will ever teach you for a street fight, is probably a punch. However the fist Is made up of a bunch of small bones that can break quite easily. This guide will teach you five (5) different punches that can be done in a street fight, with optimal safety and results.

#1) The Jab:

The job is a punch performed with the lead hand, which is usually the weaker hand. It is used to find range, to make your opponent react, and to set up other punches. It is a straight, crisp punch which has been known to do damage, but works best when followed by another punch or combination.

#2) The Cross:

The cross is a powerful punch executed with the rear hand. It is also a straight punch, but with the twisting of the hips combined with a higher velocity, the cross is more likely to achieve a knockout. The jab can be use to set up the cross, but the combo doesn't necessarily end there.

#3) The Hook

The hook is a shorter-ranged punch, done with the lead hand. It is performed by pivoting the lead foot, hips, and shoulder at the same time. The lead hook stays tight, and chops the opponent's jaw or side of the head, resulting in an offset of balance, or ideally a knockout.

#4) The Uppercut

The uppercut is also a short ranged, tight punch. It is best used in the clinch, or after slipping an opponents punch. The uppercut pops the opponent's head up, setting up the perfect opportunity to follow with the lead hook.

#5) The Overhand Punch

The overhand comes over top of your opponents guard. Unlike the jab or cross, the overhand comes in a looping motion on a downward path into the opponent's jaw/face.

Practice these punches for at least 20 minutes daily. Shadowboxing is a great form of exercise, but it also helps to ingrain these punches into your arsenal. The more you practice these punches, the harder and faster you will be able to punch. So train hard and train often.
-Shane Fazen

Saturday, March 2, 2013

#FightTips Patch Contest!

FightTips Logo Gi Patch

FightTips First Giveaway Contest!

Win a FREE FightTips Patch and personalized letter from Shane!


If you haven't already seen the newest FightTips video, we mentioned the start of our first contest.  We are giving away multiple patches to those who share his/her best pictures throwing up the FightTips hand sign.

Shane Fazen Instagram


Take a picture of yourself doing the FightTips hand sign and upload it to Twitter and/or Instagram with "#FightTips" in the tweet/caption.  Get Creative with it: change the scenery, get friends in on it, ask celebrities to do it, etc!









How to do the FightTips hand sign:

how to gang sign

  • Overlap your hands
  • Slightly tuck your thumbs
  • Extend your index finger, and progressively curl the remaining fingers.
  • Win.  


  • You can submit as many pictures as you want,
  • Entire hand sign must be clear and legible
  • No nudity!
  • Have fun!
Looking forward to your entries!
Shane Fazen

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Update 02/19/13: I'm Sick of Dreaming...

"I'm sick of dreaming. It's time to make it happen." 

That was my tweet from earlier today; it means a lot to me. I have been working really hard on many different things inside and outside of FightTips, and though I have seen some success, I'm still no where near where I'd like to be.

I just wanted to update you guys on where I am at right now, and what is in store for the future.  So within my personal life: I'm busy as hell working two jobs and training at any chance I get. Even though I think my thumb is broken, I decided I'm still gonna fight in the Philadelphia Golden Gloves Tournament March 9th (a little over 2 weeks away). Unfortunately, I am working every single day leading up to that, so I'm gonna have to cram in training and lose some sleep. This is where training SMART comes in... it's not always about just training hard.  But on top of that, the hardcore dieting started and it's making me cranky and irritable.  I'm currently at 138 lbs, and have 6 more pounds to lose.  Not much, but I still want a cookie or two (hundred).  But hey, at least I'm not (fill in blank with something you hate doing).  <-- there's being optimistic ;)

Anyway, as for FightTips:  I have so many projects and ideas working right now, I can't keep track of them all.  The newest was the collaboration video with Jason of Precision Striking.  If you haven't seen the video we made comparing Ring Boxing vs. Street Boxing, check it out here:  It covers topics such as the liver punch, low blows and groin strikes, and even MMA combonations.  But that's just one bit of creativity FT has got goin' on!

We also finished filming the Dime Street Joker music video where I beat up a bunch of zombies with some action-packed martial arts choreography.  Editing is currently in progress and the final product will be out within a few weeks.  This collaboration led to more ideas and teamwork done with bassist and video producer Jason Sheck.

Jason is an old friend of mine.  Yes, he's known me before FightTips even existed.  So, Sheck has graduated from Temple University with a degree in film.  He's got a LOT of talent and original ideas, and together we came up with some, truly, groundbreaking ideas.  Without giving too much away: the closest thing that relates to it was the video where I talked about my past street fights.  That got a lot of positive feedback, but frankly I found it boring.  Okay, I'll say this: what we have brewing will make that video look like a children's show.

I'm not kidding.  and it doesn't stop there!  I already have a few chapters written for my new book & DVD combo.  Wanna hear the opening line? Check this out:

 "The 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme film "Kickboxer" first introduced me to the art of Muay Thai."

...How about a little shoutout, Van Damme?  We also have plans for bringing back a live podcast, a possible short-series TV show on YouTube, and even inventing a new exercise machine.  Now I just have to organize my time better, so I can release it for you all the see!  I'm working hard, but either it's not hard enough, or I need to work smarter.  Either way, I'm going to succeed and I hope that you all enjoy what is to come.

Train smart and WIN!
Shane Fazen

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

First Blog - Introduction

My name is Shane Fazen; I am FightTips.

Hey everybody.  If you don't already know me, my name is Shane Fazen.  In short, I'm a martial artist, instructor, and video creator on YouTube.  I'm starting this blog to share self-defense tips, give up-to-date fitness advice, and to inspire anyone who reads.  I hope to achieve the same thing I did with my website and YouTube presence: help those in need, whether it be defeating their bully, get in shape, or find the motivation to pursue their dreams.

So what should you expect from this blog?  I will be sharing all of the new things I learn, from boxing pointers to advanced workout routines.  And lately I've been noticing that a lot of what intrigues me isn't so much new information, but it's the stuff that I already knew but forgot.  So I'm here to remind you of the stuff you knew was valuable, but forgot about.  I'll bring that good stuff to the forefront of your mind, and offer some new stuff.  And throw in some interesting stuff like my newest videos, fights, or anything else.
Me and Atif -- My first fan to ever recognize me in person

I am always learning and I embrace that.  People pass along information to others, seeds are planted, ideas are formed, etc.  I'd like to pass along my knowledge to anyone who will give me the time.  And, inversely, I want to learn from you!  So please share your success stories, research, art, or anything else.  Let's win.

My name is Shane Fazen.  Together, we are FightTips.