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.


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