Mixed martial artists seek to train and better themselves in all aspects of their fighting game. In today’s mixed martial arts arena it is crucial to be able to strike effectively because if you can’t you, make for an easy target for your opponent. Boxing skills in the ring are crucial to round out one’s skill set and prepare for a fight.
One of boxing’s iconic strikes is the hook. It has been used for years in the boxing ring as a powerful strike that can easily be a knockout punch. On the mixed martial arts stage the hook can be an even more powerful weapon. This mostly comes from the smaller gloves that make any strike much more effective than when wearing the boxing gloves. If landed cleanly on an opponent a powerful hook can easily knock even an iron jawed fighter out.
Anyone can throw a flailing hook at somebody but the real power comes from using the correct form while doing it. The majority of the power while throwing a hook does not come from the arms but from the legs and core. For clarification’s sake i will describe a left hook from a right handed stance, or whats referred to as a lead hook.
The arm is bent at ninety degrees at the elbow and positioned parallel to the ground. The arm is effectively locked into this position for the punch. The body is then turned using the core muscles to rotate the torso. In addition the feet are pointed in the direction of the rotation to swing your hips and throw your body into the punch. This rotation and foot movement allows the momentum and force of your entire body to be transferred upon impact making this punch devastating.
Here is a video demonstrating the proper technique. of course it is from a left handed stance but the fundamentals still apply.
Double Edged Sword
This powerful offensive strike can also easily leave you undefended. If you put everything into one punch and miss, or worse the opponent dodges it, the chances for a counter attack are very high. If you end up off balance your opponent could shoot for a quick takedown. Also if you don’t quickly raise your hands for defense against a counter strike one could land and put you in a very bad position. This means that planning and executing these strikes in a smart fashion is essential.
However a hook can also be used as a great counter strike itself. This comes from the natural movement when you throw the hook. When faced with a straight right or left it gives the opportunity to slide to the side of the striking arm and throw the hook on the opponent. This also places you in a prime position without a blocking arm for the opponent.
Another good use for the hook is for a powerful punch to the body. Again the turning motion of this punch serves to take you out of striking range as well as provide enough power to effect the body. A liver strike can be used to stun an opponent along with a quick follow up strike to the head for a knockout, easier said than done though.