Jul 24, 2007

The Lead Hook and the Whip Hook: How to Execute, and How to Defend

Before we start, here's a little bit of Muay Thai wisdom:
Kick loses to Punch
Punch loses to Knee
Knee loses to Elbow
Elbow loses to Kick

Anyway, the focus of today's post is the Lead Hook.
If I had to choose a technique that most beginners/self-trained people just can't seem to use properly, the lead hook would have to be it.

Here's a video from the TKMT demonstrating how to execute the lead hook:

What should you get from this video?
All power comes from pivoting. As soon as it becomes an arm punch, it's useless.
It naturally follows a rear cross. (Also try a lead jab into a lead hook.)
Keep your center of gravity when it is part of a combination.

The next lead hook I want to talk about is something I like to call a "Whip Hook"
This technique has the mechanics of a jab, but is much more effective at setting up a uppercut than a normal hook, IMHO.
It works as such:

1. At a foot less than reaching distance apart, whip out a "lead straight" type vertical jab as fast as you can while stepping diagonally toward your lead side. Aim just barely to the outside of your opponent's head, fast enough that he has to slip inside.

2. As soon as that happens, plant your lead foot, pivot, and slam the back of his head with the inside of your fist in a hooking motion. Even if you miss, you'll at least hit his ear/temple.

3. With that motion, throw a tight uppercut aimed at the top of his chest, so that you don't miss the neck/chin. Due to the fact that his COG will be off from both the strike and his slip, it'll be devastating.

4. *optional* If you can do it fast enough, throw a proper hook or a knee up after the uppercut. Even if you miss, there's no harm in trying at this point.

Now, how do you defend these attacks?

If a tight boxing hook is thrown and you're inside, you're best off ducking.
However, the best general hook defense is blocking with a Thai/Crazy Monkey Block.

Thai: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8956276517000929014
Crazy Monkey: Same, except you slide your arm back with the punch while tilting forward, so it requires a little more timing.

Next time I talk about the hook, it'll probably be about the shovel hook, a severly underused punch.


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