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The Eraser
Top 12 Left Hooks From Hell

The hook is the most common KO punch because it tends not to be seen before it is felt.

I recommend four drills for developing hook fundamentals:

-1. Stand before the bag with your hands in high guard covering your ears and then slap the back with a sharp pivot, shifting your weight first left-to-right with the left hook then right-to-left with the right hook.

-2. Now, instead of striking with the open hand, hit with the elbow, the top of the outside of the forearm, not the tip of the elbow. Your shoulders must be loose. Do some horizontal across the middle, some lower rising smashes up underneath and to a lesser extent and best on the light bag, slashing downward elbows like high a wing block.

-3. Practice slapping the elbow [on the bag] and then slapping the ear on the same side.

-4. Practice slapping the elbow and then elbowing the ear on the same side.

-5. Practice deflecting the heavy bag, as you stand where it hangs and it seeks to return to rest with your elbows, and then as it rolls off do a pass hook or a fade hook.

-6. Practice doing pass hooks from side to side with the slapping hand. Do not pivot but do side lunges from side to side, synchronizing the left hook with a rightward lunge and the right hook with a leftward lunge.

-7. The next hook you want to practice is slapping the ear and then dropping in the shovel hook under his elbow as it rises to protect the ear and covering with a high wing block as you do a safety fade pivot behind him.

When hooking with a hooker, the man who goes for the rising shovel hook from the outside while his opponent goes for the lateral Philly hook to the head, will score first and benefit from both power shifts in that on the shovel hook travels diagonally away from the body towards the opponent’s chin and the thumb-up hook hooks back around to the rear shoulder of the thrower through the opponent’s chin. The shovel hook has earlier extension and does not loop back and hence is the longer range, though not as powerful weapon.

In the video below note that the hook works best against the hook as both fighters contribute to the concussive power by rotating through the punching arc.

This shovel hook from outside is best demonstrated at 118 by Donovan Ruddick.

Beginning at 2:00 Zale demonstrates multiple outside shovel hooks.

Note, if you miss this thing and he reads it and counters with the Philly hook overtop, than that’s the ultimate killer hook.

For classic level-change hooks Cooney at 2:28 is a very clean mechanical master of the punch.

Cooney’s rising hook at 2:55 shows elbow-hip continuity from an excellent observation angle.

Beginning at 4:20 see Benn’s dip sequence. When slipping punches and weaving a fighter can load his weight on one side and counter punch, adding oblique muscles and lat muscles as well as thigh muscles into the chain of flexion.

For the best integrated example of the hook in the 1-2-3 combination see Ezzard Charles at 5:14-18.

The King Kong swat or leaping Philly hook is best demonstrated by McCallum at 8:00, Patterson at 11:00 and the master, Joe Frazier versus Ali in the lead up footage. This uses the thigh strength of a muscular fighter and is the most devastating version, as it has the loading, the flexion, the rising arc and the thumb up which engages the bicep muscle at the end of the flexion chain.

With Ruddick and Morrison at 11:50 we have uppercut and wing blocks well integrated with the hook mechanics.

The Punishing Art

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