Striking 101: 1.01 Hooks & Uppercuts, 1.02 Hook Defense (Helmet Guard)

Building on the concepts of Stability, Equilibrium, and Response-Ability, we dig into the power punches: hooks and uppercuts.

The lead crosses are also part of the “power punch” family, but we will address those in a future module so as to highlight the difference between jabbing and power punching.

Power punches are based on torsion and weight transfer, and specifically operate off Power Movements 1 and 2.

Initially, we recommend neatly throwing your hooks parallel to the ground, and throwing your uppercuts perpendicular to the hook. However, in practice, punches can (and should) be thrown from nearly any angle. Understanding the mechanics of good punching will allow you to innovate and adjust on the fly when needed.

Keep in mind that in kickboxing and MMA applications, punches are thrown at a longer distance than pure boxing. That isn’t to say that you can’t throw a tight uppercut or hook — but the reality is that you will often find yourself clinching or elbowing from that range as well, so many of your punches will be slightly farther back.

Hook defense highlights the “helmet guard” concept — again, just like our punches can be thrown from any angle if we observe simple principles, so can our helmet guard defend from any angle.

Incorporate defense into your shadowboxing and bag work! A good rule of thumb is that you will throw no more than 3 offensive strikes, total, before needing to move your feet or defend an oncoming counter strike.

Getting used to weaving defensive movements into your offensive combinations will put you at a great advantage in sparring!