About the Long Range Right Hook
The difference between success and failure when throwing a punch can often be very slight. As a boxer, you may be constantly trying to nail an opponent with a right cross at long range, but somehow your opponent manages to block just at the right time, or slip or duck the shot almost by accident. The more you persevere with the right cross, the more frustrated you get that it doesn't land! So what do you do? One of the first options you should think of is using the long range right hook. Now, the untrained eye may struggle to identify the difference between a long range right hook and a (straight) right cross. True, the differences are subtle, but they should be easily identifiable to someone who knows what they are looking for. Here's the secret; it's all about angles! Watch the video, then read on.
The long range right hook is a shot that capitalizes on an opponent's assumption that the incoming shot will be straight. In actual fact, the shot arrives at the target at the end of a very gentle arc which in military terms 'flanks' the lead hand of your opponent. Furthermore, because this is a right hand (the orthodox boxer's stronger arm), it can often be landed with bone-splintering power on the side of the jaw. In short, the right hook at long range is a subtle shot that is understood and used by expert boxers. It's very much a punch for the purist and when you distinguish the difference between the right cross and the long range right hook then your ring generalship will be much improved and your 'shots landed' percentage will without doubt increase!
The Mechanics of the Long Range Right Hook
The mechanics of the right hook at long range can be explained as follows:
- From the boxing stance the initiating action is a push from the back foot. This drive from the back foot generates the power to rotate the hips in a counter clockwise direction.
- As with the right cross, there is a significant rotation of the hips. Let's view the boxing stance on the face of a clock on the ground. The left hip would be in the starting position at 11 o'clock. The right hip would be in the starting position at 5 o'clock. Following rotation, the right hip will be at 2 o'clock and the left hip would be at 8 o'clock.
- As the upper body is rotating, the lead leg (left) bends at the knee. This bending of the knee allows the hips to rotate as needed. The rotation takes place around the central axis as described in the video.
- During rotation, the right hand accelerates toward the target. The fist travels along a gentle arc, straight then right to left. This arc allows the long range right hook to 'flank' the lead hand of the opponent. The long range right hook leaves the home position slightly earlier than when throwing the right cross; this is something you will have to 'feel' for in order to accurately release the shot at the right time.
- As the fist nears the target (having covered about 75% of the distance), it rotates inwards so that the palm is facing down towards the floor. At the last moment, the fist clenches and 'snaps' on to the target, having swung from right to left around the opponent's lead hand.
- The fist returns along a straight line, returning to the 'home' position as per the boxing stance.
Common Faults with the Long Range Right Hook
There are a number of common problems that can occur when throwing a long range right hook, unsurprisingly all very similar to those faults that occur with the right cross! Anyway, here they are:
- Rather than a push from the pack foot which 'drives' power through the leg and into the hips, the boxer may often 'spin' the back foot. This results is a significant reduction in the potential power delivered by the shot.
- The punch is 'telegraphed', or tell-tale movement takes place before the punch begins it's journey. The most common giveaway on the cross is a 'drawback', the result of trying to hit too hard. When the shot is telegraphed, it is very unlikely to land cleanly.
- The boxer allows the punch to become an upper-body movement. Ensure that the rotation of the upper-body is generated by the push from the back leg and that you don't end up with an 'arm' shot.
- The boxer 'bends' the body off the central axis. Again this will reduce the power of the shot.
- The final common fault is that often the left hand will drop from the 'home' position close to the cheek. I'm sure there's no need for me to point out why this is a bad thing!
- Finally, the shot can travel on too wide a trajectory (i.e. it goes too far to the right before swinging in to the left).
Enjoy the video. Please feel free to leave a comment!