About The Left Hook At Short Range
The left hook can be thrown at 3 different ranges; long range, mid range and short range. Of the three, the left hook thrown at short range is designed to deliver the most destructive power onto a target, even though it travels the shortest distance (just ask any of Mike Tyson's early opponents!) Any shots thrown at short range can be classified within the term 'infighting' or fighting on the inside although punching is only one aspect of infighting. Effective infighting, incorporating skills such as the short range left hook, is a difficult boxing technique to master. By understanding the basic mechanics of the short range left hook you will pave the way to learn some of the more subtle skill elements that provide the basis for successful infighting.
OK, check out the video then read on about the mechanics of the short left hook and as importantly the common faults.
The Mechanics Of The Left Hook At Short Range
The mechanics of throwing the left hook at short range are:
- From the boxing stance, the first action is an explosive thrust from the toes on your front foot (the left foot as an orthodox). This thrust rotates your upper-body in a clockwise direction around the central axis so that your hips and shoulders will align approximately with the opponent.
- As the rotation is taking place, the lead arm accelerates toward the target at a 45 degree angle (unlike the mid range left hook which lands horizontally or short range left uppercut which lands vertically.) This acceleration takes place over a very short distance, often no more than 3 to 6 inches.
- As the shot is accelerating towards the target, your bodyweight is transferred fully to the back leg (as a result of the 'thrust' mentioned in point 1).
- As the fist approaches the target, the palm is facing back towards you. At the last moment, the fist clenches and 'snaps' on to the target.
- After the shot lands, the arm returns to the 'home' position as per the boxing stance.
Common Faults With The Left Hook At Short Range
The faults that often occur when throwing the left hook at short range are:
- There is an urge to try and hit too hard. The desire to hit the opponent too hard often results in the boxer's weight transferring to the front leg. If the shot lands, then this isn't too bad (although you shouldn't be under the impression that more 'power' has been generated...it hasn't), but if the shot misses then often the boxer will end-up in a tailspin. Being in a tailspin in front of an opponent waiting to unload heavy shots is a recipe for disaster.
- The right-hand drops as the shot lands. This is a really common fault with inexperienced boxers.
- The boxer allows the punch to become an upper-body movement. Ensure that the rotation of the upper-body is generated by the thrust from the front leg.
- The boxer allows the shot to 'arc' too much. The short range left hook is designed to be a very direct, explosive shot. The fist itself should in fact travel no more than 3 to 6 inches in order to strike the target. This short distance means that the left forearm and upper arm retain a relatively defensive postion throughout the shot, minimising the risk of being struck with a clean counterpunch from the opponent. It is vital that effective defence is maintained whilst landing the short range shots, and throwing what amounts to a mid range left hook when at short range does not promote effective defence! For more information on this, you could check out the article on defensive inside fighting.
The short range left hook in itself is very much a power shot. When the shot is preceded by for instance and inside slip, then the additional power generated is very significant, and when this power is transferred correctly into the shot then it can be a fight winner. As I said, check out any one of Mike Tyson's earlier fights and you'll see this shot used to devastating effect! Any comments? Let me have them below!