Defensive Strategies For Striking By Henri Hooft
You can be one of the most formidable strikers on the planet but you still need a defensive mindset. Knowing where to leave your hands and how to protect yourself from incoming strikes is an extremely important aspect of the fight game.
You must become experienced at knowing how to gage your opponent at all times during the fight. Certain blocks can lead to being opened up to dangerous kicks, so being aware of how and when to utilise different strategies is paramount.
You might get ambushed in your fight and need a more comprehensive strategy to protect yourself from damage. Or if you are complacent with how you are defending punches you can wind up catching an unexpected shot.
Who Is Henri Hooft?
Henri Hooft grew up in the Hague, Netherlands where he trained in full contact Karate before discovering Dutch kickboxing. He later moved to Thailand where he experienced Thai kickboxing, putting all these elements together Henri Hooft created his own unique system of kickboxing. He fought in over 89 professional kickboxing fights and 11 boxing fights where he earned numerous World and European titles. Henri became the head coach of the Blackzilians where he taught some of the greats in MMA like Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans, Edie Alvarez and Anthony Johnson. He currently teaches his kickboxing system out of the Combat Club in South Florida, USA.
Check Out These Strategies Below On The Shield And The Roof!
This technique called the shield is when you use your left forearm to shield punches. In this video Henri shows us how to apply the shield by keeping our left hand higher than the traditional spot of keeping it on the chin. Leaving our left arm higher we can block incoming punches and still have great vision to see our opponent’s attacks. Our right hand stays a little hidden behind our chin and shield arm, this will give us a great counterpunch once we have blocked our opponent's strike using our shield.
Utilising this technique called the Roof is for when your opponent is coming in with a wild flurry of punches. You might find yourself unable to slip your opponent's punch, or you are bailed up against the cage, so using the roof is a great way to defend against these attacks. You simply keep both hands up in a prayer position with your hands slightly above your eyes. The advantage of this is you can block incoming punches and still have good vision straight down the line.
Remember, slipping punches can be very dangerous in kickboxing or MMA because of the high chance of being kicked in the face. Using these techniques will help you defend against high level opponents and still give you the opportunity to counter punch. Practise these strategies and you are on your way to becoming a great fighter just like Henri Hooft!
Learn More From Kickboxing Legend Henri Hooft!
If you are a fan of Henri Hooft, or you like his strategies on defending attacks using the Shield and the Roof, then check out his series H Kick Boxing Fundamentals by Henri Hooft Available exclusively on Dynamic Striking!