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How To Throw A Rear Hook With Mike Winkeljohn

How To Throw A Rear Hook With Mike Winkeljohn

The rear hook is probably the least thrown technique in most striker’s arsenals. There’s a few different reasons for this. A lot of coaches, especially old school boxing coaches, consider the rear hook to be a useless punch. They’ll say that the risk is no where near the reward. This is for a few reasons. Mainly that you need to open up a lot to throw this strike and this leaves you exposed. 

This is why coaches argue that it’s useless. For others that's the reason that you need to drill it, so you can minimize the danger when you throw the strike. It also becomes worth it when you realize that you can generate a ton of power with this strike. This is why it is worth your time and effort to drill it. But before you drill the technique, you need to know how to throw it optimally.

In this video, Coach Mike Winkeljohn goes over the proper technique to have when throwing a rear handed hook. If you haven’t heard of Mike Winkeljohn, then you have probably been living under a rock. Winkeljohn is one half of the dynamic duo of MMA coaches alongside Greg Jackson..Together they own and coach out of Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At this gym they train top tier MMA talent like Jon Jones, Michelle Waterson and Holly Holm. 

Master Powerful Strikes With Mike Winkeljohn!


Mike Winkeljohn goes over the proper technique and queues to use when you are throwing the rear hook. The video starts off with Winkel John talking about how the rear hook is actually a fairly simple strike to throw. For the most part, the queues that you would have for the lead hook are the same for the rear, just going in the opposite direction. You need to turn your rear foot going in the direction of that punch. 

Winkeljohn says that you should overrate when first learning to throw that punch. This means that it is ok to throw yourself off balance when first learning this punch. Doing this will allow you to really throw yourself into the power shot. Remember that you should lose this habit when you're actually sparring or fighting, as over-rotating can make it hard to return to your stance and defend yourself. 

Make sure that you are shifting your hips to the other side. This is what helps generate the power. Coach Winkeljohn then goes into the importance of drilling this technique so that you can get a feel for it. Coach Winkeljohn says that doing this will help teach you about throwing the rear hook more than he ever could. He compares it to getting a new car and driving it around a lot to get a feel for it. 

Adaptations For The Rear Hook

Coach Winkeljohn then goes on to talk about how the hook might change depending on the distance. Since this is a rear hand hook, it will be a slightly shorter distance than the lead hook. If you want to increase the range of the rear hook, there are a few tricks that you have at your disposal. If you want to land a longer distance right hook, you can turn over your fist so that your palm is facing away from the target. Doing this will add longer range to the strike. This is especially effective in MMA with smaller gloves, as you can fit the hook through your opponent’s guard more easily. In sports using larger gloves, this is much more difficult. 

Power Punching by Mike Winkeljohn
If you liked this tutorial and want to learn more striking tips from the legendary Mike Winkeljohn, then check out his complete video series “Power Punching by Mike Winkeljohn” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking!