Mastering The Right Hook With Melvin Manhoef
The right hook is a powerful punch that most boxers don’t use enough today, although it has a high KO percentage behind it. Most practitioners are introduced to the lead hook early in their development, and it is known as their primary hooking punch, while the right hook is briefed upon and doesn’t get much attention.
Before we dive into the right hook, let’s look at hooks in general and their primary purpose inside boxing. Boxers developed the hooks to deal with a simple reaction seen in all humans, especially boxing - To go around the opponent’s hands when he extends them away from the face.
We can easily notice that the hooks are a natural punch all humans have ingrained in them, and if you look at a kid throwing punches, he will most certainly throw swinging punches resembling hooks.
Swinging around became an instinct because it deals with the natural reaction to extend our hands in front of our face; when something is thrown at us, we usually extend our hands and allow punches to sneak around the hands.
So boxing simply took that innate reaction and built upon it. We are already throwing punches at each other, so the reaction will always be there, sometimes it will be an exaggerated reaction with beginners, and sometimes it will be a slight movement of the hand extending away that can give the opening for a hook.
When we learn the central concept behind the hooks, we can understand why rookies love this punch so much and find a lot of success. On the lower levels, the chances of catching an extended opponent are much higher and rewarding as it can quickly finish the fight with KO.
So why is it that many coaches choose to focus on the left hook and not the right hook?
This question is simple to answer when we understand the concept of positioning and stance - when we throw our lead hand strikes (jab, hook, uppercut), we keep our position and stance to come back to defend or keep the attack going quickly.
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When we throw strikes with the rear hand, it will always take us out of position as we must rotate our body into a stance that doesn’t allow us good mobility or defense. So when we throw a rear hand of any kind, we must pick it carefully and usually as a powerful counter where it must deal a lot of damage quickly.
So the lead hook gains extra attention as it must deal with a subtle reaction of extending the hands from a very close distance which can be dangerous, and there is no place for mistakes.
But the right hook is still a fundamental blow that must never be abandoned as it opens many powerful counters, especially against the Jab, which is a type of hand extension that is used a lot in a fight, especially on higher levels.
Who Is Melvin Manhoef?
Melvin Manhoef is a Surinamese former professional Kickboxer that competes in MMA today for the prestigious Bellator MMA. Before he retired, Melvin was a successful kickboxer as he won the Middleweight Title for IT’S SHOWTIME organization. As an MMA fighter, Melvin gathered 32 wins with 29 KO’S which is the highest knockout percentage in MMA, and he is still fighting at Bellator’s Middleweight division.
The Right Hook
The video starts with Melvin emphasizing the importance of putting our body into the punch with a rotation, the same as we do when we learn the left hook, we want to rotate our body and let the punch carry our weight instead of throwing an arm punch.
So the position we want to start from when we throw the right hook is:
- Elbows tight to the body
- Chin down
- Lead shoulder in front
- Weight in between our legs
We are ready to work from this position as we can block kicks and sit on our punches. So from here, we will step forward as it is a short punch and turn our hips so our head is over our lead foot and the hook lands right in front of our eyes.
When we hook, we want our forearm to cover our eyes so there is no opening that can danger us; when the forearm is low, anything might get in and interfere with our punch.
Melvin finishes the video, showing us the right hook from all angles so we can see everything he talked about clearly.
Learn More From Melvin Manhoef
If you liked this content from Melvin Manhoef and want to expand your knowledge of becoming a KO artist like him, check out “Creating KO’S - The Fundamentals Of Power Striking By Melvin Manhoef” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking.