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The Right Way To Throw Hooks To The Body With Stephen Whittier

The Right Way To Throw Hooks To The Body With Stephen Whittier

Body punches are one of the most critical aspects of fighting; when we see a fighter working the body, we know that he is experienced. Beginners are usually called “head hunters” as they forget the body and commit to hitting the head. 


Working the body is one of the best strategies to utilize in a fight as it impairs the opponent’s mobility and allows us to catch faster opponents. When we throw body shots, we make our opponents focus on protecting their body instead of their heads which can increase our chances of finishing our opponents. Body punches can also work as a tactic against tall fighters who leave their midsection open as they have a big surface area to cover in their stance.


The effectiveness of body shots is genuinely unique as they can hurt an opponent so badly that he won’t be able to recover from it, unlike hitting the head where the opponent can get up after a knockdown. After a body shot, most fighters won’t get up as they writhe in pain, looking for air. Most fighters find it hard to utilize body punching well as they telegraph their punches and overcommit to them, ending up in a bad position where they can be easily countered.


To get better at working the body, we should fix our mistakes and work as an experienced fighter:

  • Telegraph - maintain eye contact and don’t look down as you throw a body punch; work the body and head together.
  • Over committing - work your way into the close distance and throw short punches from there; don’t leave yourself wide open working from a distance.



In the following video, Stephen Whittier will show us how to throw the hooks to the body correctly.


Who Is Stephen Whittier?

Stephen Whittier is one of the most decorated martial artists on earth, holding countless black belts in different disciplines, and is one of the highest-ranked practitioners of Muay Thai in the USA. Whittier is the head coach of the well-renowned gym Straight Blast Gym and is actually the leader of the whole organization, working with many fighters around the world.

Check Out Stephen's Extensive Instructional HERE! Click Learn More!



The Body Hook  

In this video, Stephen Whittier will show how to use the hooks to the body, which resembles a spring action in our body. When we work the hook to the body, notice that the hook follows the same direction my hips face as I rotate and come up.

Our structure stays the same as we rotate our hips and shoulders when we work all our fundamental strikes (jab, cross, hook, and uppercut). But when we throw the hook to the body, were adding another element to the structure, we add a tilting motion to the side.

The new structure we will work with functions best with some strikes that require this tilt in them. One of those strikes is the body hook, where we will tilt and rotate our hips and lead foot to create enough torque to put power into the hook. Notice that as I come up with the punch, I keep my head over my lead foot.

Our body punch aims at the lower ribs or the classic liver punch to put our opponent out. As we throw the body hook, some people feel the danger as they don’t keep the rules for safety while throwing the hook.

The first problem many fighters face is that they level change right in front of the opponent, not keeping the distance where it is easy for him to stop us in our track. 

When we work with a partner, we must get ourselves into the close distance before throwing the hook. We can find this range easily by utilizing short punches like hooks and uppercuts to see if they can hit before level changing.

So when we get to the close distance, we need to take our lead foot just outside his rear foot while level changing and hitting the body with the hook in an upward angle where we dig into the body.

Remember that as soon as you hit your partner with the punch, you want to rebound using your hips into a safety position where your hands are in front of your face.

Learn More From Stephen Whittier

Fundamentals of Functional Striking by Stephen Whittier 

Suppose you liked this technique by Stephan and would like to expand your knowledge; check out his full instructional -  “Fundamentals Of Functional Striking - With Stephan Whittier” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking.