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  1. #1

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    Boxing hooks - to twist or not to twist?

    Hi all! I'm a new amateur boxer, being only three months introduced to the sport and one fight into my competitive record. Naturally, I have a great many things to learn. Unfortunately, a technique I've always took for granted has been recently brought under criticism, albeit from a coach whose qualifications I can't confirm, so I thought to ask the Bullshido community.

    Before my first amateur bout, during my warm-up, a coach from another gym (not the gym of my opponent, mind you) stopped me. He told me that there was a problem with my left hook. It came as somewhat as a surprise to me; though my experience is limited, I'd always considered my left hook to be my Sunday punch. Every trainer I'd ever worked with had nothing but positive things to say about it. Still, I thought it always good to hear a fresh opinion, so I bit: "What's wrong with it?" "Your [left] foot," he said. "You're twisting it. And your head's going with it. You're gonna get hit like that."

    This struck me. Just a week prior to the fight, a veteran fighter at my gym told me I needed to work on always watching my opponent. He said my eyes tended to drift away from my target, and he demonstrated the implications of my mistake by boxing me about the head whenever I took my eyes off him (needless to say, I've been trying to address the issue in my training!). That this unknown coach would unknowingly echo the veteran's warning gave him a kind of credibility in my eyes, which made his advice all the more concerning.

    You see, from day one I was taught to hook with that twist specifically mentioned. It was something I took time to practice when I shadow-boxed at home. "Don't wind up - rotate your body explosively and use your arm as a whip. Plant your feet and put out the cigarette" - that was the counsel of my trainer.

    It was too early to make adjustments for the fight (I won, if anybody cares :OpenMouth:), but as soon as I returned to training, I did some experimentation. I found that the turning of my head was indeed inseparable from the ankle turn, but that my eyes could still watch my opponent. I also found that a planted, static foot made my rotation feel slow - not a snappy motion at all. But that could be just an illusion or lack of practice. I don't want to reinforce bad habits by continuing to throw the hook incorrectly! Please, could someone well-versed in boxing help me?

  2. #2

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    I twist, my fighters twist, all the fighters I have trained with twist, we all twist. Now, if you are turning your head and exposing your jaw, you may want to fix that. I use tennis balls with my fighters to keep them from exposing their jaw.

  3. #3
    goodlun's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I would bring it up with your current coach let him know what the other guy said and ask him the validity of it. Your couch should know your specific twist and how exposed you are leaving yourself. Also might be able to help you with your body mechanics to not leave yourself as exposed while doing the twist.
    or you could video tape it so we can get a better idea of what exactly your doing.

  4. #4

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    I do it the Bas Rutten way which is no twist, or very little really. I find it works better for me and I have a similar issue with the head exposure on the twist.

    The only time I'll twist is if I have them really well set up and I'm confident the shot will finish or knock them down.

    To each their own.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by searcher66071 View Post
    I twist, my fighters twist, all the fighters I have trained with twist, we all twist. Now, if you are turning your head and exposing your jaw, you may want to fix that. I use tennis balls with my fighters to keep them from exposing their jaw.
    Probably a bad reference. Tennis ball under the chin, just like in the Fight Quest Kajukenbo ep ( S01E10) ?

  6. #6
    gregaquaman's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Every time we get a quality boxer come into our gym there is a debate as to some sort of semantic technicality. I like it because it makes boxing interesting but ultimately it is your head getting punched. So you have to fight your way.

    Quite often both methods are right
    Whitsunday Martial Arts Airlie Beach North Queensland.
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  7. #7
    slamdunc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregaquaman View Post
    Quite often both methods are right
    I was trained to twist into the hook for the first couple of years. I went to another coach who told me it isn't etched in stone, and individuals need to develop their own style to keep from getting hit.


  8. #8

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    If you keep your eyes (both of them) on the target, and your chin down, when you hook, your shoulder will touch your chin (left hook left shoulder), your right hand is covering the other side of your chin. You need to twist your front leg and body so you will have a "kick to your punch". Just don't over commit, don't loos your balance and never look away. Basically your torso twists a lot, but your had stays fixed on your opponent (chest or eyes). For times where you over twist for some reason and you find yourself with the profile of your head facing your opponent, you want to bring your glove over it, and cover your jaw. Most important thing is that while striking, your chin is down and your shoulders help cover it.

  9. #9

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    Thanks, everyone, for your input! I'll try to post a video soon (within a couple days) to better assist you.

  10. #10
    OZZ's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The only time I'll twist is if I have them really well set up and I'm confident the shot will finish or knock them down.

    To each their own.
    This.
    " If one wants to have a friend one must also want to wage war for him: and to wage war one must be capable of being an enemy." - Fr. Nietzsche 'On The Friend' Thus Spake Zarathustra

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