Mike Tyson's hooks and hook combinations
I have always been incredibly impressed with Tyson's hooks, but I can't seem to find any information on the man's technique.
Question: What is the secret behind Tyson's explosive hooks? Are they textbook or is there small detail I am not seeing? and
Question 2: Are there any books/videos/resources other than match videos that show Tyson's hook combinations?
A little bit of it is his head movement, a little bit is his athleticism, but most of it is having a big scary man running at you at full speed throwing punches aimed at your dome.
As far as I know, and I'm fairly confident about this, there isn't a lot of "skill" per se to learn.
Wow. Really? Why are you even answering this question?
Originally Posted by Conde Koma
I wasn't going to touch this, but if that's where the bar is set then I might as well take a shot at it.
Tyson had an such effective hook because his motions were extremely fast and tight. Being of a much shorter, stockier stature than most heavyweights, but still possessing of a natural athletic quickness, he was able to complete the motion of a hook much faster and more efficiently than people with a longer reach.
Also, the key behind their effectiveness was his head movement and quick footwork. Not a little bit of it, it was the key. He'd weave the jabs or straights and get deep inside where he was most effective, and the longer fighter was at a heavy disadvantage in power and speed.
It had nothing to do with him being big and scary, he was outweighed by at least 20 lbs in most of his fights. Tyson was only 215-220 lbs in his prime. And to say there isn't skill to learn is incredibly dense, you think people are born knowing how to throw hooks? Tyson's technique and speed were the source of his power, SO much more than being 'big'. Which he wasn't, comparatively.
Unfortunately, I don't know of any books or videos that might tell more about his training methods. I think it has mostly to do with the way he's built, and how he capitalized on those advantages. As well as just perfecting the motion of the hook.
I would disagree with you.
Originally Posted by Conde Koma
In my unprofessional opinion, part of Tyson's devastating power with hooks had to do with his stature and frame. He packed a TON of muscle onto a very short body, which gave him the ability to fully extend his punches from a short distance, and put a lot of muscle (and weight) into it. Observe:
Regarding technique though, Tyson had excellent body mechanics. Watch particularly his weight shift into the first punch here:
Also, powerful legs and the previously mentioned shortness allowed him (forced, really) to get lift into every power punch.
You'll notice in each of these knockdown punches, Tyson really swings for the fences. Again, shorter stature allows him to do this on the inside because a taller opponent's longer arms make it more difficult to counter, even with the openings Tyson leaves when he throws his haymakers. Perhaps more importantly, he (at least in the first half of his career) set up his power punches brilliantly-usually throwing 2-3 more contained, short hooks inside to cause his opponent to cover up or leave openings. Once that happened, the big windup and weight shift followed, and Tyson put his full power behind each punch. EDIT: johnevans' video below demonstrates this.
Last edited by G-Off; 9/08/2009 11:43pm at .
Conde Koma, you don't think Mike Tyson was a "skilled" boxer? Boxing as a martial art/sport has a limited number of techniques compared to other combat sports, true, but I don't think that means that Tyson didn't have skill. In his prime he was much more than just a brawler who could hit hard enough to win. He had speed, timing, power, and his defense was a good as his offense.
Emperor Cesar, I don't know what Iron Mike's secret was, but this is one of my favorite clips:
YouTube - Iron Mike: 6 Punch Combination
Great stuff, keep it coming.
When I say "big and scary," I don't mean it literally. I mean he was exceptionally aggressive, which I think was what surprised his opponents. Them being caught off-guard and put into an immediate defensive position was what allowed Tyson to penetrate their reach and put his powerful punches into action.
I don't think he was particularly skilled in "boxing," I think he won largely due to the aforementioned aggression and short punches. He had no jab or straight game, and his footwork was almost entirely forward. His entire strategy revolved around bursting through his opponents reach to engage in an in-fight where he was naturally advantaged. I used the exact same thought process when I began boxing, but pulled back when my coach made me start working on the basics (lateral movement, straight punches, etc.).
If you want to learn anything from his boxing style, it's that burst of speed to break the jab-cross range, then the aggression to deliver blows to the body and chin. His natural physiology can't be learned, so you have to make do with hooks and uppercuts as fast and tight as you can make them.
Originally Posted by Conde Koma
YouTube - tyson being elusive
I'll agree he had very little to speak of in terms of a jab, but Tyson's head movement, and in particular his linking together of head movement and combinations, were absolutely stellar. His footwork was very good as well. Please find for me an example, other than a knockdown, of Mike Tyson EVER being off balance, or out of position to punch? This is part of what made his head movement transition to punching so well.
I'll cede the point about head movement, but I never said he was completely without skill. That head movement transition to punches was the same way Jack Dempsey rolled his punches together as well.
However, being solid doesn't necessarily translate to good footwork either. In fact, I'd say being especially flat-footed and rooted (like video demonstrates) is sort of the opposite of what most trainers would consider "good footwork," usually characterized by being light and working angles on your opponent.
I didn't mean to characterize Tyson as some kind of brawler, he's just a very, very specialized in-fighter.
Tyson is a once in a billion genetic monster, trying to be like him is like trying to be Anderson Silva.