The Left Hook

The left hook is the same principle as the right cross, as are all's a matter of establishing the body so that the fist can deliver the message of the body.What is a punch? It's not the fist. The punch is the commitment of the body to deliver a message, and that message is impact.All punches have their inception at the body's commitment to the blow. The left hook is possible because of the weight on the left foot. How is that attained?Left jab, left jab they right cross, but it's set up. When that happens, you are ready to launch the punch. The right hand is tucked tight against your chin, the right elbow is tight against your ribs.Like an ice skater, you want to spin fast. You can't spin fast if your arms are wide. The wider the arms, the slower the twist of the body, and so the slower your left hook. Ahhh,...keep that right hand, that right elbow tight, let it lead the deadly twisting. Imagine just throwing a balanced right that moment, your shoulders are rotated, as a compressed spring, ready to snap back.The punch begins with the feet. When the body is balanced on the left foot, the body compressed in rotation, then the left hook is possible.You pull in a twist generated from the shoulders, but the hands have'nt left the body yet.You are moving into your opponent.Then the elbow leaves the body. If you're throwing a shot to the body, your elbow stays tucked, your fist up, and you dig it into and through the body.If it's to the head, You lift it to horizontal, chin tucked under the shoulder, the body delivering the blow.Watch a good boxer throw the punch with leverage, and you see the same thing. You see a planting of the left foot, you see a torque of the body, left arm a part of the body, and you see a punch that is a part of the twisting body. Breakdown: Setup the punch. First, land the left foot, and that can be done with a jab, or with a jab, right cross, then the hook, but the weight has to be on the left foot.Cool poise, and the punch is setup. Keep the right fist glued to your right jaw, let it lead the effort. Ruuuuhhhhh... Commit.Watch lefhookers throw the punch, remember the elements, and duplicate the effort.

Great stuff. Keep them coming, bro.

Can you please make a threat for the overhand right?

Thanks Rastus. After you throw the right cross and are setting up for the left hook, how much do you bend your left leg as you are throwing the right cross? How much do you lower your level?

This post was kind of rambling and unclear...hmmm.

I would bend it just to the point that the knee is as far out as your toes. I was throwing a few just now, and that seems to be the comfortable place for me...

Good question though!


May I make a request? Can you (or Keith) do a thread on footwork/weight distribution? I've read that one should do a combination and then move away at an angle. I've been working this on a heavy bag, and I'd appreciate some drills or some ideas on to work this properly. Maybe even just how this feels to you when done properly.


great post like usual, Rastus

This punch is a surprise attack.

You're playing a pavlovian game, when you jab, your opponent slaps the jab with his right hand.

Get him used to that proper technique, because you're about to capitalize on the space provided.

Where should the right hand be? You should feel your right hand glued to the right side of your jaw. Why? To protect against the left hook, even if you don't see it.

How do you dislodge that protection?

Well, what's the proper technique to nullify the jab? The right hand slaps it down. Suppose you throw that jab...and again, and again and again...pregnant pause, then your body mechanique shows a jab coming.

What's the response?

The right hand begins the slapping motion, relinquishing it's duty of defending the jaw against the hook.

Ahhhhhhhhhh! Now the feint has cast its spell!

You move to jab, and hook off the jab.

First, get him used to how effective his slapping down is to your jab. Make him feel in control. Throw a hard jab, shoot he defended... Let him be comfortable moving his jab away from his jaw.

The move forward puts the weight on the left foot, the springboard for the hook.You pull your right hand to your own jaw, tightening up the body rotation and torque. The fist extends, not enough to telegraph the blow, but enough to convert the jab to the hook.

If you catch him, job done. If you don't, duck and move in with a right to the body.

You know, we look so much at the knock out punch that we forget how that blow was possible against a skilled opponent. Sometimes, even the combination isn't enough.

Suppose for a moment that we allow ourselves to be readible, but we give the wrong translation... Suppose that, in countering even combinations, we give a false sense of security.

There are more than one ways of lowering the guard, and the best way is to lower the mental guard.

Suppose that our combinations are loaded to launch an attack against an opponent expecting certain combinations, expected prescriptions of punches. Then we can show our true colors.

We've set him up all along, because we weren't thinking one or two punches ahead, we were thinking one or two combinations ahead.

The right hand falls to catch or slap the jab, but that jab transformed, like a queen on the eighth rank, into a hook, and he didn't see it coming.

Try it out. I watched Mayweather use it with lightning speed to drop a strong, schooled opponent.

so can you.

Excellent post!!!

I have a question though. How do you keep your right against your jaw. Does it normally rest on your bottom row of teeth(not on the teeth of course) to protect the chin or do you keep it higher on your cheekbone.

I like to raise my hand up to cheek level the closer I get to my opponent. I feel more confident that way in the pocket. What is your opinion on such a manouver? Is it more trouble than it's worth. I don't like the peek-a-boo guard at all.


Thank you.

To some extent it's a matter of personal preference. The higher you bring up your right fist, the less your right elbow can protect your body. Lift your right hand up and watch your elbow rise. You become more vulnerable to the left hook to the body.

With it too low you become vulnerable to the left hook to your jaw.

The rule of thumb I was taught was to feel your right thumb against the right side of your jawbone/teeth level. With your chin properly tucked you can properly defend your body as well as have your jaw protected against the hook. The added height of the glove padding brings the protection as high as the cheekbone.

Hope this helps...


cool. I was also taught to keep the wrists bent for:
a) it can absorb some shock in the arm
b) it straightens out better on impact when punching

Also to use your right hand to "push" your jaw into your left shoulder so that not even a mosquito could get through to your chin.

I would like to talk to you some more on training techniques. would you be able to email me at