Monday night saw my client reach the third hour of her third Muay Thai/Kickboxing course. As previously discussed on this blog, we are focusing on punching techniques. Each lesson roughly follows this plan: isolate the punch, integrate the punch into punching combinations and then integrate the punch into other combinations making use of the remaining “six limbs” of Muay Thai. Tonight we worked on the lead hook.
We began with a light warm up of mobility and dynamic stretching. This moved onto callisthenic exercises specifically advised for this client. We looked at the knuckle press-up to improve structural function of punches. We also covered dynamic exercises to improve kicking range.
Next we moved onto mirror footwork and guard checking. My does not wear gloves for the first part of the lesson as we find it we can work on better accuracy and power development. We began with a revision of jabs and crosses first as controlled strikes to direct targets on the head and body, and then on the focus mitts and belly pad.
I then re-introduced the lead hook. I first taught the mid-range range hook, as I believe it to be the most common type of hook thrown and also the one that most people think of as a the “basic hook”. Debate rages of the hand position on this one even more so than with straight punches. As with all punches I allow for a balance of personal preference and targets to dictate whether to use a “European” hook or an “American” hook. We then moved onto the close-range hook. For years I have come to the conclusion that the liver or spleen punch is the same as the shovel hook. The only difference would be if you hit those targets with a different type of punch i.e. a low jab. I have also recently begun teaching a variation on the close-range jab as advised to me by some ABA coaches which seems to be no different than Razor Ruddock’s famous “smash” punch. In conclusion, structurally these all seem to be identical punches sometimes thrown at different targets. Finally we addressed the range or straight hook. Thrown out like a jab it changes into hook just prior to impact.
We drilled the mid-range hook mainly off other punching combinations and we used this as our isolation subject. It was trained in a restrictive exercise whereby by my client placed the back of her hand on a focus mitt approximately a shoulder width apart from another focus mitt. From here she relaxed and aimed to hit the opposite side target with maximum power for reps of five before changing hands. I also taught this coming out of a bobbing and weaving motion to the outside and used it as the main punch in our full combinations. The long-range hook was taught at the end of firing off a series of basic jabs or flicker jabs. The short range hook was taught inside the clinch and also slipping inside punching range.
Gloves were donned to put all of this into action with footwork, head movement and as part of some freestyle work. I then added on the kicks. We used both the switch kick and the rear round kick at all ranges to get the most out of the torqueing motion of the hook.
The lesson finished with a three minute round of Western Boxing (punches only) and a three minute round of Muay Thai.