Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Hook Kick

One of the more flashy kicks of Taekwondo, the hook kick has quite a few excellent applications in a fight. It is a sweeping circular kick that is brought from the side against an opponent, striking with the heel. It is sometimes described as a roundkick in reverse.

Some readers may think of a wheel kick when reading this. This is actually a misconception that many martial artists have. A wheel kick striking with the heel is not the same as a hook kick, the difference being that a hook kick bends the leg back at the knee for the entire spinning motion and only extends right before contact (if at all).

        There are two main variations:

The Standard Hook Kick:
This can be thrown from either the lead leg or the back leg. Kicking with the lead leg telegraphs the attack far less and increases overall speed. Although it strikes with a hard part of the foot, the heel, it does not generate much power at all in comparison to other kicks from Taekwondo. This is why this kick is generally only capable of doing damage when attack the face or the side of the head. When the hook kick is thrown from the back leg, it is a far slower movement, but more powerful. It can also be aimed at the head, but is excellent for pulling down the guard of an overprotective fighter shielding his face. Striking to the side of his guard will, if done properly and with the correct timing, either land a hit to the side of his head behind the guard or knock at least one hand away.
The Spinning Hook Kick:
This kick can be thrown from either leg as well. Most people tend to prefer the rear leg, as there is less distance to travel, resulting in a faster kick. This kick is also useful for the purpose of striking to the head or pulling down the guard. However, due to the spinning motion, this kick is far more powerful than a standard hook kick, meaning that it can be used  to target the body and legs, as well. A spinning hook kick can be aimed at the upper thigh. Due to the downward motion of the kick and the hard striking surface of the heel, this is a very painful kick and repeated uses ( or one solid hit!) can result in an opponent with a lame leg for the rest of the match. The spinning hook kick is also often seen in an aerial variation, especially in Olympic Taekwondo sparring. Due to the fact that your opponent may not attack you on the ground in Olympic sparring, it is a very good tactic to do a hook kick with so much rotation (and therefore power) that it unbalances you, taking you safely to the ground and having a very high chance of knockout if you reach your opponent's head.

No comments: