Shovel hooks in MMA?

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Svartorm
5/7/08 2:51:16AM
I was recently watching some highlights of Joe Calzaghe and was amazed at how fast the guy can throw a series of shovel hooks, and thinking of what those could do to a person if he had 4oz gloves on. I'm not much for Western boxing, but while working the heavy bag I started in with some rapid fire shovel hooks like Calzaghe and while nowhere near as fast, I was generating tremendous power with them.

Does anyone here use shovel hooks in that style in MMA/NHB, or have seen them used? If you trained to disengage from clinch and work three or four shovel hooks in, that could do some serious harm, but I don't like the idea of leaving my head open for that long, especially if someone had a decent MT background or excellent dirty boxing skills.
Mastodon2
5/7/08 2:26:34PM
"Iron" Mike Zambidis (K-1 MAX) is well known for his use of shovel hooks, but then thats K-1 and its a level of striking far beyond anything we've seen in MMA.

Fact is, most MMA fighters apparently aren't skilled enough to throw them (unlikely looking at decent technical boxers like Anderson Silva, the Emelianeko Brothers, Cro Cop or Big Nogueira, who have the skill to throw a proper shovel if they tried), most MMA fighters are still winging sloppy hooks and jabs a mile off their targets, so the shovel hook isn't worth learning while they havn't got their absolute fundamentals down.

I do think it's a very useful weapon however, very short range but a very wide attacking angle. It's such a short range punch with such and open angle that it is very useful inside the clinch, as you can have your chin on your opponent's shoulder and still hit with it, you could land them with your eyes closed. I personally don't do anything more than a double shovel with one arm at a time, a triple shovel is really only useful against a beginner who is turtling and hiding behind blocking rather than moving out of the way with footwork. In MMA the application could be tremendous, espescially with 4oz gloves. A quick single shovel against the cage could break ribs so easily. They don't leave you too exposed either as long as you pick your moment right. If you pop your shovel right as your opponent is gearing up for a straight you picked a bad spot, but if your target is on the defensive (and in MMA that usually means backing up or against the cage and protecting their head) then a quick shovel could be a potential fight ender.

For a good shovel hook, the arm is retracted into its "loaded" position with the coil of the body. Some beginner's (and some people who arent beginner's but just lack decent technique) get their arm in place after coiling their trunk, or vice versa, but this only telegraphs the punch. The arm and body both coil into place at once, then the punch explodes out over a very short forward path as the trunk untwists back to its uncoiled position. I'm a 6 foot tall 154lber, and I have quite long arms for my size, but my shovel's don't extend more than 14" or 15" out in front of me at the most. You can shovel targets that are further away, but imo you will only lose power and make your punch more obvious. Being such a short, sharp punch, the shovel is a great surprise weapon, but overuse it or make it obvious and you could end up in trouble.

As far as I can remember, Sergei Kharitonov is one of the only guys to have used these in MMA, and even his are closer to body hooks than that sweet 45 degree shovel hook.
Jackelope
5/7/08 3:29:18PM
Are you talking about switching sides of the body or throwing from the same side the whole time? I'm with Mastodon on anything more than 2 or 3 being risky or ineffective. I definitely agree with you on them being an awesome weapon, though.

Sad as it is to say I also agree that we just haven't seen that level of striking in MMA yet. There's guys that could (maybe someone like Marcus Davis) but for whatever reason they don't.

Edit: You know, in hindsight it came to me that many people attempt a clinch when they're getting backed into the fence, and I suppose some people could worry about getting underhooked if they throw the shovel hook.
Svartorm
5/7/08 7:20:12PM
Thanks for that guys. I was talking the alternating shovel hooks, and had been working disengaging from a clinch to throw two or three and reestablish clinch or back away.

I've been contemplating the lack of body shots after watching the Bisping vs. McCarthy fight, where Bisping just kept punching and kneeing his arms, rather than landing a decent punch to the exposed midsection, and after seeing that speed that boxer had with his shovel hooks, I was interested in the theory of adding them to my arsenal for when I fight later this summer.

I'll have to work them in a sparring session and see how they work.
Jackelope
5/7/08 8:09:42PM
Yeah, man.. you should definitely do it. I'm always interested in seeing people bringing something new to the table.

Alternating shovel hooks would take a little bit of time, but they'd be harder to defend for sure. The combination of head movement with the punch is an added perk.
bayonetxwork
5/9/08 5:32:07PM
I personally love shovel hooks in mma. I do them a lot when I have my opponent up against the fence and pummeling. If I feel I'm getting worked pummeling, break the hooks and pull out, and thats when I normally throw them. I find them most effective when you use a feint to set it up. Get some space, feint a right hook, then shovel hook with the left.
artofdefense
5/14/08 1:52:36PM
Yup. I don't even use uppercuts in my game anymore, the angle on the shovel hook makes for the most punishing liver shot possible, IMO.

Great at the end of punching combos, and will create seperation with a good clincher trying to eat up your space.
The-Don
5/14/08 6:55:34PM
for some reason I can not picture a shovel hook in my head... I know I have heard of it.. just can't recall what it is.. anyone have a good link to one being preformed????
Svartorm
5/15/08 2:58:15AM
I don't have a link on hand, but go to youtube and look for a highlight video for "Iron" Mike Zambidis. At one point in the highlight I'm thinking of, hes got his head on a heavy bag and is firing off rapid fire shovel hooks. Or possibly just search youtube for "shovel hook" and see what comes up. Theres all kinds of short videos on techniques on there.
Mastodon2
5/16/08 6:42:29AM
not a shovel hook

IGNORE this video, this is NOT a shovel hook! But watch it and laugh as this "Instructor" tries to teach you to do some stupid punch that is most definitely not a shovel hook, while continually calling it a "Shovel hook".

Here is a guy showing a jab/cross/shovel tutorial. His technique isnt the best as he throws it quite far out, but the angle is right. It's like a hook punch that lands on the body, the angle of the punch points it towards the armpit a bit though. This video should help you get it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F256qCZtzAc
Jackelope
5/16/08 2:03:03PM

Posted by Mastodon2

not a shovel hook

IGNORE this video, this is NOT a shovel hook! But watch it and laugh as this "Instructor" tries to teach you to do some stupid punch that is most definitely not a shovel hook, while continually calling it a "Shovel hook".

Here is a guy showing a jab/cross/shovel tutorial. His technique isnt the best as he throws it quite far out, but the angle is right. It's like a hook punch that lands on the body, the angle of the punch points it towards the armpit a bit though. This video should help you get it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F256qCZtzAc



At that first video!!!!
The_Ho_Bag
5/16/08 2:32:26PM
lmao hes so trash (1st vid)

my form is so much better then his and im only 16 xD

he wouldnt last more then 3 rounds w/ my and his ugly form and "shove Hooks" LMFAo
Svartorm
5/17/08 2:53:35AM

Posted by Mastodon2

not a shovel hook

IGNORE this video, this is NOT a shovel hook! But watch it and laugh as this "Instructor" tries to teach you to do some stupid punch that is most definitely not a shovel hook, while continually calling it a "Shovel hook".



Thats awesome! I love how half the comments are "This guy is great!" and the other half are "Um....thats not a shovel hook."
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