What Is A Heel Hook?

In any martial arts there are many different types of different skills and techniques you have to learn over the whole process.

This can range from punching, kicking, blocking.

But they all have specific names and use different parts of your body, specifically different parts of each body part.

What Is A Heel Hook?

What even is a hook kick and why is it an effective move to use against an opponent?

This guide will be outlining exactly what a hook kick is, why it is beneficial to learn and walk you through how you would go about learning how to perform it.

From this guide, you will be taking away a new move and something you can practice in your own time at home.

What Actually Is It?

The hook kick is also known as a roundhouse kick in kick-boxing and is a very popular, snappy and powerful choice of technique which can be very effective.

The main aim of this strike is to weaken your opponent from a power shot.

However, many people who are just starting out and learning this move tend to forget about their hands and where they need to keep them.

You need to make sure that your reaction is ready for any counter attacks which means keeping your hands up to guard your body and your face.

Most people forget to keep their hands up because they are focusing too hard on the power of their strike which will come with practice but the most important part is also your defense.

Head Position

Where you put your head is also a really important factor when carrying out this strike.

The reason for this is because it can really affect the accuracy of your strike.

Therefore, you need to be moving and tilting your head when you are performing the kick.

Once you start to raise your leg, you need to be starting to tilt your head backwards along with the same movement of your hips.

Another thing that new members are afraid of is losing their stance.

However, by trying to maintain the same front stance, you are opening up an opportunity for your opponent to create a counter-attack.

Therefore, you need to make sure you are tilting your head back when lifting your leg.

What About Your Hips?

Your hips are the most important part of this strike because it creates your ultimate power and accuracy.

You will not be able to perform this move if you do not adjust your hips through the motion of the strike.

Your hips are also used for that all important follow-through of the kick. When you follow through it propels your power forwards onto your target.

Your butt needs to be poking out as well to get that rotation on the kick. This also provides you with that much needed stability and balance.

Over Rotating

There is also the issue of over rotating as well which can be a big pullback for some individuals.

You want your large toe to be the point of contact and you need to avoid kicking with any of your smaller toes because this can also lead to breakages.

What To Kick With

What To Kick With

It is all about the lift and turn.

You can’t just go straight into the kick from standing position, you need to be lifting that knee and rotating your body to snap it out.

You also want to be looking at what parts of your foot are showing.

You need to make sure that the bottom of your shoe is showing clearly as you make the strike.


Most people like to call it always hip before the heel. This is very important to remember.

You are meant to do hip before heel because it will increase the distance you can extend to and the power you can exert.

You also need to remember to move that foot planted in the floor!

If you don’t turn your front foot then you will minimize the power in the strike and you could hurt yourself.

The heel needs to end up pointing towards your opponent by the end of the strike.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Hook Kick In Karate?

The hook kick strikes with the heel of the foot (or with the flat of the foot in sparring), from the side of the target .

The (Front) Hook Kick is initiated similar to a Sidekick: the kicking knee is raised to point at the target, then the off-foot pivots to the side, so that the hip of the kicking leg turns over.

What Is A Hook Kick Used For?

A hook kick (also called a Hooking Kick, 후려차기 or huryeo chagi) is a kick that strikes the target with a hooking motion.

The hook kick strikes with the heel of the foot (or with the flat of the foot in sparring), from the side of the target .


Overall, if you are looking to perfect this movement then you need to follow the specific steps that will help your technique.

Anyone can kick a pad, but it is how you kick that and and with what part of your foot which is the main part of learning.

It is a lot more difficult than you might think but with practice, you will be perfecting it in no time.

Hopefully this guide has given you a good idea of what a heel hook actually is and how it can benefit your journey in MA.

This is the type of shot that is quick and powerful.

This can create a lot of impact to your opponent and cause them damage and weaken them.

The main aim is to weaken your opponent and score points.

Therefore, this could be a great place to start for anyone looking for a good power shot with added technique.

Christopher Anderson
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