Defense Against The Drunken Hay Maker Hook

Defense Against The Drunken Hay Maker Hook

I have no clue how a punch got this much of an interesting name, but it did. In my early days of learning martial arts, I had this one instructor who talked about the “most common” punch, and even attack for that matter, that you would see out in the street. He called it, the “drunken hay maker hook”, and in reality, all it is, is a sloppy wide angle hook.

As much as I use to chuckle inside when he would say it, I agreed with what he was teaching me. If you Google 100 different videos of street fights, or pull up YouTube and look up 100 random fights caught on bar security cameras or on peoples’ cell phones who happened to be standing around when a fight broke out, you’ll see this move the most.

Therefore, common sense would tell you that if you see it a lot, assume the odds are that you’ll see it coming at you if you ever get attacked or caught in a physical altercation. We’ll go over three common defenses to this common attack quickly here. Please refer to the pictures for an illustrated idea, in addition to the fine details.

The first defense is a “Block and hit” defense. We’ve all seen karate blocks on TV and in movies, not to mention countless traditional martial arts styles. Blocking isn’t new, but also delivering a punch as well is where this move gets its kick. To block the “hook punch” we’re talking about, your arm should be in a 75-45 degree angle as you burst in and block the incoming punch. It is important to burst in, as you are using your own body weight and momentum to foil the punch as early into their attack as possible.

At the same time, you use your other hand to make a fist, and deliver a quick, straight on punch right to the person’s face. As simple as it is, we don’t want to just block, but use that opportunity as a time to also deliver our counter strike. Training this does take some timing and distancing work, but it is a devastating move to use.

The second move is a simple boxing cover, with a little bit more of a combative spin. Sometimes you don’t have as much time to react, therefore, all we can do is cover up and take the blow, and then burst into close quarters to launch our counter attack. To do this cover move, wrap your arm around the side of your head, with your arm flush to the side of your face. You will be covering one of your own eyes, but make sure you are able to see your opponent with your other eye. As stated before, after you take their blow, step aggressively into close quarters and throw your moves such as knees, elbow strikes and head butts.

The last one we’ll cover is the “bob and weave”. One of the best ways to deal with an attack, is for your targets to not be where your opponent is striking. Therefore, we can’t overlook the basic duck and move, or bob and weave as it is called in boxing. As the hook comes in, we simply bend our knees to duck under the punch and come out to the outside of their attack. From there we can throw our own set up counter punches, but the secret is not being where they are attacking.

The key to training these is to work with them individually, and when proficient at each by themselves, to work them into combinations. Each counter has its pluses and minuses, but I would encourage you to find the move that you like the best, and can pull off in the most natural way.

For the full video of these techniques, click here: