Hook Kick and Round Kick: Chamber Tip

Do you struggle to throw an effective hook kick or round kick? Don’t worry. They’re not as tricky as you might think.

The secret to letting your foot fly lies in how you set up your chamber. And in this video, I’ll show you how.

As always, if the video doesn’t load, you can find a summary below. Let’s go!

How to Hook Kick and Round Kick: Chamber Tip

To throw a better hook kick and round kick, let’s start with a look at your front kick.

Why the front kick? Because you probably don’t worry about your front kick at all. Front kicks are easy, right? Heck, even my grandma can throw a front kick… and she’s dead.

When you throw a front kick, you simply raise your knee and extend your foot. Simple.

Sideways Front Kick

See the Front Kick?

Well, when you throw a hook kick and round kick, you’re doing the same thing…  just sideways.

Of course, you can also throw a hook kick or round kick without a chamber. You can just swing a straight leg forward or backward. Some folks would call those “wheel kicks”— and they’re both powerful! Just not what I’m talking about right now.

For now, I only want to point out that aiming your knee straight ahead and extending your foot vertically is the same thing as aiming your knee sideways and extending your foot horizontally. The only difference is turning the body.

So, here’s a tip— when you want to throw a chambered hook kick or chambered round kick, imagine putting your leg up on a table.

Round Kick on Table

Put your leg on a table!

Better yet, go find a real table. Then put your leg on it.

If your table is a little low, try throwing your leg up on a kitchen counter or the trunk of your car. Any flat, stable surface that can support your leg will do the job.

Next, just relax and listen to your body. Figure out how to align your posture so that you feel strong and balanced.

Feel out the perfect degree of pivot for the foot on the floor. Wiggle your hip until it rests comfortably. Keep your head up and make sure you can breathe.

That’s it! Once you feel solid holding your chambered stance, step back and recreate the same feeling in the air. Throw your leg up on the “table” and you should be able to throw round kicks and hook kicks all day long… a skill that comes in handy in sparring. Or impressing girls at the beach. Or clearing the dinner table like a boss.

For more tips on how to chamber the round kick, check out this Round Kick Drill.


I get a lot of emails about the hook kick, so let me give you one more piece of advice…

Don’t think of the hook kick as a fancy technique… think of it as a modified side kick.

When you throw a side kick, you chamber… stick your foot out… then bring it back on the same line. A hook kick is almost exactly the same move!

You chamber… stick your foot out… then instead of pulling your foot back on the same line, you pull it back to your butt. That’s the “hook”.

Therefore, the hook kick is just a side kick with a hook at the end! Which means if you can throw a side kick, you can throw a hook kick.

The trick to using the hook kick effectively in sparring or, God forbid, a real-life self-defense situation, is how you line up your target. Frankly, a hook kick to the head may not be the most reliable weapon a real-life fight, but if that’s what the situation calls for, here’s a smart tactic…

Hook Kick target

Throw your kick off-center.

Throw your side kick off-center!

For a regular side kick, I line up my foot on the same line as my target: foot out… foot straight back in. But for a hook kick, I throw my side kick next to the target—off the line—then pull my foot across.

Make sense? You actually miss your target on purpose!

The idea is to use your side kick as a clever way to get your leg up on the table. Once your chamber is set, you’re ready unleash an effective hook kick and round kick.

Happy kicking! 🙂