This punch is pretty much straightforward, just like how it is called. It is literally throwing a left hook while jumping in at the same time. However, executing this punch is not that simple. Before attempting this, I suggest you master your basic lead hook first.
There are many factors involved to ensure the leaping lead hook can be thrown beautifully like a piece of art. Such factors include balance, feet movement, body positioning, understanding range, accuracy, timing, understanding when to throw it and of course the technique.
There is a risk when throwing the leaping lead hook, just like any other basic or advanced punches. Therefore, it also requires experience, knowledge and understanding on when to throw this punch. There can be few guidelines but it ultimately comes down to that inner gut feeling you have in you. If you don’t throw it correctly, you can lose your balance and fall into your opponent’s trap which could be a counterpunch.
Here are some tips:
Understand distance and range. You can do this with feints and your jab. You need to get your body in the perfect range which you know when you leap in, you wont be too close or still too far from your opponent. You must also not throw the leaping lead hook from too far out because your opponent will be able to see it coming.
Maintain balance. Your body weight must remain balanced on the front and back foot. It should be 50-5o, like sitting on a horse. When you leap in, don’t go in with your head but instead your legs so your body weight can be maintained in the middle throughout, always!
Your feet! When leaping in, make sure both front and rear leg do a quick jump in together with the punch. Minimise your air time but also do not drag your feet. Do not only jump in with your lead foot and leave your rear foot behind because this only makes your stance too wide and it’s harder to follow up. Keep your knees bent too.
Snap it! When you are throwing the leaping lead hook, be sure not to swing it wide. Keep it compact and snappy at the shoulders because most of the power will come from the quick rotation from your trunk and the force from going forward.
Look. Keep your eyes on the target. This will help you be accurate and will be nice if you can land the punch on your opponent’s temple of tip of his/ her jaw.
Never neglect defence. Keep your chin tucked in when leaping in and your rear guard held high covering the chin in case a counter punch is coming. Once the punch lands, continue with a defensive move like a quick step back or slipping/ weaving out of your opponent’s striking range.
It will take a lot of practice. Start with the bags, and you can slowly do it in sparring against a moving target which will obviously be a bigger challenge.
If you want to check out some video examples on YouTube, you can watch Bernard Hopkins, Nonito Donaire or Roy Jones Jr throw the leaping lead hook. What a thing of beauty!