Developed by American’s primarily for point-style fighting, the Front Leg Hook Kick is a powerful kicking technique as well as an effective sparring / counter attack technique.
The Hook Kick can be used as a “fake kick”, commonly followed by a turning kick, as well as a block, making it a very versatile move. Because the main target area for the Hook Kick is the face, this is a very difficult technique for someone who is lacking in flexibility. The Hook Kick also makes a very good foot sweep, which can be thrown by anyone regardless of their stretch.
Like the Side Kick, the Hook Kick uses the tensor fascia latae to raise the leg, the hamstring and gluteus muscles to bring the leg into chamber position, and the quadriceps to push the leg out. The hooking motion is created by the hamstrings, however care must be taken not to over-tax the knee tendons and ligaments so as to avoid injury. The striking service is the heel or bottom of the foot.
The thing that causes injuries to students throwing the Hook Kick is using the knee tendons to hook the leg. The hooking motion is caused by the quadriceps pushing out as well as the biceps femoris pulling in.
Another very common mistake is bringing the kick too wide, making the kick look too much like a Crescent Kick. Not only will this rob the kick of a majority of its power, but it slows the kick down to the point where the opponent can now jam on you as you try to execute the technique.
Inhale before you kick and as you perform the kick, exhale sharply. When you return to ready stance, inhale again.