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The shovel upper cut to the body


Fear the Menanite!!!
Aug 1, 2002
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I was wondering, I rarely get taught to use a shovel uppercut in mma/nhb situations. I think it can be a fairly devistating move, esp if done in close while in clinch/near clinch fighting range...any thoughts on setting it up and exicuting it?
In a clinch, how is this different from a body shot?
Are you sure you don't mean a shovel hook?

Kind of like a half hook, half uppercut right?

I always throw my body shots like that. Throwing a hook straight across to the body is much less effective than a well-placed shovel hook. When you dig with those shovel hooks, if you hit him on the right side, you get a liver shot, which will put him down and out, trust me. If you hit his left side, you'll get the spleen. Not as painful as the liver but it still hurts. Also, you could hit the floating ribs, and if you can throw hard shots, those break fairly easy in comparison to the rest of the rib cage. Roy Jones, Jr. KOed Virgil Hill with a big right hook to the ribs, and broke his ribs.

Alright, setting it up. First things first, if you want to hit to the body, you need to distract his head or legs (head is really best). So start off with a combination to the head. For example, jab-cross-left shovel hook. Simple but effective combination. Another good one is a jab-cross-left hook-left shovel hook. It works well because he doesn't expect you to double up on the left side.

Just make sure you don't half-ass your shots to the head, or else he knows it's a setup. And when you get in really close for body shots and uppercuts, hunch your back and roll your shoulders forward, and touch your hands to your head. Whenever he tries to hit you with shots, shield them with your forearms and elbows. Trust me; this works really well. I use it in sparring all the time. If I'm not doing so well on the outside range, I'll get too close for him to really get a good attack on me, and then as soon as he stops throwing a flurry because I'm close, I start whacking him with left hooks to the head and body. Works awesome.
If you can get inside enough to use it I think it's a really good shot to use. But you have to always watch out for the clinch and knee to the face. I don't use clinches in my class, so it's quite easy to set up and use. I use it as a counter to a punch by simultaneously moving in close and throwing it. Follow up the shovel hook(s) with hooks to the head. It works wonderfully for me.

But if it really is NHB/MMA/MT, I imagine that the clinch could be a big problem and shovel hooks can open you up for a knee to the face. In the clinch situation, I couldn't think of how the shovel hook could be more advantageous than a MT knee to the body or head.

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