In this week’s edition of Technique of the Week, I’m going to look at the corner stone of a professional boxer’s arsenal: the jab. In my opinion the lead jab is the most important punch in professional fighting. When used correctly, you can use the punch to gain ground on your opposition while keeping them in a constant state of defense. The jab can also be used to disrupt an attacking opponent, throwing them off their game.
The jab isn’t an overtly powerful punch, although one that is properly timed can cause a great amount of damage over the course of a fight. It’s key to understand that when throwing the jab, you do not disturb the positioning of your body. The punch does not require a round up motion such as the hook, nor do you have to change levels if you are throwing a body blow. You must keep your body in the correct position to throw the jab and return to a defensive stance.
The jab is thrown with your lead hand, meaning the hand that is closet to your opponent. “Flick” your hand towards your opponents head. Your hand should snap out and quickly return to the starting position. It’s important that you bring your hand back quickly because if you telegraph the punch and leave your defenses open, your opponent can counter while you are wide open.
Practice carrying your arms and shoulders lightly so you can quickly strike with your jab at any point during the competition. Continue practicing your jab until it becomes a light and quick movement. It’s also important to practice throwing more than one jab at a time. Multiple quick punches can throw off your opponent’s timing and cause damage.
The jab should be the first punch that any fighter learns during their training. Mastering this punch can help you control the distance and pacing of any confrontation.
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