So you want to win a fight or boxing match? I bet you’ll be surprised to learn that the jab, not the hook or a crazy haymarket, is your best option, as long as you are throwing it in the right manner.
Any boxing instruction worth their weight in the sport, will start with instructions on throwing a jab before any other punch. Well, at least they should. Save your money if they aren’t doing this first and foremost.
So, why does it work and which way is the best fashion to throw it?
Well, to be brutally honest, you can’t go into any type of fight, whether it be in the ring or on the street, and just start wildly swinging from a long distance. That is just plain crazy, unless you want your head knocked off your shoulder. I don’t think you do.
First, you will be too far from your opponent to reach him or her, leaving yourself open to a knockout and a short fight. Hit the showers, buddy. And if you do happen to land your jab, I highly doubt it, it will have anything behind it.
Why it works:
Gets You in Close Range and Helps Gauge How He or She Boxes
The jab helps you find range a safe before delivering any type of power punch. Once you are in close range, the jab will force your foe to blink, causing a momentary vision obscurity. Plus, it will make your opponent either block it, slip the punch, or cover up, even absorb the punch’s impact if their not quick enough to avoid it.
Also, it can help you gauge the fighting style of your foe. Are they fighting cautiously, just staying back and attempting to swat your jab away, or coming in aggressively as you vigorously move in and press your attack?
Speaking of aggressive boxers, the jab is a great weapon to keep them on guard and at bay. It is an awesome reminder to your opponent that your jab can be something to reckon with, too.
If you get the opportunity to watch boxing matches, the pugilist who uses the jab the most, usually dictates the pace of the fight.
Whatever the outcome of your jabs are, it will help in your next plan of attack, as you counter with other punches and size up your combatant in the process.
The jab is your quickest punch in your boxing arsenal.
Moreover, It’s the closet hand to your opponent’s unsuspecting face. You can deliver a rapid fire series of jabs even before your opponent realizes what has just happened to him or her, because it’s a straightforward, in close proximity, effective punch.
I guarantee they will think twice, perhaps three or four times, before blindly moving forward.
It takes little effort to throw a jab, using the least amount of energy while preserving your fuel reserves when your fight goes longer than expected.
If you are jabbing either high or low, your opponent might attempt to block it (if they are smart), leaving an open body space for you to try to connect.
Also, it helps set up power punches, as your opponent is busy minding your precision jabs.
How to Throw a Jab
First, stand in your boxing stance or guard, as it is known. Slightly bending at your knees, make sure your lead foot is facing the same direction as your hips and chest.
Secondly, make sure there’s a lot of pressure on your lead toe, as it lands with the jab on your foe at the same time. And keep your foot’s toes on the inside of your body.
As your lead hand jabs with full extension — not half or three quarters, so your as far back as possible from getting hit — pull the other hand back while keeping it up high, rotating more at the shoulders, and slightly in your hips, for added power.
Please don’t overcommit with your jab, as it will force you to lean in way too much. This will cause you to be susceptible to your opponent’s attack, and most likely have you waking up without realizing that you have been knocked out.
If you are too far away from your foe, make up for it with nice footwork, as you move in for your attack. If your lead foot moves in two or three inches, so should your back foot.
But please, avoid being flat footed. It will slow your movement.
However, don’t get to use to just moving in, in a straight line. Step side to side, in order to create an angle and different line of fire for your jab and other punches.
Additionally, don’t get lazy as you pull your jab back to your body. A lazy retraction will leave your face and rest of your body open for a counter attack. Throw that jab and retract your fist to your face in a straight line from point A to B.
Another big time mistake a lot of novice boxers make is telegraphing their jab. They tend to rock their arms up and down before delivering their jab. One, it takes too long to perform, and the other fighter will be able to tell what’s coming, long before it lands.
You shouldn’t have to reset your body every time your throw a jab. To me, it’s similar to when a hitter in baseball who has an over exaggerated hitch in his or her swing.
There’s just too much wasting motion going on when you feel you have to reset your body before throwing a jab. You should be able to fire that jab in any position you are in at any given moment during the fight.
Practice using these vital jab techniques as much as possible. A good jab will make you a decent boxer, and last longer than any boxer who faced Mike Tyson during his hayday.