One of the most Important strikes in a fighter’s arsenal is the jab. The jab is a linear strike thrown with the lead hand at the opponent’s head or body, and it has many applications and variations. Today I am going elaborate on why this seemingly simple strike can have such a dramatic effect on your fight game.
The jab is the simplest strike a fighter can use. It takes the least amount of energy to throw and leaves you in the least likely position to be countered, assuming you perform it correctly. Having simple and effective weapons at your disposal will ensure you can upset your opponent, while at the same time conserving energy for your more powerful attacks.
When training make sure to spend extra time in perfecting the jab. There is a Chinese proverb that I feel rings true in regard to this technique: “Do not fear the ten thousand techniques practiced one time, fear the one technique practiced ten thousand times.”
While being simple, the jab is also extremely versatile. It can be used to distract, unbalance, counter attack, create distance, set up attacks, gauge your opponent’s reaction, and most importantly smash your opponents face repeatedly.
A good fighter can be measured in the application of his or her jab. Take Muhammad Ali, for example. He would constantly whip his jab into his opponents’ faces, frustrating them, making them more and more aggressive, all the while dancing around the ring landing jab after jab. Muhammad Ali was a master at applying the jab and became one of the greatest boxers of all time as a result.
In fighting, your lead foot and hand are the closest body parts to your opponent. Since the hand weighs significantly less than the leg, it is naturally faster, therefore the jab is the fastest strike a person can deliver. A common saying in boxing is “speed kills” – and it’s absolutely true. Possessing superior speed is a tremendous advantage and allows you to beat your opponent to the punch. Having a fast jab will demoralize your opponent and allow you to execute powerful follow-ups with your other weapons.
Training the Jab
As with any of the other strikes there are many ways to train and perfect your jab. Regardless of which method you choose, always remember to keep good tight form and use your footwork. Without solid footwork behind the jab, it won’t be able to do its job.
Some of the ways to train the jab are as follows:
- Shadow boxing
- Heavy bag work
- Top and bottom bag
- Drilling and sparring
For a more detailed explanation on the proper technique for the jab, please see the below video:
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