Boxing is a very popular sport, with millions of fans and countless high profile competitions all celebrating the fighting.
There are a lot of special techniques to it, which are all embraced by the best boxers, and put to effective use against their opponents.
There are many different types of punch that a boxer can deploy, all with varying levels of damage, and a jab is one of those. But how do you throw a jab?
Well, we’ve got the answers for you. In our guide below, you’ll find out all about the art of jabs, with a detailed breakdown of how to pull off this incredibly useful punch. Read on!
What Is A Jab?
First off, let’s answer a key question. A jab is a type of punch used in boxing that is mainly done in order to keep the opponent away from you.
Jabs are very popular in the sport, though you may be surprised to find that it’s actually one of the weaker ones.
That’s because it’s more of a tactical punch, used to keep your distance and wear opponents down gradually – opening them up for one of the big punches instead to finish him off.
The jab is quick and works on a long-range basis, allowing you to deploy it from relative safety.
How To Throw A Jab
This guide is going to be written for a left jab. If you want to use a right jab, then simply follow the steps but reverse their directions. You jab with the hand of whichever foot is planted forward.
Before we get started, there’s a few things to keep in mind:
- Shift your weight, don’t launch it – it will throw you off balance
- Keep your elbows inward when you punch, otherwise you’re open to attack
First, place your left foot in front of the right one. The feet should be pointing towards where your opponent is, but angled a little inward.
Then assume your stance: hands up in front of your dipped chin, elbows tucked, hips aligned with feet. Don’t be rigid! Be relaxed but precise.
Next, lean forwards, keeping the left foot in front. Your elbows should remain tucked. The right hand should lift a little higher than the left, because it’s going to be protecting your chin area and defending. The left will be the one you jab with.
Then it’s time to jab! Shift off your right foot, keeping it on the ground, while putting weight onto your left at the same time. Shifting your weight gives you power.
As you’re doing that, throw your left arm forward quickly, delivering a jab. Your body should shift slightly, and your left heel will lift a bit, but still keep still and on the ground.
Your first will rotate as you jab. It faces upward at your chin, but turns 90 degrees when it shoots forward, putting the flat of all your knuckles forward to strike the opponent. Tighten your fist on impact, too.
Remember, keep the right fist at your chin, still facing upward. It needs to protect the chin and face from any strikes that get around the jab.
Quickness is the name of the game! As soon as the left fist has fully extended, immediately pull it back to your chin. Relax the fist as you do this.
On top of that, you can withdraw your body, stepping back to get further from any strikes the opponent may follow with – just don’t step back while delivering the jab, it’ll unbalance you and be very ineffective.
Speaking of the opponent’s strikes following – they may come immediately. That’s why you need to have retreated and have your guard up against your chin again.
If you can block them, you can move into jab again, eventually wearing them down enough that you can deliver a hook or uppercut.
Varying Your Jab
Once you’ve got a hang of the jab, you can begin to deliver various different forms of it in order to better your opponent even more effectively.
You don’t just have to throw your jab at the opponent’s face, you can target much more of his body. This means jabbing at different levels of height.
Besides going for the face, you can throw a medium jab to the body, or even a low jab to the opponent’s core. The jab movement is all the same, you’re just ducking to deliver some of them instead.
This is exactly what it sounds like, two very quick jabs in a row. This is a good idea to use because it surprises the opponent. Typically, you would just throw a jab, and then try a bigger type of punch.
A double jab, however, would subvert expectations. To do one, simply deliver a second quick jab when you’re drawing back from the first – before then doing whatever you would have normally done after just one (like stepping back).
When an opponent is busy throwing a punch at you, it can be a great time to strike them yourself, because they’re left open and defenseless.
As you block it with your right hand at the chin, jab forward with your left, attacking their vacant position and then withdrawing back as usual.
This is a kind of jab that is used to make your opponent put up their defenses, which will give you time to get a more effective, bigger punch in. As the name suggests, it’s just a tap to the opponent, rather than a full force jab.
And there you have it! The jab is an essential punch for a boxer, because it uses little energy, but helps to wear down your opponent.
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy our article on ‘How Do Fighters Cut Weight?‘.