THE JAB

“IF YOU CAN’T JAB, YOU CAN’T FIGHT.”

The jab is one of the most important punches a fighter will learn in boxing.  It is the most frequently thrown punch because it serves as a measuring tool to get close to your opponent to set up combinations.  If you can hit with a jab, then you are the right distance to fire a combination of punches.  Know your next move, “what can I hit him/her with?”.  There is an old saying “When in doubt, jab and move.”

Remember that as the lead arm extends there is a quarter turn of the fist inward, so that at the moment of complete extension, the knuckles are turned up. The arm must travel on a straight line (slightly above shoulder height) slight pivot at the lead hip area and return on a straight line assuming the fundamental position as it returns to the body.  The right arm is held in the position of guard, elbow down, hand up and open, in front of the rear shoulder.  Always keep the rear fist in close to the chin, As you launch the jab, push off the ball of the rear foot slightly while the front foot slides forward slightly. This all occurs just before the jab makes contact allowing the body to remain balanced.   Maintain your balance throughout the jab by keeping your weight equally distributed between the feet.

  1. Visualize jabbing through the target, partially obscuring his or her vision. 
  2. Boxer can vary the speed of the jab. 
  3. Change the height of execution, remember to execute from a centered, well-balanced position.  
  4. Keep in mind you do not always to jab the target. 
  5. We use the jab to get his/her attention so we can follow through with a sequence of punches. 
  6. The first phase of perfecting the jab, working on making the entry and the initial contact against your opponent, then we learn to follow through with a power maneuver. 
  7. The jab is a containment technique as a stabilizer and destabilizer.
  8. As a stabilizer a boxer’s jab is primarily used to stabilize his opponent. 
  9. As a destabilizer a boxer’s jab to break your opponent’s balance or disrupting his/her timing would be an example of a destabilizing execution. 
  10. Use it as a displacement technique split or disrupt an opponent’s defensive hand position or to contain him/her temporarily (stabilizing the target). 
  11. Use the jab as information probe. Probing is the art of testing or feeling out an opponent’s intentions with exploratory techniques or footwork movement. Start the fight with the jab to see what he/she responds with in the exchange.
  12. One of the basic foundation rules of boxing is you top-off with your lead side.

For maximum efficiency, the jab requires that the boxer step forward and focus completely on the single attack.  The jab may be performed with or without a step and is often delivered as a single blow (without a swift follow-up or movement).  The jab is the basic technique for feeling out the opponent, establishing distance and control, and setting up additional strikes.   Effective jabs are based on speed, timing, and accuracy.  With a successful jab, you can chisel away at your opponent’s defense, opening gaps and preventing him or her from effectively getting set to hit.

FUNDAMENTAL DEFENSE OF REDIRECT are those defensive measures which require a minimum of skill and allow a maximum of protection.  “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives.”

Drill good guard position and do not deviate. “Keep Your Hands Up.”  Let’s make sure you’ve mastered the rules before you break them.  Used correctly it is the sign of the scientific boxer, who uses strategy rather than force.  It can be used for both defense and offense requiring skill and finesse as well as speed and deception.  The advantage is the body balance is not disturbed in the process.  Redirect is any and all types of parries, cuffs, leverage, blocks and covers the defend the boxer. 

DEFENSE AGAINST THE JAB 101

The CATCH – as a boxer leads a slow lead jab to the opponent’s rear ear, the lead should be caught in the palm of the open rear glove and forced up and out to the right.  This leaves the defendant on the inside guard position and ready to carry the attack.  It is important that the rear glove be kept open and relaxed and that the incoming punch is caught on the lower part or butt of the hand. We will identify this as cuffing the punch.  Cuffing is the defensive hand-deflecting (slapping) movements designed to brush away an incoming punch form an opponent by catching the punch against his wrist or lower forearm. The movement must be kept close to the body at all times.  Do not reach out to catch the opponent’s blows as openings are thus created for a counter attack. 

The PARRY – the simplest defense against a lead jab is the parry, which forces an opponent’s lead lend across the body to the left with front with the rear hand.  The movement is light and easy.  Force is not required.  As the opponent leads a lead jab, flick the rear hand across the opponent’s approaching wrist, thus forcing the blow to the left and leaving the opponent’s lead side of the body exposed. 

The movement is mainly of the wrist and hand as an arm movement is too slow and heavy.  The rear hand, moving inward form the point of the elbow, flicks across swiftly, as if brushing a fly away from the nose. Speed is essential. The rear hand should strike the opponent’s lead on the cuff of the glove or on the wrist.  The rear elbow must remain stationary if the movement is to be performed correctly. 

THE KNUCLKLE BUSTER

Extreme Boxing Defense maneuver demonstrates proper jab-catching and then how to add “knuckle-busting” on top of your defense.