This is a video article that is guaranteed to improve your jabbing capabilities. We all know that the jab is the most effective and useful punch in our locker. If you can tame an opponent with your jab, control them, pepper them at will, then taking them apart in a systematic way is a very simple next progression.
There are 7 tactics that I have selected to get you started on the path to truly dynamic jabbing. You should not assume that this is a complete list and you should absolutely search out other tactics that you can adopt.
By the way, make sure that there are no common faults creeping into your jab, in most cases that is the reason why boxers fail with their jab.
Check out the video then review the notes below for some further links that will help.
1. Vary the Speed of the Jab
Changing the speed of your jab is a fantastic way to confuse the defences of an opponent. Throwing the shot in the correct way but at a slower speed can trigger a reaction in your opponent – maybe an attempt to block, or a lay back. When you follow that ‘slowed’ jab immediately with a full speed jab, you can increase your chances of landing and of providing a great platform for a follow-up combination.
2. Vary the Angle of the Jab
By changing the path and therefore the angle that your jab takes to the target is another great way of foiling the defences of your opponent. Very often when facing an opponent it is very common to become embroiled in a long range jabbing chess match. You and your opponent can be feinting, testing capabilities, looking for vulnerabilities. Varying the angle of the jab is a really effective tactic to use in this type of situation. If you are able to think a little differently, and change the angles of attack with your jab then you are increasing the likelihood of your jab landing more frequently. When you start landing the jab freely then your opponent is more likely to make a mistake, or a rash judgement, and that’s when you can follow up the jab with your bigger shots. Think about using the long range uppercut and the long range hook to get you started.
3. Widen Your Stance
Rather than using conventional movement in and out with the jab, we can use a ‘stealth’ tactic to sneak your way into range to land a single jab. As you launch your jab, push off your back foot whilst keeping it in the same position and allow your front foot to glide forward. This very simply widens your stance and allows you to increase the range of your jab. This is a smart technique to use. Top performers, including the likes of Floyd Mayweather, use this tactic. There is a slight drawback in that because you widen the stance you are restricted to using a single jab. You could try to use your straight backhand (cross) but you would end up with a reduced range and reduced power. But look, you’re still landing a really effective jab so that’s got to be a good thing.
4. The Hip Jab
Caution: When you are in range of an opponent’s punches you really need to keep your hands up and your guard tight. Experienced fighters have a really precise understanding of their position in relation to their opponent, down to millimetres. They know at exactly what point their hands need to be up and in the guard position, and at what point they can get away with dropping their hands. Unless you have a great feel for range then you need to be really careful when using this technique during a contest. Leaving your lead hand dangling down by your hip teases the opponent into leading off with their punches. You can draw that lead and perform a lay back followed by a jab. The lay back will take you slightly out of range and you can fire back with your own jab in response. Be relaxed and be fast when your own shot is going out. After all, you are taking a risk with this tactic so you need to be getting your pay back.
5. The Jab Block
Whereas the previous tactic is quite high risk, this tactic is a much safer technique to use – it’s also incredibly effective. Combining a ramrod jab with a block will help in those situations where you and the opponent both throw jabs at the same time – a surprisingly common event. There are 3 things happening at exactly the same time:
- You throw your jab
- You use a back hand block
- You shift your head off the ‘centre line’
This is a nice safe use of the jab. In fact it’s ultra-safe for 2 reasons:
- The block defends you from a straight shot coming your way (a jab for example).
- The act of throwing your jab and shifting your head from the centre-line provides protection from right hands and left hooks.
6. The Tap
It’s really simple this one. Your jab simply ‘taps’ away, multiple times and with caution, peppering the face of the opponent. This has the effect of both triggering the opponent into a response and giving you an excellent gauge of range (if your jab is landing then you know that you can unload your back hand). The key really is using speed and ferocity in your follow-up power shots, this switch from teasing-taps to crunching speed and power is a real fight winner. To see a fine exponent of this (and indeed a fine exponent of varying he speed of a jab) check out the Roberto Duran Boxing Style Analysis.
7. The Delayed Arrival
The ‘Delayed Arrival’ is a type of feint that can be really effective. You feint your jab and then immediately throw the actual shot. This introduces a slight delay and takes advantage of your opponent’s block response to the initial feint. By the time your jab actually arrives (rather than when the feint ‘would’ have arrived) your opponent’s blocking hand has returned to the start position and bingo, your jab lands. Clean, simple and effective.
A Final Word
7 tactics designed to improve your jabbing capability and increase your jabbing success. Once you are landing your jab freely on an opponent then you really are half way to victory. Practice these tactics alongside your drills, in your shadow boxing, on your heavy bag. Instil them. The more you work these tactics the more they will become instinct…and that’s when you really reap the rewards. Comments and questions below please 🙂 Cheers Fran