About the Boxing Jab
Before looking at the video, ensure that you have understood the boxing stance. After looking at the video, be sure to read about the mechanics of the boxing jab and leave a comment!
The boxing jab is the boxer's most important punch. The jab allows the boxer to control an opponent, be it on the attack or on the defensive. The jab provides a main method of commencing an attack and is consistently proven as a fight winner. Few things are more demoralising to an opponent as being continually popped in the face with a fast, accurate and well-timed jab.
Whilst we can talk about a fast and accurate jab, it's surprising how many boxers allow bad habits to creep in when using the jab. As mentioned, if the jab is thrown correctly it's a winner. On the other hand, if it isn't deployed appropriately then it's a key 'chink in the armour' that will more often than not lead to a flattened nose and an abject feeling of defeat!
The Mechanics of the Boxing Jab
The mechanics of the punch can be explained as follows:
- From the boxing stance, the first action is a push from the front foot which in turn rotates the upper-body slightly so that the hips and shoulders will align with the opponent.
- As the rotation is taking place, the lead arm is thrust out, ensuring that the lead arm elbow follows the same line as the fist i.e. there is no lateral movement of the elbow at all, whatsoever!
- As the lead arm is moving towards the target it accelerates. As the fist approaches the target (having covered about 75% of the distance to the target) it rotates inwards, so that the palm is facing down towards the floor. At the last moment, the fist clenches and 'snaps' on to the target.
- The fist returns along the same line as before, returning to the 'home' position as per the stance.
Common Faults with the Boxing Jab
There are a number of common problems that can occur when throwing a jab:
- There is an urge to try and hit too hard. The desire to throw the punch hard often results in the boxer's weight transferring to the front leg. This has the effect of impairing the balance and making you very vulnerable to counter-attack. Remember, the jab will often be thrown as you move forward, so throwing the weight onto the front leg is very high risk!
- The punch is 'telegraphed', or tell-tale movement before the punch begins it's journey. These movements are often the elbow lifting to the side or the fist dropping slightly, both of which are dead giveaways.
- The boxer allows the punch to become an upper-body movement. Ensure that the rotation of the upper-body is generated by the push from the front leg.
And that's about it really. A good, reliable jab is worth it's weight in gold. I suspect that if you asked any competing boxer which hand he or she would rather do without, it would be the non-jabbing hand even though this is the physically stronger arm. I think that the trick is not to take the jab for granted. Use a mirror to ensure that none of the common faults are creeping into the shot. Once an opponent 'makes' your jab, then the chances of coming out on top at the end of the fight are minimal! As a basic next step, follow the jab up with a nice straight right cross as these shots combined form the 'meat and drink' of the competing boxer. The article on boxing footwork - moving in and out will also help.