Boxing is a dangerous and brutal sport. Getting hurt or knocked out is on the table for serious sportsman every time they step into the ring.
But there’s a tool to manage risk in a boxing match, the most simple one and yet, one of the most undervalued for many boxers, the Jab.
The jab is the most important punch in boxing.
Your lead hand is what dictates the phase, the element that gauges distance and closes the gap between you and your rival, the jab is versatile since it can go to the face or the body, it can be fast and sharp or stiff and powerful, you can even win a fight by just using the jab!
You just need to learn, understand and practice the fundamentals of how to throw a proper jab and you’ll step up your boxing game for sure.
The jab, known as well as the “one”, is a long range punch, so the first thing to do is find the right distance between you and the target, use the length of your extended lead arm as a reference to gauge distance and position yourself properly to engage.
Since you are punching with your left hand (right hand for southpaws) the weight of your body should lay on your back foot, this will allow the left hips to rotate and work efficiently, delivering more power and reach to your jab.
Another key point, is to elevate your left shoulder while punching to protect your shin, is important to fully rotate your forearm as well; your knuckles should land horizontally orientated.
You can use a vertical-fist jab too, it is a faster and slicker punch, both kinds of fists are good to go, the situation will dictate which one.
Boxing is about hit and not be hit, so be sure to keep that back hand high and tight protecting yourself while attacking, a counter punch is always a possibility, stay sharp!
The last detail you should never forget to pump the jab like a boss is footwork, your left heel is supposed to rotate to the outside, stay flat-footed and your punches won’t carry any juice.
Keep yourself loose and relaxed, let your body flow, do not rush it, the jab needs full arm extension to gain momentum and power.
Make sure your hand won’t fall down after throwing the jab, as you’ll give an opening to the rival to land a dangerous right hand, as soon as you hit the target, pull back your hand into guard.
Next time you hit your local boxing gym, go for a few rounds on the heavy bag or the double-end bag, and develop your jab by working on these pointers.
Its important to feel confident with your technique and skills before taking it into the ropes and trade punches, if you can’t pull it off in the training room then you’ll hardly make it in a sparring or a fight.
Always remember that you can’t play boxing, it’s a serious sport and the best way stay safe in a fight is to carry proper fundamentals and good technique.