Developing a Strong Jab

Discussion in 'Boxing' started by Mitch, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    This is something I've been working on for both myself and my students a lot recently. Getting people to throw a strong cross doesn't seem so tricky, but developing a strong jab is much more difficult.

    I've been concentrating on getting people to think about throwing from the shoulder, involving the whole body in the movement and punching with a step among other things.

    I think this has to be the best place to get input though, so lay it on me folks! Other than, "do lots of jabs" :D, what should I be looking at to develop a powerful jab in both myself and my students?

    Cheers all :)

  2. vampyregirl

    vampyregirl Moved on

    A jab is meant to be quick, not so much powerful. Its often used to set up a more powerful follow up punch. Trick is to snap it out there, not just paw it.
  3. Bennetnoir

    Bennetnoir New Member

    proper body alignment, and a shift of your weight to your front foot should ensure a powerful jab, dont sacrifice speed though.

    Practice as always makes perfect
  4. daggers

    daggers Valued Member

    There are many types of lead hand punches, dont just think of them all as a jab, you can use it to disturb opponents rhythm, set up a follow up, defend with it.. But a power jab needs to come from the rear, so **** the lead shoulder back first , then power it forward like a cross.
    The secret is not to think of all lead hand punches as the same
  5. daggers

    daggers Valued Member

    Sigh... The **** was what you would do to a gun hammer. Not the male genitalia
  6. Counter Assault

    Counter Assault Valued Member

    And dont keep switching stances!
    All that jumping up and down and switching the lead's just terrible
  7. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I use three different mechanics for jabs.

    1) The first is the "falling step" mechanics. It is using the falling step like how Jack Dempsey describes it. When I practice on a bag, I basically just strike with my shoulder at close range. When it comes to using the fist to hit with instead of hitting with the shoulder, my hand is kept in a low guard or at my hips, the hand shoots forward slowly towards the target, until it is about halfway to the target, then it accelerates so that it strikes in the instant of the front foot falling step landing hard. It should feel the same as the shoulder hit but because it is with the hand it is further ranged.

    Most often I can catch someone with this type of jab by jabbing slowly with my hand in their face, arm extended about 2/3 the way. I take a quick short falling step while on the ball of my rear foot, weight forward... kind of like a sucker punch because they don't think my fist can get to them so quickly.

    I've experimented with the falling step with hands in a tight high guard and it doesn't work too well, expect if one can use the hammer principle to drop the hand with the strike. Not easy to do.

    This is a powerful jab and fairly long ranged. I like it. I also like that if you are caught really close in, I can use the shoulder strike instead of hitting with the fist and this works really well, IME.

    The really bad part is the jab leaves momentary openings. Say I jab at the face with a left jab, I may be open to a heart shot from a right cross or a left hook. If I guard my heart, then possibly open to a left hook to my head.

    So my suggestion with this kind of jab is use it when your opponent is sideways to you. If you end up with an opponent squared to you, then get inside, right down the middle, and hit them with the shoulder and use your hands to guard. Don't use this type of jab on a squared off opponent.

    2) Second kind of jab mechanic I use is basically the lunge from fencing. I won't go too much into this one because I use this mainly for getting behind people or surpise them with a quick smack in the head.

    3) Third kind of jab mechanic is the skip and switch step jab. This can be trained by starting left foot forward, switch (both feet move) to right foot forward without rotating the shoulders... once the right foot is forward, then jab with the right hand with the shoulder rotation. Repeat with switch to left foot forward with no shoulder rotation, when left foot is forward, jab left with shoulder rotation. Once the mechanics are down, instead of switch step, it can be done off of skipping steps and sliding steps.

    Hope this makes sense.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  8. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    That is ONE jab certainly, but not the only type by any means.

    In JKD the straight lead is emphasized a lot, and in essence is a "power jab". Bruce took a lot from Dempsey in this regard, so Demspseys book (or Tao of JKD) would be a good place to look. It also depends on what you are aiming for. My "ring jab" is subtlety different from my "cobbles jab".

    If you can look at your hinges - opening your rear hip slightly, by turn or crouch, can let you unload a real hammer of a lead punch
  9. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Despite what some posters think, you can have a very powerful lead straight, one you can score a knockout with if you train right. I dislike the term "jab" simply because it leads people to mistakenly believe it's a punch that lacks power, usually due to inexperience and/or ignorance.

    Hate to say it Mitch, but really the best way is still the way you know: repetitions. Reps with power and speed, over and over and over again. Work the bag and the mitts. The key to a truly strong lead straight is proper weight transfer, just like an oi tsuki from karate.

    A good way to develop this is by assuming a front or fighting stance, then slowly leaning all of your body weight forward onto that lead leg. Eventually you'll reach a point where you feel like you're about to fall straight forward, and that's when you quickly step into the other side stance and simultaneously execute that lead straight. Try performing one handed pushes on a heavy bag to really work this feeling. Once you get this down, start working it without the switch, again in the air and on the bag and mitts.
  10. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    dunno about boxing, so i won't comment on that, but since you're a TKD instructor: from a karate perspective, fwiw, the arm alignment shouldn't vary much, if at all, between a lead punch and a rear punch, the latter simply having more power due to generally having more rotation (thus more room to accelerate) and better alignment with the rear foot (so your structure withstands heavier impacts better). to get a really strong jab in a karate/tkd context, train your structure equally on both sides, both as a motion in itself and in impact training (using both a bag, and a makiwara or a strong pad holder). as far as specific cues, the usual for karate-type punches is to use the shoulder to drive the elbow forwards (as if you wanted to poke the guy with your elbow instead of your fist).
  11. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

  12. vampyregirl

    vampyregirl Moved on

    A jab lacks power because it doesn't have any body weight on it. If you box you know that. Although some fighters like Sonny Liston were known for their stunning jab.
  13. Jabby Mcgee

    Jabby Mcgee Valued Member

    No, as has been explained already there are a variety of different types of jab. Sure, the quick, relatively powerless jab is one of them. However, through basic bopdy mechanics, the jab can become very powerful. For example, stepping into the jab (i.e. a stop hit) creates a very powerful jab as can be seen in JKD. Similarly, sliding into the jab puts a great deal of weight behind the jab, and creates a powerful impact. In addition, pivotting into the jab creates momentum which puts weight behind the jab, making it more powerful. I could go on, but I think you get my point.
  14. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    Teach them to match a jab with a strong counterjab and slip. You can also step out with the rear foot at a 45 to set up the right and it adds some thump.
  15. Great thread Mitch,
    It is not easy to build a good jab, but there are some really good advice here.

    - The Double end bag is a great tool to work distance and timing for your jab. (very underused)
    - Scapula push ups will develop your serratus anterior that brings the shoulder forward and give an extra 2/3 inches reach to your punch; it will also stabilize the shoulder for kime.
    - completely relax the arm and use the lattismus dorsi (lats) to project your jab; kime at the last instant.

    - always check the retraction of the arm in a straight line back to the chin (very visible on the DEB).


    Except for great cats... :love:

  16. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    quoted for truth. also pecs in a secondary mover/stabilizer role.
  17. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Gah... Vampyregirl... sorry but this is dead wrong. If you boxed you'd know that. :rolleyes:

    Seriously... there is more than one way to jab and you can have a sharp stiff jab. It's not muscles that create KO's it's timing and distance. So if you're jab has the timing and the distance it can create a KO or set up a stunning shot that puts you in the path of freight train right cross or dig to the body. George Foreman comes to mind right away. So does Lennox Lewis. Go back in the day and you have Benny Leonard... jeez and so many more... all different styles of jabs but so many that were stiff and dangerous.

    There are also those who have developed their jabs as somewhat of a KO punch. Again it all depends on what you're going for. But there is no golden rule that says the jab must be a flicky little tap. Certainly not in boxing.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  18. Madao13

    Madao13 Valued Member

    Pecs?? I searched this word on google and didn't find anything..
  19. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Pec = Pectoral muscles... your chest. :)

    Attached Files:

  20. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    although to be fair, judging by the google results, using pécs to add power to your jab could have hilarious results.

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