Jab

The jab is the most frequently thrown punch in boxing. Because it isn’t a “power” shot there is less involvement of the body than you would expect from the other punches. The result of this is a faster, less telegraphed delivery.

Please Note: I’m a southpaw (left handed) so if you write or throw a ball with your right hand stand with your dominant hand (right) to the rear and left foot forwards

Although there are a whole range of subtly different jabs that can be thrown it is traditionally used as a point-scoring/range finding/set-up punch. The techniques described here are only to be used as a base guideline and not as the only way to throw a jab because predictability, as well as being boring, can be detrimental to your chances of success in a competitive environment.

Because the jab has less distance to travel (being a straight punch thrown by the lead hand) it has a higher chance of success, provided it isn’t telegraphed (made obvious by exaggerated movements). The general idea is to deliver the punch, trombone-like, in a dead straight line from your defensive guard to the target and back again quickly to that initial position. Keeping the elbow of the punching hand as vertical as possible (pointing to the floor) will ensure that telegraphing is kept to a minimum. The palm of the hand should face the floor on contact to ensure correct wrist position which helps reduce injuries to this part of the body or any loss of power to the punch.

  • Simultaneously tense your core and exhale sharply through your nose whilst throwing the punch, this will help improve speed and power.
  • From your defensive guard throw the punch using arm “snap” (a sharp, quickly thrown, non-loopy action) with the initial movement being directly at the target.
  • Your glove shouldn’t deviate from its direct route to the target at all (as mentioned earlier there are different jabs which have exceptions to this, but for beginners this is sound advice).
  • Turn your glove over so your palm is facing the floor to brace the wrist on contact.
  • Extra power (if necessary) can be generated by involving a slight twist of the torso or by stepping forwards into the punch, bearing in mind that either of these motions will increase telegraphing, therefore reducing its chances of success.
  • Immediately after contact retract the glove to its starting position as quickly as possible almost as if the target is made of molten lava!

The jab is a mid-to-long-range weapon and when successfully landed can occupy your opponents mind enough to allow other more powerful punches to be have success when thrown in a combination (a number of punches linked together).

Practise your jab in a mirror and focus on minimising any loading-up or telegraphing and ensuring your glove travels in a dead-straight line returning to a solid defensive guard as fast as possible. A mirror is one of the most valuable pieces of boxing equipment you can utilise.