I was always taught that the jab is the most important punch in boxing. Here are eight reasons why you want to master the jab.
1.Ruin your opponent's timing. When your opponent gets hits by your jab, for a split second they will need to re-set which allows you to follow up or exit safely
2.Keep the pressure. Jabbing with mean intent keeps you in the role of the predator. It’s very disconcerting to have an opponent with a dominant, stiff jab putting pressure on you. It forces them onto their back foot and gives you the psychological edge.
3.Set up combinations. The jab immediately puts the opponent on the defensive, allowing you to continue your offensive assault. The jab is the punch that opens up your bigger punches. For example, you can jab at the forehead to lift up his opponent's chin for the knockout right cross. Or jab to the stomach to lower the guard, then right cross to the chin. The drawing jab to left hook is another great combination. Jabs set up many, many combinations.
4. Counter their jab. Stay one step ahead by countering your partner's jab as soon as yours is established. When the opponent attempts to engage in the battle of the jab, keep one step ahead by working off of his jab.
A) When his jab comes, slip left and shoot an inside left hook.
B.) Or slip to the right and follow with a right overhand to catch a lazy left hand.
C) Or slap down the jab down with the right hand and come straight back with a right cross.
If you counter the jab effectively your opponent will stop jabbing and be forced to lunge in with wilder strikes, making them easier to counter.
5.Safety. Beginning and ending combinations with the jab helps you stay safe. It allows us to end a combination and re-group. Exiting the danger zone with a good jab helps to extinguish the opponent’s counter attack.
6.Energy. The jab requires the least energy to throw, it's the most efficient punch and the lowest risk. This means you conserve energy and can fight for longer.
7.Variation. You can out-finesse your opponent with the jab. Use broken rhythm, doubling up, up and down, down and up variations to confuse your partner. Adding different variations to the jab is necessary for it to become an effective tool. If your jab is robotic or predictable, a smart opponent will time it and launch an attack around it. Make your jab unpredictable to overwhelm your opponent.
8.Low risk. The jab is the only punch that’s not committing the body in some way. You should have full control of your movement and balance at all time when jabbing. All other punches commit the body far more, temporarily depriving you of your mobility.
So there are eight good reasons to keep jabbing.
The difference between a good fighter and a great fighter is usually the jab.
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