Using the jab while boxing in the ring is one of the most underrated moves when sparring, so it is usually taught in passing—without the attention and coaching that it deserves. Instead, it’s become popular for coaches to emphasize counter punching, rather than focusing on throwing the jab specifically.
The jab is still an important fundamental punch in boxing and deserves to be taught comprehensively. Read on to learn what a jab can do and understand how to use it in the ring.
Reactive or Proactive
The counter punch is a great tool, but at its core, it is a reactive strike. On the other hand, the jab used in the boxing ring is proactive. Throwing the jab is like taking out a ruler—it can be used as a measuring stick to test your distance and it gives you information about your opponent’s position and how they are going to move.
The jab is often used to establish dominance in the ring, which is also known as ring control. You can throw the jab while boxing in the ring to test your opponent and set them up for a power punch. Punch at your opponent several times with a double or triple jab in different locations to cause them to flinch or blink. When you see an opening, you can bring in a powerful two punch behind the jab.
Since jabs can be employed quickly and accurately, there must be a tradeoff—the tradeoff is force. A jab is not generally used as a knockout move, but it does just enough to put your opponent on the defensive, and a defensive opponent is one that’s easier to hit.
Once you’ve successfully thrown jabs combined with power punches, don’t back off of your opponent and give them time to recover. Create more space for yourself by going right back to the jab and avoid any counter punches an opponent may be prepared to throw.
Boxing with the jab allows you to simultaneously use offensive and defensive measures. Your rapid jabbing disrupts counterpunches and power punches from an opponent and keeps them away from you in the ring.
An Important Move
The jab is one of the most important tools you use in the ring. Develop your jab strength to ensure you can gain and sustain ring control without fatiguing your arm, and learn to use the jab in multiple ways to avoid becoming predictable.
Talk to a Gloveworx coach about your jab today and become a better boxer.