Exploring the Different Types of Jabs You Need to Know

Edited By yashovardhan sharma on Jul 04,2024
Blog / Jul 04,2024

In the realm of combat sports, the jab stands as one of the most fundamental and versatile punches. It is a crucial tool in boxing, mixed martial arts (MMA), and various forms of martial arts. The jab is not only a weapon for offensive strategies but also serves defensive purposes. Its significance cannot be overstated, as it often sets the rhythm of the fight and creates openings for more powerful strikes. This blog will delve into the different types of jabs, their uses, and their strategic importance in combat sports.

Backstep Jab: Done on the Back Foot

Just throw a jab while stepping back with your back foot. Then, bring your front hand and foot back to their starting positions. It's a cool move to stop your opponent's momentum and quickly counter with a retreating jab followed by a cross. The benefit is that you get to punch while backing up, which helps in fending off an opponent's attack. The drawback is that it's not the strongest punch since you're moving backward. It might land, but it won't do much to deter an aggressive opponent unless you mix it up with other counter-punches.

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Pivot Jab: Performed on the Front Foot

If you're an orthodox boxer, pivot clockwise on your front foot as you throw the jab. Your back foot should swing out about one or two feet from where it started, while your front foot stays put, pivoting on its ball. (Southpaw boxers pivot counter-clockwise.) This move lets you generate power while moving your body out of harm's way. It takes your boxing skills up a notch by using angles in your punches. Since your jab comes from an angle, the right cross that follows will also come from an angle, making it easier to land punches and harder for your opponent to block them. The pivot jab has offensive power, counter-punch angles, and defensive movement. You can use it to keep your distance or at the end of a combo as you pivot out of the way. The drawback is that your balance might be a bit off while pivoting on one leg. It can also make it tougher to follow up with a cross since your back hand will be further away after the pivot jab.

Power Jab: Back Foot Moves Forward

So, to throw a Power Jab, you start by moving your front foot towards your opponent. Then, you slide your back foot up, getting closer to your opponent and throwing the jab at the same time. Remember, the Power Jab is different from the Step Jab! With the Power Jab, you throw the jab as your back foot moves forward. With the Step Jab, you throw the jab as your front foot moves forward. This is called a power jab because your whole body is moving forward when you throw it. It makes it super easy to throw a quick 1-2 combo since your back foot will be planted and ready to power your right cross right after the jab. The minus point is that power jab is easier to see and defend against because your front foot movement hints at your attack. It's harder to surprise your opponent with a power jab because it's thrown with the back foot's movement, so it lands a bit later.

Step Jab: Catches Opponent Off Guard

Step forward with your front foot while extending your front fist towards your opponent. When you bring the jab hand back, slide your back foot up so your feet return to their normal distance. You'll end up one step closer to your opponent. The step jab packs more power than a basic jab and can catch your opponent off guard. It helps you quickly move from out of reach to within reach, landing punches when your opponent isn't expecting it. You can use it to test your opponent's defense while still having the option to back off. I use it a lot because it's one of the few punches that can get you from out of range to punch range. The disadvantage is that the step jab can mess with your balance since your feet are more spread out than usual. If your opponent hits you at the right moment, you might lose your balance and be open to more punches. It can also slow down your 1-2 combo because you can't throw the right cross until your back foot is in position.

Basic Jab: Easy Stationary Punch

This move is super easy. Just keep your feet, body, and head still, extend your front arm's fist straight out towards your opponent. When you hit or fully extend, bring your fist back to the starting position and reset your stance. The basic jab is a stationary punch, easy to throw without messing up your defense. It's all about speed and accuracy, helping you set up bigger punches. The drawback is that the basic jab doesn't pack much power. You need to follow it up with heavier punches like a right cross or left hook, or your opponent will just walk through it.

The Flicker Jab: Speed and Unpredictability

The flicker jab, popularized by legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, is a fast, snapping punch that relies on speed and unpredictability rather than power. Its a disruptive tool designed to keep opponents off-balance and to create openings. The flicker jab is thrown with a rapid, snapping motion, often with minimal shoulder movement. The focus is on speed and quick recovery. Because of its speed and the minimal telegraphing involved, the flicker jab is difficult for opponents to anticipate and counter. While not as powerful as other jabs, the flicker jab can be very effective in setting up combinations and disrupting an opponents rhythm.

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There are countless ways to use the jab. From my boxing experience, almost every jab you throw will have elements from different types of jabs. Learn them all, master the ones that suit your style, and use what works. We hope that you can utilize the information given in this article and build on your skills.

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