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Boxing Training: The Importance of The Jab

Updated on January 29, 2016

The Jab Is Key

The jab is the most important punch in the sport of boxing without a doubt. If you have an excellent jab you can control the tempo or the pace of the bout. A good jab will help a boxer pile up points and put rounds in the bank. 75 to 80% of your shots should be jabs. You work off the jab as in jab, jab, right hand. Single, double jab, feint jab, triplet jab. The stick is a fighter's bread and butter and it can be used to control the action on both offense and defense.

Proper Jab Techniques

You must slightly bend your knees when throwing punches. If you stand to tall and stiff you will be countered all night.
You must slightly bend your knees when throwing punches. If you stand to tall and stiff you will be countered all night. | Source
The Up Jab is used against taller opponents and works well if you can time your opponent.
The Up Jab is used against taller opponents and works well if you can time your opponent. | Source

The Jab (Offense)

The jab can score points, hurt your opponent and help set up other punches. It can be used as a range finder. Never telegraph the stick or jab as it should be thrown from different angles and mixed up. Sometimes singles, sometimes doubles and sometimes triple jabs. Feint jabs followed by a solid jab or even a lead right is a good jab tactic. Having a great jab is more important than all the other punches in boxing put together. Their is no substitute for an accurate, fast jab thrown with good timing.

The Jab (Defense)

The jab will keep your opponent preoccupied and if you use it constantly it will limit their return which makes the jab or stick a defensive weapon as well as an offensive one. Keeping the opponent at bay with an accurate jab will keep him on the defensive. A jab, like a parry can be used to deflect incoming shots. If a boxer is hurt he can use the stick to create space and avoid punches from a distance while trying to fully recover.

Types of Jabs

Flicker Jab
Push Jab
Double Jab
Paw
Triple Jab
Feint jab
Jab To The body
Up jab
Jab
 
Step jab
Power Jab
Eleven of the most commonly used jab techniques.
You can have to learn to block and slip the jab on defense or you will be out scored in a boxing match.
You can have to learn to block and slip the jab on defense or you will be out scored in a boxing match. | Source

Have You Tried It?

Have you ever boxed or sparred before?

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Can You Succeed in Boxing Without The Jab

You will have very limited success in the sport of boxing if you do not possess a descent jab. As a taller or longer armed boxer you will be able to win and sometimes dominates bouts with a solid stick alone. On the other hand even if your at a height and reach disadvantage you will still have to depend on the push jab among other tactics in order to get inside.

The jab sets up combinations and it builds points to help you win rounds in amateur and professional boxing. never underestimate the importance of the jab in boxing because it is a prizefighter's bread and butter.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to developing the jab. its important for the jab to flow naturally which comes with lots of repetition during practice.

Always mix up your attack and never get complacent. The jab should be a constant punch pumping out to baffle, confuse and beat the other boxer.

The Jab Should Be 80% of Your Arsenal

You can parry a jab and counter with your own jab with proper timing.
You can parry a jab and counter with your own jab with proper timing. | Source

How To Properly Deliver The Jab

These instructions are for fighting in the right handed stance. For southpaw boxers (Left Handed), Simply switch from left jab to right jab.

1. Get in the proper boxing stance. (Left foot and left arm facing slightly forward toward your opponent. Chindown, eyes up, elbows tucked in and of course keep a slight bend in both of your knees).

2. Push forward with the left foot in order to close the distance. (Keep your front foot facing towards your opponent).

3. At the time that your foot goes forward, snap the left jab out strait with no upward or downWard movement whatsoever. Do not tighten your fist until the very point of impact in order to increase the power on the punch.

4. As the punch reaches the target you will turn or rotate your fist over so that the two boxer knuckle a land directly on the target. Never reach with the jab or make your body go with the jab. Use your full reach because the stick should be an arm punch. The most important punch in the Sweet Science.

5. Immediately upon impact bring your left arm strait back the same way you threw it out and into the on guard position. Make sure your elbows always remained tucked in so that your always protecting your body.

* You can throw two and three jabs at a time but after each jab bring the stick all the way back to the on guard position before quickly snapping it out again.

Pro's With Excellent Sticks

Boxers With Great Jabs

Larry Holmes, seen here popping the jab on Michael Spinks, has one of the best sticks in boxing history.
Larry Holmes, seen here popping the jab on Michael Spinks, has one of the best sticks in boxing history. | Source
Joe Louis, seen landing a jab on Jersey Joe Walcott, set up his awesome offense with a stiff and accurate jab.
Joe Louis, seen landing a jab on Jersey Joe Walcott, set up his awesome offense with a stiff and accurate jab. | Source

Prizefighters With Superior Jabs

1. Larry Holmes: The Eaton Assassin made 20 defenses of the heavyweight championship which is the second most in history.

2. Joe Louis: The Brown Bomber held the heavyweight title 11 years and made 25 total title defenses. Both are records.

3. Sugar Ray Robinson: Sugar is considered the best boxer in history and his jab was a major part of his success in the squared circle.

4. Willie Pep: The Will of the Wisp was a defensive genius and his jab was his best defensive and offensive weapon. He won many bouts with his stick alone.

5. Benny Leonard/ Muhammad Ali (Tie): Leonard is one of the best lightweight champions in history and he had knockout power in both hands. Most of his knockouts came from working behind the jab. Muhammad Ali used his jab for 90% of his punch output and he is considered one of if not the best heavyweight of all time.

How To Throw The Jab

How To Execute The Flicker Jab

© 2014 Buster Johnson

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    • BNadyn profile image

      Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      Interesting and informative hub on why the jab is important for boxing. The videos are a great idea for showing how to execute it, too. This article instantly reminded me of my dad since he is a fan of boxing and I thought about the boxing game on our Wii system that my little boy likes to play! Voting up, pinning and sharing. :)

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