The seventh hour of my client’s Basic Western Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training course brought us back to the first punch: the jab. We spent time looking at different types of jab and the art of outside boxing. After a warm-up of mirror footwork, focusing on different tactics (cutting off the ring, escaping from corners, controlling the centre of the ring and moving in and out) and upper body movement (slipping, bobbing and
weaving, and ducking).
The ducking movement brought us onto the subject of jabbing. Ducking when you are not avoiding a punch can be done to break an opponent’s viewpoint. It is working off their assumption of your pattern of movement. To suddenly drop from sight changes the opponent’s plan. However, the movement needs to be linked to the next technique. The fighter needs to not just duck, but to duck and move in with his attack to take advantage. Likewise, the jab’s purpose is often to keep an opponent’s attention on one attack line. The punch keeps an opponent occupied, preventing him from using his own plan whilst the fighter sets up his attack. The jab serves many different functions and sets up the bulk of a fighter’s game. It is a move that not only starts attacks and works in defence, but also strings together different combinations. Many boxers argue it is the most important punch and it is a hard argument to refute, at least in the realm of combat sports that permit punching.
All jab variations taught today were first shown on the gloves and then repeated back by the client before being put on the focus mitts. We began with the lightest jabs those that require the most speed and/or technical accuracy to perform correctly, ending with the power jabs. The jabs covered were:
45 Degree Jab