Experts say the jab is the most important punch in boxing. According to WBA Boxing World Champion and Evolve MMA instructor, Drian Francisco, that is a hundred percent true. In fact, Francisco says the jab is the foundation of a fighter’s offense and defense.
Francisco is a seasoned veteran, and one of the most accomplished boxers to ever come out of the Philippines. The man they call “Gintong Kamao,” or “Golden Fist,” is a multiple-time world champion known for his aggressive style and knockout power.
One of Francisco’s best weapons is the left jab.
What Is A Jab?
There are a variety of jabs used in boxing. While it’s the most basic punch in this particular martial art, it’s also one of the most diverse. It’s the first punch a beginner learns when training and the last one the coach reminds his fighters to use just before every fight.
From the orthodox stance, the jab is a quick and straight left hand of varying power, meant to target an opponent’s head. It can blind an opponent when targeted at the forehead, and stun an opponent if aimed at the chin. In some cases, the jab can even score a knockout.
Most importantly, the jab creates distance between two fighters and dictates the pace of a fight.
If you want to take your jab to the next level, learn how to maximize its potential, and make this amazing punch an integral part of your game, then it would be best to learn from a world champion like Francisco.
Today, Evolve University shares how to throw a proper jab, demonstrated by WBA Boxing World Champion Drian Francisco.
1) Throw A Solid Jab
If you’re an orthodox fighter, the jab will be your left hand. If you’re a southpaw, it’s your right.
According to Francisco, since the jab is responsible for creating distance and range between you and your opponent, the longer your reach the better. When throwing the jab, extend the arm so that it makes contact with your opponent at the end of the glove.
An effective jab requires great timing to be successful, so you have to manage your distance constantly throughout a fight. It can be used moving forward to pressure an opponent, and can be used on the back foot, to keep an opponent at bay. Whatever the situation, the jab needs enough space to be effective.
Francisco stresses that the jab needs to be a solid punch. It needs to be fast and powerful, enough to earn your opponent’s respect. While it’s a setup for more powerful punches, Francisco believes the jab should carry ample power on its own.
Every world champion has a good, versatile jab. So make it count.
2) Use The Lead Foot To Amplify Power
In the video above, Francisco reiterates the importance of footwork to an effective jab. In every proper jab, use the lead foot to amplify the power of the punch.
With the lead foot, you can accurately calculate whether you are in or out of range. The amount of distance you cover will determine at which point you can throw the jab.
One of the biggest mistakes fighters make when throwing the jab is overextending the punch. When you overextend and outstretch the jab, the punch will have a hard time reaching its target. In many cases, you will also be left open and vulnerable to counters. The most important part of throwing the jab is taking an explosive step forward, and making sure the jab reaches its intended target.
You can do this by pushing down on the lead foot when you throw the jab. Put your weight slightly toward your lead leg, but don’t overextend and lead with your head. This may cause you to lose balance. Try to keep your center of gravity.
Furthermore, you want your muscles and joints relaxed and feeling loose. You don’t want to be too tight. Relax your shoulders and your hips. Keep your hands open when you move around, and only clench the fist just before it hits the target. This will help you not only punch harder, but faster as well.
3) Diversify The Jab
Once you’ve mastered the basic jab, you can practice its many different variations such as flicker jabs, power jabs, the double jab, the range-finder, and the like. The more diverse your jab attack is, the harder it will be for opponents to defend against it.
Another way to keep your jab unpredictable is by changing levels. Don’t just target the head. Occasionally, you want to dip and aim your jab at your opponent’s body, right at the solar plexus. If it lands clean, a power jab to the body is enough to suck the wind out of any opponent’s sails.
After landing the jab, you want to go straight into a power punch combination. You can throw anything behind the jab, be it a hook, an uppercut, or a cross.
In addition, pay attention to your foot placement. Don’t square up too much. According to Francisco, you want to be facing your opponent at a slight angle.
Lastly, don’t forget to bring your glove back to its original position in your defensive stance when you’re done throwing it. This is to prevent getting hit with a counter.
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No detail is spared as Boxing World Champion Drian Francisco breaks down every aspect of boxing, teaching the basic techniques and fundamentals that all practitioners need to master. Learn the vital details behind the boxing stance, footwork, punches, defensive blocking and evasive techniques, counter punching and more.
Covering all of boxing’s fundamental techniques, this Master Course will help complete beginners create a strong foundation to build upon. This Master Course can also help more experienced practitioners refine their techniques and fix bad habits.
Packed with over 9 hours of on-demand video content structured into 11 instructional chapters, Evolve University’s Boxing Fundamentals Master Course is the ultimate guide to starting your boxing journey.
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