The Jab is completed only after you’ve safely returned to your ready position.

After last Saturday’s dominating performance by Georges St Pierre, the fight world is buzzing about how effective the jab is in MMA.

I wanted to post this great article and videos from Damage Control MMA to help teach you how to become an effective striker with leading with the jab.

The article highlights several top fighters (including BJ Penn) that use the jab effectively.  There is also some videos on jab drills, technique, and footwork.


Two reasons why the Jab is so effective in MMA are:

1.  Because the jab is a lot less of a committed attack than heavier strikes, it leaves you a lot less vulnerable to takedowns.

2. With smaller gloves than in boxing, hands move faster & have the potential to cause more cosmetic damage.  And they are easier to slip into tighter places.

Whether you’re a Boxer, Kickboxer, Muay Thai Practitioner or MMA Fighter, the Jab is an elemental part of the striking game.

From the Basic Fighting Stance: feet shoulder width apart, hands up, chin down, elbows protecting the ribs.

It is the stinging bee immortalized in Ali’s timeless prose. A lightning fast, rapid fire, multirole, weapon, that in the hands of a qualified artist, can tattoo a face as quick as a convict’s pen gun.

Sugar Ray Leonard was said to have used numerous different types of jab to seal his place in history as one of Boxing’s Greats and that is perhaps one the qualities that makes the Jab so versatile and important. Many times, the Jab sets the stage for more sophisticated and committed attacks.

The Basic Stationary Jab extends straight from the chin towards the target with no wind up or preparatory movements. Keep your arms loose and relaxed. As your fist moves away from your jaw, your left shoulder should raise to protect your chin.

It tests for weaknesses in your opponent’s guard. It probes for information on range and reflexive responses.

It’s like a special forces recon unit that reports back to central command and lets it know the number and strength of the enemy and what tools would be best utilized to destroy them.

But the Jab is not merely an information gatherer.

Like a hollow point 9 mm, some may say it lacks knock down power, but when well placed, the Jab has stunned if not stopped many a prize fighter. Ali put so many rounds on target during a bout against Patterson that Patterson had to take a knee from the sheer number of blows.

At the last moment your fist should turn over so that your palm faces the floor. As you hit the target tense up your fist and focus the force into your first two (your two largest) knuckles. Notice how Khru Yamasaki has “Sandwiched” his chin between his left shoulder and right fist.

Tyson and Morrison have won fights outright with stiff Jabs used in isolation to incapacitate their opponents.

In the realm of MMA, the Jab is ideal as it leaves you less vulnerable to a takedown.

Dominic Cruz and Miguel Torres are both very talented at using it in this capacity, and with the smaller gloves, it has more potential to cause cuts and swelling.

BJ Penn was very effective in using the Jab to disrupt Sean Sherk’s offensive game plan.

The Jab returns on the same LINE as it traveled to the target. Be sure to keep your left shoulder raised as you bring your fist STRAIGHT back to its starting point. Avoid a circular or “rowing” motion on the return stroke as this leaves you open for any number of counter strikes.

This simple little tool can be used in so many ways and across so many different combative platforms. One would do well to study it in depth and to develop one’s own Jab.

The punch itself is relatively easy to learn, but how to set it up and perfect it’s various attributes (speed, snap, power, range, information gathering and intelligence) takes time and dedication.

Having a qualified coach/instructor to help you along the way can shave years off it’s development.




This entry was posted in Boxing, Muay Thai, Training/Technique Videos, Workouts, Workouts for Trainers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply