Whether you are boxing or kickboxing, the jab is the most important punch in your arsenal. It is commonly recognized as the most important punch, because it sets up everything else in the ring. The jab keeps your opponent off-balance and forces him/her to go on the defensive, while setting yourself up for throwing offensive combinations. You are also staying busy, wearing down your opponent and creating distance as well as determining distance.
The jab is thrown by the hand that is closest to your opponent and takes the minimum effort to throw, with the highest likelihood of landing. Due to the lack of weight transfer, the jab does not generate the power of a bent-arm punch, such as the hook or uppercut. The jab is more like a whip, or as our WBA World Champion William Joppy says,”Snatching a dollar bill out of someone’s hand”.
When throwing the jab keep your elbows in close to your body and do not flare them out. Without flaring your elbows, your jab gets to the target quicker. You should always retract your punch quickly and with the same motion and on the same plane as you threw the punch. When in doubt…Jab!