Secrets of the Jab – #1 of 3


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Secret #1 of 3 – Lower Body Positioning

The goal is to hit as hard and with as much snap as possible while at the same time using minimal effort. You’re going to be throwing the jab a lot – during sparring, on the heavy bag, on the hand mitts or during a fight – so it’s very important that you do not waste energy by throwing it improperly. You also want your jab to frustrate and hurt your opponent. Your lower body plays a huge role in your ability to jab proficiently.

Here’s what I want you to focus on from your waist down:

1) Keep the sole of your lead foot planted completely and firmly on the ground. Many people lean on the front of the foot with their heel off the ground. You’ll lose a ton of power by doing that!

2) Bend your lead leg, in a forward lunging type motion so that if you draw a vertical line downwards from that lead leg’s kneecap it runs directly into your toes.

3) Maintain a slightly forward bend with your upper body, folding at the waist so that your body weight will be adding to the forward momentum of the jab. You will also gain a few inches of reach which will make landing the punch much easier.

4) Do not overextend yourself to reach the target with your jab. If you can’t reach the opponent’s face with your jab you need to step in as you punch instead of learning forward more which you put you out of the optimal position.

5) Keep your back heel close to the ground while you’re jabbing. One of the main purposes of the jab is to set up your straight right hand (in the case that you’re right handed) and if your back heel is already off the floor you will lose a lot of the driving power from that back leg. In other words your follow up punch –the straight right—will be weak.

6) Keep your weight centered from left to right. Many fighters commit their weight mainly to the side of the jabbing arm. Leaning off to the side will severely weaken your follow up attacks and will leave you lacking the proper balance and positioning necessary to make many important defensive movements should your opponent counter your jab successfully.

Work hard to perfect these details and watch your jab’s effectiveness improve dramatically. You will be jabbing harder, landing it more often and best of all throwing it with little effort. I feel bad for your sparring partners.

Check out articles #2 and #3 of the “Secrets of the Jab” series…

# 2 – Upper Body Positioning

#3 – Arm Positioning

Categories : MMA Training Tips

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  1. Fariba says:

    Awsome lessons..Can’t wait for the next 2 secrets. Thanks

  2. Kyle from Texas says:

    More!!!!!!!! 🙂

  3. Fariba Akbar says:

    Hi Jeff
    I tried to apply rule #1 in “Secrets of the Jab” while training. I was having a really hard time transitioning from being light on my feet to suddenly keeping the sole of my lead foot planted firmly on the ground. I know it is all timing and hopefully will come to me with practice. . I have to say though, the one or two times that my timing was good, I had a very powerful jab. Thanks again for all your help.

  4. Jeff Joslin says:


    Make sure when your light on your feet your not bouncing up and down too much. Sometimes that can make it difficult to jab with leverage.

    Try to be light on the feet but still keep your upper body weight low by bending your legs slightly and tilting your upperbody forward a bit.

  5. […] these details and drill them. I suggest you combine these details with the tips from my article on LOWER BODY POSITIONING to maximize your jabbing […]

  6. William says:

    Jeff, your lessons are the best!! I get more instruction from your site than I do at the gym. Thanks alot. Keep em’ coming!!

    P.S. On your 12 Secrets to Knockout Power my straight right has much more power due to keeping my hands in close to my body. Thanks again.

  7. Jeff Joslin says:

    No prob William. I’m really glad the info is helping you.

  8. Mynor Rabre says:

    Thanks Jeff I really appreciate your tips. I live in Guatemala city and I am glad to receive your mails with all these information.

    Best Regards

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