Hardcore boxing fans often refer to boxing fondly as “The Sweet Science.” That’s because underneath the adrenaline-laced exchanges in the ring is an incredibly intricate martial art. Elite fighters don’t just throw punches mindlessly. There is a level of skill and precision that goes into every combination.
Among the most important punches in boxing, the jab is a crucial weapon, perhaps the most important punch of all. If you have a solid jab in your arsenal, your offense instantly becomes exponentially formidable.
The jab is versatile and can be utilized in a variety of different ways. From setting up other punches, diversifying combinations, and fending off aggressive opponents on defense, the jab is a punch that you will want to use often.
However, people don’t usually focus on perfecting their jab, especially beginners. That is something that definitely has to change.
If you’re new to the sport, it’s important to develop a good, strong, and fast jab, as well as incorporate it into your combinations. We’ve come up with a list of effective but simple jab combinations that you can add to your repertoire. Try these out the next time you’re in the gym.
Today, Evolve Daily shares three simple jab combinations.
1) 1-2 (Jab-Straight)
This is the most basic combination in boxing, and most likely the first combination you’ll learn when first starting out. The humble jab-straight combination may be simple, but that does not diminish its effectiveness in a fight. In fact, perfecting the jab-straight should probably rank first among your top priorities as a beginner boxer.
From just outside of range, you want to take an explosive step forward with your lead foot, throwing the jab with speed and power. You can target the forehead or chin, or even go down to the body.
As you pull your jab back following connection, throw the straight immediately behind it, targeting the head of your opponent. This will maximize the speed and torque of your power shot, and your opponent will have very little time to recover.
Even if the straight can be telegraphed as it’s thrown down the middle, throw it fast and hard enough, and it won’t matter. You’ll hit the mark, and it will do some serious damage.
Some of the greatest fighters in the world have incredible jab-straights in their arsenal: guys like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire, Naoya Inoue, among others.
If you want to take this combination to the next level, double up on your jab and throw a 1-1-2, or a double jab-straight.
2) 1-6 (Jab-Right Uppercut)
The next combination featuring the jab is the jab-right uppercut. Instead of throwing a straight punch, throw the rear uppercut instead, targeting the chin or solar plexus of your opponent.
Legendary Hall-of-Fame coach Freddie Roach, who has trained legends like Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, and Mike Tyson, always advised his fighters never to lead with the rear uppercut, because it is too easily telegraphed. That’s why throwing the jab first to set up the rear uppercut is essential to the punch’s success.
For this combination, throw the jab again with speed and power, aiming for the forehead or the chin. And before you can pull your jab hand back, go strong with a rear uppercut, really digging your heels into the canvas and sitting down on the punch to maximize weight distribution and power.
Obviously, once this combination lands, it’s almost always lights out for any man that gets hit with it. It’s a devastating combination that can end any given fight in an instant.
However, miss with the uppercut and you’ll be vulnerable to a counter. Try your best to revert back to a defensive position, particularly guarding against the counter left hook, which is the biggest threat.
3) 1 – 2, Step Back Hook (Jab, Cross – Step Back – Left Hook)
Last but not least, the step back 1-3 is an effective counterpunch combination that can be used while moving backward.
When faced with an aggressive opponent intent on pushing you back against the ropes, you will need to have an effective counterpunching game to avoid being overwhelmed. The step back 1-3 is the perfect counter for an aggressive, forward-moving foe.
As the name suggests, you want to incorporate a step back maneuver in the middle of your combination.
While on the defensive, defend yourself against your opponent’s combinations by blocking and parrying shots. Throw the jab to disrupt his rhythm, and as your opponent comes in, time the step back to move slightly out of range of his combination and release the left hook onto the temple.
Repeat: Jab – step back – left hook.
The jab is there to draw your opponent and force him to commit to his combination. That’s when you time the step back, and crack him with the left hook as he moves forward. The compounding force of impact does immense damage and can turn the lights out on any opponent almost instantly if executed correctly.
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