Fighting. Training. Mindset.

Beginner Punching Tips (Part 1/4): Snapping Jab (Fundamental Four)

Fighting, Training
July 18, 2023

There are four essential strikes that are your foundation.

Every beginner needs to start with these four and every expert needs to come back to these four and drill them over and over again.

You start with these four and you die by these four.

The fundamental four are:

In this 4-part series you will learn how to execute and throw each of these four strikes correctly. This way you don't form bad habits or you'll be able to fix the bad habits you may have formed.

Each of the four strikes are broken down into their video and post. This way you focus on one punch at a time and absorb all the techniques into your training.

Each video is focused on punches and their execution. I intentionally left out footwork and head movement. Adding these introduces another layer of complexity that you have to drill and monitor which allows for more mistakes and bad habits to form.

By isolating to strikes only, it'll ensure you learn the proper body mechanics first before introducing footwork or head movement.

Also each of the four fundamental strikes will be thrown to the head. Body shots are different strikes and require the mastery of fundamental four first. You can introduce body punches once you got a hang of the essential four.

Most important strike and the first strike you need to learn to master is a jab.

Video Breakdown

Fundamental Four Course

Remember that this series is just the beginning. If you want a deep dive and complete breakdown of how to master each of the 4 punches, 4 essential combinations and much more - you'll need the Fundamental Four instructional course.

Jab is the Most Important Punch

Jabs win fights.

Jabs are used in different ways and for different reasons.

  • To gauge distance
  • To setup your combinations
  • Disrupt your opponent's combinations
  • Disrupt your opponent's counters
  • You can lead with a jab or you can leave with a jab

There are also 3 types of jabs you will see:

  • Snap or Flick Jab
  • Paw Jab
  • Power or Stiff Jab

The type of jab we'll focus on in this post is a flick or snap jab. This is a fast jab that will be used to set up your shots such as a power cross.

Few important things to keep in mind as you throw the snapping jab.

Rotate Your Fist

Make sure you throw your jab right from your fundamental fight stance and as you throw your jab, rotate your fist so all the knuckles are horizontal, with the palm facing the floor.

This adds extra speed and power because you are twisting and torqueing the fist into your target.

There is a variation of the jab where you throw it vertical. Bruce Lee used to throw the jab this way, as well as some boxers. But as a fundamental jab, rotate your fist. Once you get proficient with this jab, you can throw jab variations.

Don't Loop On Way Back

Another common mistake when throwing jabs is the looping down on return. The jab is thrown straight to the target but then looped back down. This loop down exposes your jaw and opens you up to counters.

Do not loop your jabs back.

As you throw the jab in a straight line at the target, it needs to come back the same way – straight back to your chin.

In and out, straight line.

Rear Hand at Your Chin

Another common mistake on the jab is the seesaw. This is where you drop the opposite hand down away from your chin as the jab goes out.

This needs to be monitored and trained out of you.

Make sure you keep your opposite hand glued to your chin as your jab goes out. Always be tightly protected on offense - keep the opposite hand up.

For additional protection, tuck your chin into your lead shoulder.

Drilling Jabs

There are different ways you can drill jabs. This will apply to all other strikes.

Slow, flow and high pace.

  • Slow: you throw very slow at snail pace and often leaving your strikes out there to check body mechanics. Every strike is thrown slow to make your body used to the movement.
  • Flow: you throw with various speed but no snap, whip or power. You just flow through the movement to train your muscle memory.
  • High Pace: you throw all punches with various speed, snap, whip and power as if you are sparring or fighting.

Start drilling slow then pick up speed. Drill the jab thousands upon thousands of times. Develop the muscle memory to execute under any condition - any time, any place.

Shadow boxing allows you to train while visualizing, punching bag allows to train by hitting something solid. You must do both.

Also hit focus mitts and pads, if you have someone to hold them.

Remember the following when drilling the jab:

  • Relax before you throw your strikes
  • Exhale out of your mouth when throwing strikes, inhale in your nose when retracting strikes
  • Keep your rear hand up at your chin
  • Throw the jab straight, twisting your fist then bring the jab back the same way it went out - straight back; don't loop it back
  • Tuck your chin into your lead shoulder to protect your chin
  • When drilling at high pace - throw with speed, power and intention

Fundamental Four Course

These are just few of the tips and important points to keep in mind to throw the jab flawlessly. But there is a lot more to cover.

Take a deep-dive into the complete Fundamental Four instructional course.

You'll learn how to throw all 4 fundamental punches every fighter needs to master. As well as 4 essential combinations. If you become proficient with these 4, you will begin to become a dangerous fighter.

Get the Course...


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