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Practical Guide to 3 Types of Jabs You Need to Know and Use

Fighting, Training
February 27, 2024

The jab is the most important punch in fighting.

It is used to:

  • Set up your power shots
  • Gauge distance
  • Set the pace
  • Use it offensively
  • Use it defensively

Jabs win fights.

There are 3 types of jabs you need to start using:

  • Snapping jab
  • Pawing jab
  • Power jab

I'm going to breakdown each of these jabs, tell you what they are used for and how to throw them.

Video Breakdown

Jab #1: Snapping Jab

Snapping jab is your most important jab and the one you need to start mastering first. I covered the mechanics and how to throw the snapping jab in the "Striking Fundamentals Vol.1" course.

Snapping jab is all about the speed and the whip. You have to cause damage with it. When it hits, it needs to sting.

This jab is the most used jab and the one should be throwing the most out of all 3 jabs.

You will use the snapping jab to setup your power shots such as the cross, uppercut, hooks, overhand.

You can also use the snapping jab by itself to dictate the pace of the entire fight. If you land the snapping jab with the required stinging effect, it'll make anyone change their mind about wanting to engage with you.

Watch GSP vs Koscheck for the snapping jab masterclass.

Start with the snapping jab and make sure you know how to throw it correctly before you introduce the pawing jab and the power jab.

Jab #2: Pawing Jab

Pawing jab is simply putting your jab hand out and keeping it there in his face. It is used for:

  • Block his vision
  • Annoy him to react
  • Sets up your power shots

Remember, you are not punching or delivering any kind of damage with the pawing jab.

You are extending your arm in front if his face to make him react so you can counter or help you set up your power shot.

Now you can and often touch his face and push with the pawing jab. This helps you gauge distance. If you can touch, you are within range to land. You paw your jab hand to push his head and line up your power shot behind it.

So remember, there are two ways to implement this jab effectively:

  • Paw to make him react so you can counter
  • Paw to block his vision, to distract so you can deliver your power shot

A lot of people make a mistake of not using the pawing jab deliberately. They touch hands, they put their jab out but it's lazy and there are no intentions behind it. You are opening yourself up because you aren't using it to set anything up or look for openings.

Remember you are gauging a reaction and creating an opening to capitalize on.

This is why pawing jab is not something you learn first. It's not a beginner punch. Make sure you know your snapping jab before introducing the pawing jab.

Jab #3: Power Jab

Third type of jab is a power jab, also called a stiff jab.

The intention behind this jab is to do maximum damage with it. You have to throw it as if you were trying to KO someone while still maintaining good technique and body position.

Power jab will be slower because you aren't throwing with speed as you would the snapping jab. And most of the time, the power jab is thrown solo without throwing something behind it. But of course you can maximize its effectiveness by following up with more power shots.

The power comes from the rotation of your legs, hips and upper body. You have to punch through the target with the jab. Just be careful not to over-extend or lean too far forward. Always maintain good positioning.

You can incorporate the step in to put more of your body into it, which will increase the power behind the jab.

To be more effective with landing the power jab, you'll need to incorporate some setups. The simplest way to do this is to vary your punches. Introduce the pawing jab, the snapping jab and when you see an opening - deliver the power jab.

Learn to Throw the Snapping Jab

Before you start throwing the pawing jab or the power jab, you need to get really good with the snapping jab.

In the "Striking Fundamentals Vol.1" I cover the snapping jab in detail. I break it down on how to deliver it with speed, snap, whip and correct body positioning. I also show you how to use the snapping jab in order to set up your power shots.

Get the full instructional course here and begin mastering the snapping jab today.


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