Got any tips to throw a proper Muay Thai jab? One of the easiest and quickest weapons in Muay Thai is the jab. Though largely overshadowed by the kick and the elbow, it provides a pretty hard defensive tactic in the event of an aggression in the ring. But to be able to enjoy a jab’s perks, one must be able to throw it properly. It must be powerful enough to stop an opponent’s advances and deflect his rhythm while he or she is in the middle of a combination move. In a way, a jab will help jumpstart a kick-punch-elbow combination while ensuring circumference of protection from any aggression.
A jab, though not as vicious as a right-straight punch, is known for its efficacy in thwarting an incoming attack. It allows a fighter to fight even when backing up from an opponent’s aggression. To maximize defense-offense potential in the ring, a fighter must learn the basics of a Muay Thai jab. Here are some tips to help you land a proper Muay Thai jab.
1. Always start with a “solid base” and a strong guard. In as much as power and speed is concerned, standing on solid footing also makes a Muay Thai jab more effective. The feet must be shoulder-width apart with your left foot slightly forward. The right face’s chin must be protected by the right hand as you shoot your left hand forward. While doing so, a small tunnel must be made to keep your eyes on the opponent but without letting him or her get an opening to throw a counter-punch throwing you off-guard. Do remember to keep yourself relaxed to enhance agility without sacrificing your guard. A jab is also another way to save up on much-needed energy for a much more rigorous combination later.
2. Ensure fluidity in motion when extending your left arm. It must be swift yet strong and on target. From your solid base stance, simply take a short step forward and extend the left arm on its full length. Keep in mind to step right in front and not on the sides or any other angle to maximize coverage.
3. A Muay Thai jab must be snappy enough that once your left arm is fully extended, your elbow is on the ready to swiftly bring it back to a guard position. Think about avoiding the bite of a cobra or touching a searing hot plate– this should be the same level of reaction applied when returning your left arm to its original position after performing a jab. Not only will this increase your protection level, it also enhances your combination moves when given an opening.
4. When possible, try to double or triple your Muay Thai jabs. Speed is of essence on this one. Throwing a solid single jab all the time may give your opponent a chance to get back his or her rhythm, or give them that window of opportunity to read your move easily. Doubling or tripling your jabs will help to deny your opponent from getting back his or her bearing.
5. For a more power-driven jab, the secret rests on your fist. Palms when opened must be ground-facing while the whole arm is fully extended maximizing your reach. The opponent’s body or face must be hit by the knuckles on full contact to make it fully efficient. To ensure protection from counter attack, your right face must be tucked in by the right fist with the chin touching the left shoulder.
6. Focus is important in doing a proper Muay Thai jab. By keeping your chin down, your eyes are basically focused on the target. This is pretty much the same way in archery wherein an archer has to touch the tip of the arrow’s base to the chin to ensure focus on the target. In Muay Thai, however, the chin and the jaw line are considered weak spots and must be protected at all times from any incoming attacks.
7. The power of a jab must emanate from your shoulders and on how tight your first is before impact. This helps increase stability and solidity of an impact. Additionally, using the strength from your shoulder muscles will prevent elbow injuries. When releasing a jab, tighten your fist just moments before impact. Doing so will help increase your speed and power.
The takeaway in these tips to throw a proper Muay Thai jab rests on speed, power and stability. It must also hit the opponent to break his or her timing or rhythm allowing you a window of opportunity to effectively do a counter attack. Do take note that these tips are aligned with orthodox fighters. For southpaw, simply do the exact opposite of everything.