How to Jab in Boxing

How to Throw a Jab & How to counter a jab

A jab is a quick punch, used to stun an opponent, to find range and to counter an opponent who is using a slower technique. It is the most common punch seen in boxing, used to keep an opponent back and to gauge movement before committing with a different, more powerful punch.

– It can be thrown from the waist to add rotational force











  • It can be thrown in a linear/straight manner as in conventional boxing, with your hands high.
  • You can also throw a ‘feeler’ jab against a counter puncher, to get a fighter to ‘open up’ and throw back, so you can then get in range and throw a heavier strike.
  • Double jabs are often used to bridge distance.
  • Jab with your head off ‘centre line’ / off to the side if you are fighting a taller guy so that you don’t walk into a jab of his own.


Jab boxing

Jab with head to the side. Turn thumb down at the end of the punch. You can also side step to the left & forwards. Right Hand can defend the face, or side of the head if kicks are allowed.

  • As with the cross, throwing a jab with a ‘low elbow’ will be quicker, but have less power. This is normally used within ‘trapping’ distance when you are especially close to your opponent
    – Throwing a jab with your elbow turned up so it nearly touches your ear, will add more power, but slow it down.
    – Most boxing coaches teach you to turn the thumb of the punching hand towards the floor near the end of the punch.
    – The Jab should be loose and fluid, try not to tense until the end of the punch.
    – Throw from the waist and feet first, and drive with the arm last to give a whipping motion.
  • If jabbing with the left hand, keep the right heel off the floor.
    Begin the jab by rotating the right heel clockwise/towards the right
    Twist the body so it faces to the right, but keep looking forwards
    Finally extend the arm and twist the first so the thumb points down at the end of the punch







You can also use a jab to ‘bait’ an opponent.

Throw a jab, to get your opponent to respond with his/her own punch and counter it.

Rhonda Rousey used to use this a lot – throw a punch (Not necessarily a jab) – wait for her opponent to counter, then as they stand their ground and throw punches – slip in for a clinch




Left jab into a left hook


Double jab

Jab, cross

Double jab, cross

Jab, cross, left hook, right cross


Jab Defence

The common defence in boxing is to parry.




Parry with a small movement – otherwise he may dummy/feint/pretend to throw a jab and wait until your hand lowers and throw the punch then.

Jab Counters

You can counter a jab by parrying and throwing back a jab of your own
– By parrying and throwing a right cross (which you can step forward into)
– By ducking, to waist level and throwing an overhand right/left.






I personally like to parry the left jab, then step forward with a right jab of my own, then a left cross.

Lots of boxing coaches will discourage this however, as it’s pretty unorthodox to change leads and step forwards with a right jab from an orthodox stance.