Mayweather Boxing + Fitness
October 9, 2018
The Jab is the most fundamental offensive punch a boxer can throw. Therefore, from a defensive standpoint, it is extremely important for a boxer to know how to counter their opponent’s Jab. There are several popular ways a boxer can counter a Jab and come back with a striking offensive movement to displace their opponent. Below are five of the most prominent ways to counter the Jab.
One of the most common and effective ways to counter a Jab is a High Guard/Block. You can use the High Guard to stalk, read and reach to your opponent, while giving yourself ample time to counter from the High Guard. You begin in a Guard position, with your shoulders square. Tucking your chin in, you crunch your torso and raise your hands up to the top of your head. You are essentially trying to touch both elbows and forearms together. Depending on the angle and position of your opponent, you rotate your torso as needed to defend yourself. It is important to stay on the balls of your feet when you are in High Guard, allowing your opponent to come close, while becoming poised for the counter strike.
The Slip is a great defensive move to avoid a Jab and open up potential angles for you to throw a counter punch to your opponent. A slip is essentially bending underneath a punch. As you slip, you break at the waist forward, defending your left flank. You can also use your shoulder to defend your chin, and keep your left hand and elbow staying tight to your stomach to defend your right chin. As far as footwork, the Slip is opposite to when you’re bouncing on your feet - in this movement, you plant your feet and create the movement by bending at the waist. It is critical to be on the ball of your feet and for your feet to both be facing forward at 1 o’clock. With the correct form, the Slip is an intense ab and oblique workout and is used frequently by boxers.
The Pullback is an effective way to retreat from a straight jab and set yourself up to come back in for an immediate counter punch. Right as the jab is being thrown at you, pull back to dodge your opponent’s punch coming in. Initiate leaning your weight onto the back leg while you sink down and back. Hinge your torso but in a backwards reverse manner, keeping your eye on your opponent. Your feet should stay planted the whole time, but you are on the toes of your back foot. This movement comes from the abs and the head pulling back. A common offensive move following a Pullback is a power Cross.
A Parry is another movement that defends the Jab and sets up a counter punch. For a Parry, you are in a high guard stance with your body facing sideways rather than facing your opponent straight on. As your opponent’s jab comes in, your right hand is rotated with your glove open and facing your opponent. Use your high right hand to parry or “paw” his jab down. You can then respond by shooting your jab forward, with a small jab step, as you parry his Jab.
Finally, a simple duck is a way boxers often defend themselves from a Jab. The duck is an evasive movement in order to avoid and off-center your opponent. The duck ensures that no major relocation on your part is needed and minimizes any large spatial movements. In order to duck, initiate the movement by going into a full squat stance. You may break at the waist and hinge at the torso forward or back, if need be. Otherwise, you can simply bend and the knees straight down. Once you duck, you are able to return to your ready position without wasting much time at all.
Next time you are shadow boxing or working at the heavy bag, visualize your opponent and practice these movements in order to become more elusive. All five of these movements are basic yet fundamental counters to a Jab which are critical for a boxers success at every level.