A Jab Specialist (learn tips from a pro boxing coach) Part 1
Hi there, I’m Mike Gales for fight your way fit. In this video, I’m going to see a boxing specialist to fix my jab. I’m basically going to see a jab doctor to repair my ailing jab.
once again I’m at the awesome Grant Brothers Gym. I’m going to leave a link in the description below. I’m lucky enough to catch coach Jesse Ross Thompson, right before he leaves for Germany with one of his pro fighters.
Coach Thompson is not only an amateur and pro boxing coach and a cut man he’s also extremely knowledgeable when it comes to the biomechanics of boxing. He’s the type of coach that even pro fighters, who have been boxing for years, go to to improve their boxing technique. I’ll leave links to his Instagram and his website in the description below. So why am I looking for help? A few years ago, I tore my lead shoulder.
Since then I’ve picked up a few bad habits that you can see here. I am dropping the lead hand right before I throw the punch. There have been a few comments about this in various videos.
I subconsciously picked up this bad habit as I was compensating for my damaged shoulder. Now I want to go see a professional boxing technician, like Coach Thompson, to rectify the problem. Contrary to what some people may think, it’s not because my lead hand is lower, that’s not my biggest problem. Some of the greatest boxers of all time like Carl Froch, Roy Jones, Mayweather or even the greatest of all time Muhammad Ali for example, all kept their lead jab hand low. Having a low lead hand is not necessarily the biggest problem. I want to mention that with all of these great fighters that even though their lead hand is low, their lead shoulder always comes up high a particular chin as they throw out their jab.
That is the most important thing. I usually do that and so the lead hand low is not my biggest problem. A few of you have commented on what the big problem really is. That problem is that I’m telegraphing the jab.
My opponent picks up on a little bit of extra movement before I throw and then they see it coming. I’m also getting a little older and I’m not the fastest. That extra movement of lowering my hand and then jabbing, is adding a split second to my jab.
That makes it easy to pick off. That is my big issue. That’s exactly what I’m explaining here to coach Thompson that I drop the shot right before I throw it. This is why he’s such a great boxing coach that other Pro fighters seek out. Instead of just telling me some generic solution like keep your hand up, he tells me that there are many different styles of jabs. He wants to know, what it is specifically that I’m looking to accomplish with my jab.
That’s a great question and every trainer should address that. Are you looking to have a punishing offensive jab, perhaps like Ike Quartey? Or are you looking to set up other big punches the way Klitschko or Lennox Lewis would set their big right hand behind a jab?
Perhaps you’re looking to create distance. Are you a defensive or an offensive fighter? There’s a lot that the jab can accomplish.
In my case, I’m a shorter guy from my weight. I am just under six feet tall and I often box guys that are much taller than myself. Like Tyson, I need to use a jab to get in and close the distance. Once there, I can land my other punches. As it turns out, the best style of jab for me, as I’m not super quick and I don’t have long arms, and so the best jab for me, is going to be to keep that lead hand up high, like a shield as I come in behind my jab.
You guys in your comments were absolutely right, which is pretty cool. First, coach Thompson has me through a few jebs in place, without any movement. That way he can assess that my hand is staying up high, like it’s supposed to. I know that it should be simple but it’s a tough habit to break and so I’m trying now to be conscious of it. Aside from having my lead hand up, he informs me that Ishould also angle myself even more towards my opponent.
That will limit my exposure to counter shots, as I enter. I’m also making a mental note of that as well. He’s a great coach and he notices that aside from the problem I have of telegraphing my jab, by first lowering my hand, he also sees that I’m telegraphing it by leaning forward slightly as I throw it. That’s also going to limit my power and leave me vulnerable to counter uppercuts.
He’s got a great eye and that’s why it’s great to have another pair of knowledgeable eyes take a look at you. They may notice things that you may not. True knowledge begins with humbleness and sometimes you need to be willing to accept help. I’m really grateful for this little lesson.
Again he reminds me to keep myself angled with my lead shoulder pointing towards my opponent. It may take a little time to adjust but I’ll get it. As I step forward he reminds me of what I know all too well, keep that lead shoulder high, as you throw that jab out there. Or else you might get caught with a big punch over the top of your jab.