Using the Jab in Mixed Martial Arts

Quick Striking with the Jab

Always keep your off hand up while throwing the jab

The jab can be an extremely effective weapon in a mixed martial arts match, if used correctly. It is not a power strike but instead more of a finesse strike that leads into other things. The jab needs to be used at the right time though because if not it will really be a useless strike. Take down setups, defensive or counter strikes, range finding, and just plain quick strikes are all aspects of a mastered jab.

There are individuals who don’t think the jab is a necessary component of one’s striking game in mixed martial arts. For some more information on this side of the argument CLICK HERE.


The jab is a quick strike that is not meant to knock out an oponent but that doesn’t mean it can’t pack some power behind it.  As you push of your back foot, rotate your shoulders, and snap your arm out in one fluid motion you effectively channel the energy of your whole body quickly into the strike. Also a crucial aspect of any striking in mixed martial arts is to always protect your face with your off hand while striking so you don’t get caught with a quick counter strike yourself. This is a quick video of the steps of a jab by Anderson Silva.

Timing is Everything

The jab just isn’t that knockout punch you can land and end a fight so you really have to pick your time to use it carefully. However depending on how you choose to use the jab it can have different benefits depending on what you need to accomplish.

The jab can be used as a range finding strike that keeps your opponent on his toes and allows you to prepare for strikes or take downs better. This range finder can kill two birds with one stone and be used as a distraction strike too to set up for another striking combination or take down attempt. This is a great example of how the jab can be effective without even needing to strike the opponent.

A strong jab thrown with some intent can be enough to stun an opponent in mixed martial arts This is where the jab in mixed martial arts really differs from that in traditional boxing; which mainly stems from the different gloves. A quick counter jab can stun the opponent long enough to be able to follow up with a powerful strike that will be unavoidable by the opponent. Using the jab in this manner takes great timing and good power behind your strikes but it can be a great way to sneak in a knockout combination in a fight.

Putting It All Together

The jab is a multifaceted striking tool. It takes much practice to know how to effectively take advantage of all the different things that the jab can bring to the table. However, the jab can give you the opportunity to really take control of a standing fight.

The jab is the perfect way to make the opponent have to play your game. With annoying jabs and faux jabs and counter jabbing into different combinations you can really control the standing match in the fight. This will not only get into the opponent’s head but the real advantage is that you control the tempo of the fight. In a real matches this will gain you points but also give you a much better chance for getting a knockout as well.

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