Setting the Table With a Jab

What’s the most important punch?  

Some say the most important punch is a jab because it sets up more knockouts then any other punch.  


When throwing the jab, it’s important to pay attention to creating a tight fist.  You do not want the pinkie rolled down.  

Focus your attention on the first two knuckles.  The index and middle finger need to be tight with the thumb bracing them.  If you squeeze your pinkie too much and roll the knuckle down you have a greater chance of breaking your hand or getting what’s called a boxer’s fracture.  


In traditional martial arts, we do Iron Body Training to toughen up your skin, bones, and ligaments.  You are less likely to break bones or rip skin after doing this training.  People start by training the hands, arms, elbows, shins and knees.  It is important to know the exact protocol – taught only via teacher to student – before attempting iron body training, as it is easy to harm yourself or disrupt your Qi circulation through improper training.  

Conditioning your hands by hitting them on bean bags, then sand bags, then wood, and then steel, you can make your hands stronger for punching, causing more damage to the opponent than yourself.  Everyone starts on the bean bag and only moves onto the sand stage when the teacher sees that they are ready for that.  It may be 100 days or more between each stage.  

When doing this iron fist training it’s important to use external medicine called Dit Da Jow made with Chinese herbs.  It heals the bruising faster and preventing long term injury such as arthritis.  


If you’re right-handed, you’ll probably be throwing the basic jab with your left hand.  When jabbing, hide your chin with your left shoulder and have your right hand next to your face, ready to protect your money maker.  

Guard your liver with your right elbow while striking with your left.  Each time you strike, you create an opening in your own guard, be aware of this and do your best to use your offense as your defense.  


You can generate more power by shifting your weight onto your left leg or stepping with the front foot or by shuffling forward as you strike.  You can keep opponents away from you with the jab, like creating a false wall.  You can also use the jab to set-up the knock-out, this is called “setting the table.”

You can also focus on double and triple jabs to close the distance where you can do more close-range striking like uppercuts, short crosses, elbows, knees or takedowns.  Be careful when closing the range because you are more likely to be grabbed and taken down.  Work diligently on your takedown defense.  

The jab can be used high to hit the chin, nose or low to do body-jabs. Practice jabs with shadowboxing, mitts and heavy bag work.  When sparring constantly throw your jabs to keep your opponents away, gage distance, and set up combinations.  

Train hard and have fun! 


Jeff Hughes