The jab is one of the most basic techniques in striking and it is utilized in some form in virtually every martial art there is. There are many variations of the technique but the basic characteristics are the same. Simply put a jab is a straight punch thrown with the lead hand.

Over the years MMA striking has evolved from fighters winging power punches just looking for the knockout to a more precise and technical offering in which fighters use setups and look to land more combinations. As the striking game in MMA has evolved so has the use of the jab.

While the use of the jab in MMA has evolved it is still an underutilized technique by many fighters and that is truly surprising. We have seen over the years just how effective a good jab can be and still there are many fighters who simply choose not to add this weapon to their arsenal.

Every weapon in a fighter’s striking game can be made more effective by better utilizing the jab; it is the ultimate set up. The jab is a great range finder as it allows a fighter to attack offensively while establishing distance and maintaining a solid defensive base.

Once distance has been established the jab can be used to set up and execute multiple combinations; the jab-cross, the jab-jab-cross or the immortal jab-cross-hook.

Not only does the jab establish distance and set up combination but it also a great tool in the timing game. By throwing jabs a fighter can gauge how an opponent reacts; do they use head movement? If so what direction are the rolling? Do the raise their hands? Do they duck their head?

Once the mystery of timing, distance and reaction has been unraveled a fighter can exploit even the smallest openings or gaps in defense.

Just look at how devastating Anderson Silva has been over the course of his career thanks to the jab.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report,, and RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.