Punish The Jab With Melvin Manhoef
The jab is the most important technique in all of striking, maybe even one of the most important techniques in all of martial arts. This is why it’s really important to learn how to properly use the jab, both as an offensive weapon and a defensive tool. The jab sets up bigger shots and protects you from bigger shots. This is why it's not only important to learn how to use it, but you should also learn how to counter and defend against your opponents jabs.
Countering and punishing your opponent’s jab will keep them from throwing the jab, which will likely be the way they set up or start most of their combinations and bigger shots. Punishing the jab is also a great way to to deal a lot of damage, score some points in a sport scenario and maybe even knock out your opponent because when your opponent throws a jab, they need to open up, which leaves their lead side open to attacks.
In this video, Former Kickboxing champion and current Middleweight Bellator MMA fighter Melvin Manhoef goes over how to draw out your opponent’s jab and punish it. The video starts off simply with you throwing a right hand to push your opponent back. This will create distance so that your opponent will need to close it to land strikes. They are probably going to do this using a jab. This is what you want them to do. When they jab in to close the range, you are going to slip to the outside of your opponents jab.
Off of that slip, you are loaded up perfectly for a rear straight but that's not all that you’re going to throw. Off that slip, you are going to throw a three punch combination, a rear straight into a lead hook into another rear straight. If you are able to land these strikes at the right time you will easily be able to drop and even knockout your opponent.
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Manhoef stresses the importance of moving/stepping in when you slip the punch. This is because if you remain stationary or move backwards while slipping, your opponent can follow up off their jabs and land more punches.
If you step in while slipping you will be able cut off any follow up strikes because you are too close for your opponent to land anything effective, but you will still be in a good range to land your own strikes. Being able to counter off not only your opponents jab but also just they’re ability to close into a range where theory can hit you will make it very hard for your opponent to come up with a way to land shots on you.
Distance control is usually talked about in relation to the actions that you can do, like in the case with using the jab to keep your opponent away. This is different as this distance control relies on what your opponent can’t do, which is move in and jab. This means that you will be able to dictate when you actually “fight” and possibly take damage, as you are the only one who can engage safely.
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