So Much More Than A Jab With Jake Mainini
Jake Mainini, a Muay Thai specialist, has so much to bring to the striking community. He has had the opportunity to train in Thailand on two different occasions, and with his 20+ years of training and over 7 years of amateur and professional Muay Thai competing experience, his qualifications speak for themselves.
Jake is also finishing a degree in exercise science, and holds the title of Head Trainer at Hard Knocks Gym in Boston. It is clear in his instructional that his education in exercise science gives him a serious advantage in perfecting his technique in Muay Thai.
When talking about stance there are two options; orthodox and southpaw. Per its name, orthodox is more commonly used, and means your lead leg is your left leg. When using an orthodox stance and leading with your left leg, your left hand is going to be closer to your opponent. This makes a punch with your left hand a jab, and a punch with your right hand a cross, being it is crossing over your body when you throw it. In a southpaw stance, your lead leg is your right leg. This now means your right punch will be a jab since it is closer to your opponent, and your left punch will be a cross since it is crossing over your body.
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It is important to be versatile and powerful in both stances because oftentimes in a fight you will not be able to control how your opponent positions themselves. As most people fight in an orthodox stance, this is how Jake drills this series of attacks. If you typically use a southpaw stance, you will use the opposite leg or arm for every move that Jake demonstrates in the video.
Jake explains that he is going to build all of his attacks from the jab off of a leg kick and a fake leg kick. The mental art of fighting is to learn and anticipate your opponent's reactions. To start the combination, he lands his initial leg kick. Almost immediately after that he goes for the same leg kick and assuming his opponent is experienced, he is going to check (block) the kick.
Now that Jake knows his opponent is going to check the leg kick, he goes for it for a third time anticipating that reaction. He starts the combination by throwing a jab and then moves his hips as if he is going for the leg kick again, causing his opponent to raise his leg to check the kick. This is where the attack begins.
First he closes the distance by taking a step into the pocket with the lead leg he was previously kicking with. He then grabs the left arm of his opponent to create space in front of his face. At this point his opponent's left leg is in the air and his left arm is being held, leaving him completely defenseless on his left side. After creating this opportunity, he finishes the combination with a left elbow to the face.
Jake sets up the next attack in the same way with the jab to a fake leg kick, but this time as he moves into the pocket he gets hand control on both of his opponent’s hands. Now he has his opponent off balance standing on one leg, as well as double hand control. He uses the double hand control to pull his opponent into him, building momentum to finish with a rear knee to the torso. The double hand control in this attack prevents any ability of his opponent to block the rear knee.
The final attack Jakes shows in the video again begins with the jab to a fake leg kick. However this time Jake does not go for any hand control, and quickly finishes with a jumping scissor knee. Though it’s not difficult, this is where the biggest change in the technique occurs.
In the previous knee attack, Jake had already closed the distance to his opponent and finished with his rear knee. He uses the rear knee because he has the space to bring it back and load it, adding maximum power.
To finish the jumping knee, he first has to close the distance. He does this by swinging his rear leg forward while jumping, which creates momentum moving quickly towards his opponent while also changing levels. Now the swinging forward of his left rear leg loads his front leg, and he uses that loaded front leg to finish with the jumping scissor knee.
That last one happens pretty fast and looks goofy when it is put into words, so you should just watch the video to see for yourself!
One of the most notable qualities of Jake Mainini’s fighting is his range and understanding of a variety of moves. One of the best ways to become a great fighter is to seem unpredictable to your opponent. Jake is a perfect example of this as he is so proficient in such a wide variety of moves.
Since the jab is a shorter distance punch, it is used extremely often in a fight as it can be done so quickly. Being that it is used so often, it is important to have a game plan behind your jab. In this very brief 3 minute clip, Jake is able to show 3 extremely useful attacks that all follow the same jab and fake leg kick.
If you want to improve the versatility of your combinations, Jake Malinini’s instructional is definitely a great place to start for both beginner and experienced strikers.