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Use This Footwork Technique To Strengthen Your Jab With Dyah Davis

Use This Footwork Technique To Strengthen Your Jab With Dyah Davis

An Underrated Weapon

If you walk into just about any striking program for your first class, you’ll be shown the basic motion of boxing’s most used, most valuable, and most overlooked technique: the jab. Throwing an effective jab can not only help you manage the space between yourself and the opponent, but set up countless other options on the offensive side fo things. There are several things that make the jab stand out as a critical skill to master: 

  • Its raw speed makes it a go-to punching technique
  • The jab is useful on offense for setting up other strikes
  • It is critical on defense to disrupt incoming attacks
  • The jab is used to maintain distance

Taken as a whole, these four components mean that the jab is arguably the most important weapon in any boxer’s toolkit. Most basic instruction on the jab will focus the athlete on hand position and fluidity, often paying little attention to the bottom half of the body. In the short clip below, UFC boxing coach Dyah Davis shines a light on the importance of using your arms and legs in unison in order to put a little extra pop on the perfect jab.


Executing The Jab

Throwing a jab is a full body activity. Paying too much attention to just the hands or just the feet will leave you over committed, out of position, and potentially caught by something nasty. As Davis points out above, improper footwork can lead to serious instability. Failing to maintain a proper stance through the motion of the strike will put you in position to be tipped over “like a bowling pin”. Follow the reminders below to tighten up your jab technique and start moving more like a professional boxer.


  • Begin with both hands in a defensive position by your face
  • Extend your lead hand forward while turning your wrist over so that your thumb faces down when fully extended
  • Retract your lead hand back to the defensive position to protect your face
  • During the whole process: avoid dropping your rear hand to expose your face


  • Begin in a shoulder width stance with your balance weighted very slightly towards your back foot
  • As you extend your arm, propel yourself forward off of your back foot and back to the same stance you began in
  • If you’re moving backwards, reverse the above step by propelling yourself backward off of your front foot. 
  • In every case: maintain your stance as your move
  • Time your foot movement with your strikes to become more efficient

Davis points out that, although many people see footwork and hand position as two separate things, they actually need to be done together for maximum effectiveness. Moving your arms and legs in concert allows you to maintain balance through both strikes and movement, and enables you to get in and out of range reactively. These tips for improving your jab will help you avoid overcommitting so that you don’t find yourself off-balance and out of position.

Who Is Dyah Davis?

Dyah Davis is a retired professional boxer and three-time World Title challenger. He holds a record of 25-4-1 in the super middleweight division. After a series of victories in 2016, Davis retired to turn his focus to coaching. He’s worked with athletes from the MMA world since joining American Top Team to prepare Dustin Porier for his 2019 bout with Connor McGreggor. He continues to impact the boxing world through his interaction with top tier athletes and his articulate way of breaking down fundamentals.

Fluid Boxing Fundamentals by Dyah Davis
If you enjoyed his breakdown of proper jab footwork, be sure to check out Dyah Davis’ instructional, Fluid Boxing Fundamentals, on DynamicStriking.com. In it, you’ll learn how to pair footwork and hand technique to strengthen not only your jab, but your cross, uppercut, and hook as well. In addition to sharpening your strikes, Davis teaches solid foundations of parrying and striking. Take your stand up game to the next level today!