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Straight Punch – Lead Hand (Jab) – Power Tips

“How do I get more power?” is a common question we get after a student learns the Straight Punch with the Lead Hand (Jab). This video demonstrates and explains two tips to get more power in the punch.


“Hi, this is Randall with KravMagaTraining.com, and this video I’m going to show you how to create power when you throw the straight punch with your lead hand or what’s commonly known as a jab in a lot of different styles such as boxing.

This question comes up a lot with my students. And the problem is ‘Well, I can’t get any power in my straight punch with my lead hand or my jab hand!’ And what I’m going to do is I’m going to offer you guys a few pieces of advice to help you generate power with that.

Okay, first of all, actually the reason why Krav Maga, or at least the system we’re affiliated with, the reason why they don’t call it a jab because they want to have maximum power in your straight punch. Regardless whether it’s with the lead side hand or the cross side hand. Most people when they hear the term jab think about just flicking it out there, snapping the jab out. Which is nothing wrong with that. I personally use a snapping style jab all the time when I spar to set up my other strikes. I also love that type of motion when I’m throwing more of an eye strike because that technique is all about speed and accuracy, not power. However, you do need to learn how to throw a lot of power in your lead side straight punch. Especially when someone is being very aggressive and coming towards you. Especially when you use it as a counterstrike or a counterpunch. Because if you don’t have a nice stiff, strong jab, your opponent, if they don’t respect your power, they’re just going to march right through you and walk you down. So you need this type of punch to keep them off you so they respect you.

Now there’s two little, little things that I’ve found to make a big difference on generating power. It all has to do with starting position. First of all, when you start the straight punch make sure you’re in your proper Krav Maga style fighting stance, which is shoulders are even with each other in your fighting stance. Like this or like this. You’re not bladed like this, like you would be, in say, a boxing stance or a lot of other styles. This is nice because it’s a little bit easier defensively. You can flick it out a lot more. But if you square your shoulders up, what it does is preloads that shoulder so you can twist your body. You can twist your shoulder. You can twist your hip a lot more. And if you can twist your body that’s how you get more power. So before you throw the straight punch, not bladed like this because you’ve already pre-turned your body. Now you can’t turn it anymore. Start with your shoulders even and then you can find that you can generate almost as much power as your cross hand if you start with your shoulders even or squared up.

Now here’s another little subtle trick that I just came across through practicing on my own. When I first learned the jab I had the same problem. I just could not get any power out of my straight punch. And then I found out this. What I would do is, not only start with my shoulders even, but watch this little subtle detail on my shoulder and kind of my trap area here. I’m going to do it a couple of times. It’s real subtle. All I’m doing is I’m taking my trap muscle, kind of my lat,the back of my shoulder, and I’m pulling it back. And when I put some tension back here what it does is kind of spring loads your shoulder. So when you throw your punch from here you can generate even more power in conjunction with the rotation of your shoulder, your hips, and your body.

Now there is a downside to this. If I see someone I’m sparring and I see them doing this. Or doing this. There’s a good chance they are loading up the left side of their body for a hard punch. However, if you want to generate maximum power you can do that. And also, when you’re fighting someone, especially in a street fight, when things are flying fast, the typical ‘Joe Shmoe’, he doesn’t really know what the hell he’s doing, he’s not even going to notice this. Yeah, an experienced fighter will notice that little, subtle shoulder movement. But most dickheads, they won’t even recognize that. You spring load that, ‘bam!’, and you can hit them really hard.

So those are my two little tips for you. They’re real subtle but very effective. Shoulders even. And then just kind of tighten up that trap and that shoulder. If you do those two things, surprisingly, you’ll start generating a lot more power in your lead hand straight punch. And really the third tip is, is you also need to practice it too. I’m not going to lie. All right. It’s just like anything. You got to put in the work. And out of all your punches, that one does take a lot of practice to get power into it. And, so don’t get frustrated. Pretty much anybody I’ve ever taught, they don’t have a lot of power in their jab when they first start. But, do a few thousand repetitions and you’ll probably be fine just like everyone else. So those are my two tips for generating more power, with a straight punch, with the lead hand.”

“Most of the punching techniques in Krav Maga come from boxing. The jab is widely considered the most important punch in boxing.”