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Boxing Technique Questions

I have a few questions on some tactics in boxing…
first–
Whats the point of probing punches? ex most relevant would be to probe your jab, a continous amount of jabs not meant to hit but more range finder or to distract? A more advanced example would be rigodeauxs unorthodox rear cross probe which he does in almost all his fights especially him vs kennedy i can note maybe 4-5 times alone in that fight…but what are the reasoning behind this?

second–
A question that has been around for ages but never seems to get a “right” anwser because some things work for some people and for other it wont work at all due to height,speed,experience,athleticism,etc etc but I really want to see peoples input on the fighting tall topic. btw Im tall for more weight class that’s why I want to put this topic out.

There’s generally 2 approaches to this
1-keep your height ie dont give it up
2-get eye level,lower your center of gravity
Heres a vid of kenny weldon teaching to get eye level which a lot of people disagree with
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature…&v=f2EaE_1wNCA

how would you compare the 2? your opinion?

—And my real concern is today I heard from a trainer that comes around once in a while (retired from training fighters,older guy) that I never heard before is that you can keep your height but match where the hands are. And that kind of opened my eyes to where I never heard of that and for sure would like to see more input.

and last–
What does that mean? when a coach says he “off set” his offense by this/that etc etc…can anyone give me any kind of definition/example?

Any help would be seriously appreciated thanks!!!

[quote]shs101 wrote:
I have a few questions on some tactics in boxing…
first–
Whats the point of probing punches? ex most relevant would be to probe your jab, a continous amount of jabs not meant to hit but more range finder or to distract? A more advanced example would be rigodeauxs unorthodox rear cross probe which he does in almost all his fights especially him vs kennedy i can note maybe 4-5 times alone in that fight…but what are the reasoning behind this?

second–
A question that has been around for ages but never seems to get a “right” anwser because some things work for some people and for other it wont work at all due to height,speed,experience,athleticism,etc etc but I really want to see peoples input on the fighting tall topic. btw Im tall for more weight class that’s why I want to put this topic out.

There’s generally 2 approaches to this
1-keep your height ie dont give it up
2-get eye level,lower your center of gravity
Heres a vid of kenny weldon teaching to get eye level which a lot of people disagree with
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature…&v=f2EaE_1wNCA

how would you compare the 2? your opinion?

—And my real concern is today I heard from a trainer that comes around once in a while (retired from training fighters,older guy) that I never heard before is that you can keep your height but match where the hands are. And that kind of opened my eyes to where I never heard of that and for sure would like to see more input.

and last–
What does that mean? when a coach says he “off set” his offense by this/that etc etc…can anyone give me any kind of definition/example?

Any help would be seriously appreciated thanks!!!
[/quote]

  1. I don’t think there is any point in probing punches. It is one thing to throw soft punches, looking to disguise one or two hard punches in amongst them to catch your opponent on guard. So, it is possible that you might want to throw out three or four soft jabs while maneuvering your opponent, and then step in hard behind the fifth, with real power in the punch. If all you do is throw bombs all the time, it can be effective if you’re a Mike Tyson style fighter, but for most fighters it means your game is going to lack subtlety and make you predictable.

Probing punches are generally a waste of time. You shouldn’t need to be constantly validating your range like that. Smaller guys can get away with it more (in my opinion), due to the greater hand speed and lesser power behind single punches anyway. A guy like Rigondeux can flick out a rear hand probe, and recover fast. But I don’t see many of the fighters in heavier classes trying that. They’d probably get knocked out.

Also, in my experience, guys who throw a lot of probing punches aren’t usually looking to fight. Stepping in straight and hard and bashing these guys tends to very quickly give you the upper hand.

  1. You have to fight in a way that suits you as a fighter. I was told forever that I needed to keep my height, weight on the back foot when I wasn’t moving, and keep moving. The reality is I am a much more effective fighter in a Dempsey style, front foot, slightly crouched, stalking stance. It’s always useful to be the taller fighter, and in any fight you will want to spend some time making the range count and building a few points. How much you do that depends on you and what kind of fighter you are.

  2. That can be effective if you are the taller fighter. I struggled against shorter guys initially because I had a high guard, which stopped me seeing my opponents hands as easily, and let a lot of punches land that didnt need to. I still keep my right hand up, but lower my lead hand to around shoulder height. If you are going to carry your guard lower, you need to know your slips and your counters, or you are going to get knocked out.

  1. A “probing” jab (we actually prefer the term “educated jab”) is used to gauge not so much the correct distance between you and your opponent. If you don’t already know exactly how far away you need to be in order to land your jab, then higher strategy topics like this really shouldn’t be your primary focus; you need to go back and work on your “mechanical level” skills. You should also be able to feel (there will be a visceral/gut reaction) when either you or your opponent crosses this “critical distance” line, learn to recognize this feeling and stay just outside of this line until you are ready to close the distance).

What the “educated/probing” jab can be useful for is gaining information about the opponent’s defensive tendencies, their timing, or just breaking up your rhythm so the opponent never knows whether you are actually coming or not. Just think about the term “probing” and that should tell you that it’s designed to give you information. Once you have gained this information, then you should use it to form a strategy to defeat the opponent’s defenses and land your punches.

2 and 3. Pretty much agree with London.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

  1. A “probing” jab (we actually prefer the term “educated jab”) is used to gauge not so much the correct distance between you and your opponent. If you don’t already know exactly how far away you need to be in order to land your jab, then higher strategy topics like this really shouldn’t be your primary focus; you need to go back and work on your “mechanical level” skills. You should also be able to feel (there will be a visceral/gut reaction) when either you or your opponent crosses this “critical distance” line, learn to recognize this feeling and stay just outside of this line until you are ready to close the distance).

What the “educated/probing” jab can be useful for is gaining information about the opponent’s defensive tendencies, their timing, or just breaking up your rhythm so the opponent never knows whether you are actually coming or not. Just think about the term “probing” and that should tell you that it’s designed to give you information. Once you have gained this information, then you should use it to form a strategy to defeat the opponent’s defenses and land your punches.

2 and 3. Pretty much agree with London.[/quote]

It’s definitely a valid argument that the probing jab has value. However, personally, I don’t like it, as whenever I faced a fighter who did it I deliberately defended it in a way that I would not have done against a legitimate punch. So for example, I don’t do a great deal of blocking, unless I cant actually slip. When I slip committed punches I like to slip and try to maintain distance. When I faced a prober, I would often catch the jab, or forearm block it, and look to walk my opponent down. When a fighter like that things they’ve got the measure of you, they tend to behave predictably, in my experience at least. Again, I’m sure some fighters make it work for themselves, and I’ve probably done it without realising against certain types of opponents, but generally I don’t like it as an approach.

Of course, as with anything, the “probing/educated” jab has to be set-up/thrown in a manner that looks identical to a fully committed jab. Which means that I have to step forward, even just a half step, to get my body weight into the punch, which is really what my opponent is going to react to anyway; I have to throw it with “combative movement” (a combination of “combat speed” and “combat energy/combative intention”); and I cannot telegraph my punch prior to throwing it . If I do all these things, then I am much more likely to get a genuine response than a fake response.

Also, as always, you should seek to attack your opponent when you are in a strong position and they are in a weak position. If you throw any jab when your opponent is in a strong defensive position they might defend the jab a number of different ways (and might try to bait you like you say you like to do). If you attack them when their defensive position has been compromised though (be they in transition, not mentally prepared, by altering your rhythm, etc…) they will usually defend with their “natural” defensive action. That is the reaction you are trying to determine with your “educated jab”.

Sure, they might switch up their defensive tactics eventually, but by this point you have made them go to their “plan b” defense, and many times you have them in the “conceptual” phase of awareness (either thinking about what you did last time or trying to predict what you are going to do next time, rather than reacting to what you are actually doing in the present).

Also, personally I don’t really care if someone parries my jab, tries to slip it and counter me, steps back out of range, or whatever because I have an answer for pretty much any defensive action someone might do. Now, of course there is a difference between knowing how to do something and actually pulling it off, and ultimately whether or not something works will be determined by the individual doing it. So I’m not suggesting that if you put me into a ring with Mayweather that I’d be getting the better of him with my jabs, but then again, nobody else on this site would be with any other tactics either.

I am confident though that if we took two Mayweather clones and had one employ a solid educated jab, that he would get positive results against the other clone who was not doing so. I have seen the increases in my own striking grow by leaps and bounds since employing this tactic, have seen my students do the same, have seen other senior students use it to utterly dominate, and I’ve seen (well, more like felt lol) my instructors use it to devasting effect.

Here is a short seminar clip of Master Phil Maldonato teaching a little bit about the “educated jab” (skip to about 3:30 to see the part about the jab if you want, all the material is great though IMO). Maldonato is a former professional fighter, and how coaches professional and amateur level boxers, kickboxers, and MMA fighters. Also, sorry about the audio, don’t know why the picture isn’t correctly synched with the sound. Hopefully you can follow it anyway.

Having watched the video I can see how it might be a useful punch to set up a kick, or something like that. However, for pure boxing, I still don’t think it is an effective or efficient technique. I also think it is something a lot of fighters would adopt and become over reliant on. Instead, I would like to see pure boxers focus on different, more effective ways of achieving the same result.

The most obvious two would be effective feints, which I personally feel does away with the educated jab all by itself, all without exposing you to a counter, or leaving you in the disadvantaged position of having thrown a soft punch while your opponent is primed to throw two hard punches, and good footwork, minor adjustments of which create the angles and opportunities to open up an opponent to hard, accurate, effective punches.

The educated jab is also, in my experience, a bad punch to throw against a good jabber, which admittedly a lot of fighters aren’t. If you throw a bad jab, against someone who can beat you to the jab and throw it hard, you are going to be in for a very long evening. It also seems like a poor technique for a shorter fighter, as you won’t be unbalancing your opponent as you come in, and you will have to be inside his range before you can throw it. That said, I have only been the shorter fighter a few times in my career, so can’t speak for definite on that.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
Having watched the video I can see how it might be a useful punch to set up a kick, or something like that. However, for pure boxing, I still don’t think it is an effective or efficient technique. I also think it is something a lot of fighters would adopt and become over reliant on. Instead, I would like to see pure boxers focus on different, more effective ways of achieving the same result.
[/quote]

How do you become overly reliant on the jab? It’s probably the most important punch in all of boxing and pretty much sets up everything else. It’s also the most efficient punch (travels the lead distance to the target), fastest, and therefore one of the most effective.

Maybe you aren’t understanding what I/Maldonato is trying to say, or my equating the “educated jab” to a “probing jab” has things mixed up.

An “educated jab” is not a soft punch, it’s thrown with full speed (and correct mechanics, which will equate to power should someone walk into it), without telegraph, aggressively, and if done correctly will not leave you open to a counter (as you should be clearing immediately after you throw it, and will in many cases be just slightly out of range to land it anyway, and thus out of range to be countered). But, it’s often times purposely thrown from just a little too far out and thrown either at the chin, chest (on a taller opponent), or at the gloves to “probe” the opponent’s defenses.

Fakes are great too, and one should absolutely learn to use them and use them often. A good “educated jab” will make your fakes much more effective though.

[quote]
The educated jab is also, in my experience, a bad punch to throw against a good jabber, which admittedly a lot of fighters aren’t. If you throw a bad jab, against someone who can beat you to the jab and throw it hard, you are going to be in for a very long evening. It also seems like a poor technique for a shorter fighter, as you won’t be unbalancing your opponent as you come in, and you will have to be inside his range before you can throw it. That said, I have only been the shorter fighter a few times in my career, so can’t speak for definite on that. [/quote]

Actually in my experience the “educated jab” is one of the best punches to throw against a good jabber as it will “kill” their jab on the way in (as I said, the mechanics are that of a regular jab and it will not be easily collapsed or “crushed through” by an opponent’s jab) and can be followed by a second or third jab rapidly, or followed by another technique tactic (for instance I like to use it to set up entries to the clinch and takedowns in MMA/RMA sparring). Plus, if you jab once or twice and your opponent tries to crush through your jab with their own, then the jab has done it’s job of exposing your opponent’s defensive strategy and then yes, a fake jab followed by a hard counter to the opponent’s attempted counter jab would be the answer.

Again, there may be confusion since I equated the term “educated jab” with “probing jab”. But, in reality they should be executed the same way. A lot of people don’t use them correctly though and just throw weak, uncommitted, technically incorrect, jabs and call them “probing jabs”. That is not how they should be thrown, or what I am referring to.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Again, there may be confusion since I equated the term “educated jab” with “probing jab”. But, in reality they should be executed the same way. A lot of people don’t use them correctly though and just throw weak, uncommitted, technically incorrect, jabs and call them “probing jabs”. That is not how they should be thrown, or what I am referring to.[/quote]

I am pretty damn sure you and London are talking past each other.

I have noticed that you/your system(s) have very specific and well defined terms for a lot of techniques and concepts. That is absolutely a good thing. However, many of these terms may be a bit more “fuzzy” outside of your organization and that may create circumstances for misunderstanding. I know that on several occasions I have tried to fumble through explaining an idea and you can just pop in with “Sheehan Lysak defines that as X.” and then quickly expound. The only problem is that your definitions aren’t universal, though I keep being so impressed with them that I think they often should be.

When I hear “probing jab” I tend to think of the kind of tentative/“pitty patter shit” that really only serves to inform the other guy that you are in range, almost just a touch.

Regards,

Robert A

[quote]Robert A wrote:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Again, there may be confusion since I equated the term “educated jab” with “probing jab”. But, in reality they should be executed the same way. A lot of people don’t use them correctly though and just throw weak, uncommitted, technically incorrect, jabs and call them “probing jabs”. That is not how they should be thrown, or what I am referring to.[/quote]

I am pretty damn sure you and London are talking past each other.

I have noticed that you/your system(s) have very specific and well defined terms for a lot of techniques and concepts. That is absolutely a good thing. However, many of these terms may be a bit more “fuzzy” outside of your organization and that may create circumstances for misunderstanding. I know that on several occasions I have tried to fumble through explaining an idea and you can just pop in with “Sheehan Lysak defines that as X.” and then quickly expound. The only problem is that your definitions aren’t universal, though I keep being so impressed with them that I think they often should be.

When I hear “probing jab” I tend to think of the kind of tentative/“pitty patter shit” that really only serves to inform the other guy that you are in range, almost just a touch.

Regards,

Robert A[/quote]

I think you’re right, Robert A.

Any jab that actually creates an angle or an opening is obviously a legit jab. When I think of ‘probing jab’ I think of it like two fencers, where one is constantly tapping the tip of the other guys sword, in the hope that he will do something rash, or give away his true strategy. That is the only jab I think is worthless.

A jab that smashes an opponent’s gloves back into his mouth, pushes him off balance, or in some other way contains enough force and purpose to create an opening is just a jab to me. My only point the whole way through was in answer to the question the OP seemed to be asking, and was that pitty pat punches tapping gloves hoping that someone is going to give away their entire strategy have no place in a fight.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:

[quote]Robert A wrote:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Again, there may be confusion since I equated the term “educated jab” with “probing jab”. But, in reality they should be executed the same way. A lot of people don’t use them correctly though and just throw weak, uncommitted, technically incorrect, jabs and call them “probing jabs”. That is not how they should be thrown, or what I am referring to.[/quote]

I am pretty damn sure you and London are talking past each other.

I have noticed that you/your system(s) have very specific and well defined terms for a lot of techniques and concepts. That is absolutely a good thing. However, many of these terms may be a bit more “fuzzy” outside of your organization and that may create circumstances for misunderstanding. I know that on several occasions I have tried to fumble through explaining an idea and you can just pop in with “Sheehan Lysak defines that as X.” and then quickly expound. The only problem is that your definitions aren’t universal, though I keep being so impressed with them that I think they often should be.

When I hear “probing jab” I tend to think of the kind of tentative/“pitty patter shit” that really only serves to inform the other guy that you are in range, almost just a touch.

Regards,

Robert A[/quote]

I think you’re right, Robert A.

Any jab that actually creates an angle or an opening is obviously a legit jab. When I think of ‘probing jab’ I think of it like two fencers, where one is constantly tapping the tip of the other guys sword, in the hope that he will do something rash, or give away his true strategy. That is the only jab I think is worthless.

A jab that smashes an opponent’s gloves back into his mouth, pushes him off balance, or in some other way contains enough force and purpose to create an opening is just a jab to me. My only point the whole way through was in answer to the question the OP seemed to be asking, and was that pitty pat punches tapping gloves hoping that someone is going to give away their entire strategy have no place in a fight. [/quote]

Good catch Robert.

And yeah, we’re in total agreement London.

On the subject of punching gloves, I am actually a big fan of the double jab, where the first punch is to the chin, and the second is to the lead glove (and a small simultaneous foot movement inside), creating an opportunity for a sharp right down the pipe (with a major head movement outside the opponent’s right hand). Is that second jab something you would consider an ‘educated’ jab, as a punch not necessarily intended to be a scoring punch, but with a specific purpose with a measurable effect when correctly performed?

Yes, that would be an example of an “educated jab”. Really, any jab that has a strategic purpose (whether that’s previously gained knowledge or to ascertain information) would be classified as “educated”. Obviously specific circumstances will determine exactly how and why it is thrown.

-a jab which is thrown early in a fight to "test the waters/gauge the opponent’s defensive tendencies and timing would be classified as “educated”

-a jab which is thrown with the purpose of blinding the opponent so they don’t see the follow up power strike would be an “educated jab”

-a jab thrown to “trap”/pin/displace/smother the opponent’s guard would be an educated jab

-a jab thrown with broken rhythm that lands on the opponent’s chin would be educated

It’s really a pretty broad definition with lots of different useful applications.

Good conversation as always.

“educated jab” to me means using your jab like a flash bang, tossing it through the door for a distraction, before following through with the killing shot…

Interesting stuff, Sento & Idaho. So we’d be defining the educated jab as essentially any jab where the jab itself is not the end goal? It is a definition that probably covers more than 50% of jabs any halfway decent fighter would throw. I can see why you felt it needed sticking up for Sento!

Yeah, that could work as a definition I guess (though, depending on what is meant by “end goal”, I can’t think of too many situations where hitting someone with a jab would be the end goal).

The definition of the word educated is:

  1. Having undergone education (don’t you just love it when the definition of a word is the word itself?)
  2. Displaying qualities of culture and learning
  3. Based on some information or experience

For our purposes the first definition isn’t very useful, nor is the first part of the second definition. However, the second part of the second definition, “displaying qualities of learning”, and the third definition are very much appropriate.

So, basically an “educated jab” is a jab that is constantly learning and adapts based on the knowledge and experience it gains along the way. By that definition, any jab that is thrown either with the intent to gain information, or utilize the information already gained to enact a strategy would be classified as “educated”.

By contrast, “uneducated” is defined as:

-lacking in educated or knowledge

So, essentially any jab that is just thrown out with no thought of strategy, no intent to gain knowledge, and no adaptation due to knowledge already attained would not be an “educated jab”.

I’d say that most good boxers already use the concept, they just don’t necessarily name it anything special. To them, it’s just “a good jab” (which it is), and they may use it in a number of different ways (like pinning/displacing the hands as you mentioned), which are (or at least should be) the result of information/experience that they have gained about their opponent.

Lewis just actually named it “educated” to illustrate that it should be a constantly learning, adapting/evolving, and purposeful tool.

I have enjoyed this discussion. Here’s my stance on jabs:

I wouldn’t say I am over reliant on my jab, but I use it a lot. I also don’t test the water with a jab. I hit the guy. I just can’t see a reason to waste the speed with which you can execute a direct jab by not applying an adequate amount of force. Also, I have a slightly slow right. Especially for my small size. When I connect my right it floors people, but if my opponent is bright eyed and bushy tailed he might slip it. So I prefer to really hit him hard with the jabs so that he is on the back foot, flinching, hiding behind his gloves. Otherwise he sees my right come whistling around the corner. Also, if he is protecting his face from my jabs like he would my right/cross then I have body shot options to pursue, Mickey Ward style.

In that regard I really like Idaho’s comparison to tossing a stun grenade into a room full of Chavs. That’s how I use my jab.

However, I have been thoroughly outclassed by guys who know how to use a very light jab effectively. I am forced to stay out of my own range but remain in a typically larger persons range and the ‘peppering’ just reinforces the lack of reach I have. Closing the distance and hitting hard with all my punches, jab included, is my equaliser.