Sharpen These 2 Punches For An Unstoppable Muay Thai Arsenal

Cover MTA jab

The Jab and Cross are the simplest and most efficient punches when properly trained and used. Not to say your other punches aren’t useful but if all you used from your punching tool box was the “1, 2” you would be sufficiently armed.

There is a specific way to throw the jab cross to provide power and protection against a counter punch. What I like to tell my students is “move your head to punch”. Not only does this keep your chin safe, it will also provide you with counter punching options.

There are two ways that you can drill this to make it a part of your tool box:

Drill #1 SLIP & HIT (with focus mitts)

Step 1: The Mitt holder will simulate throwing the jab at the hitter’s face/head with the focus mitt.

Step 2: Hitter will slip the jab to the outside, keeping the chin tucked and power hand planted on the cheek. Simultaneously, as the hitter slips they will place a counter jab on the mitt (which is facing palm out) on the mitt holder’s chest.

Step 3: The Mitt holder will now follow up with a cross directed to the hitter’s face/head, keeping the opposite hand on the chest, palm out to receive the counter shot in the drill.

Step 4: Hitter will slip the cross to the outside, keeping the chin down and lead hand stuck to his or her cheek. As the hitter slips they will counter with their own cross to the pad place on the mitt holder’s chest.

Drill #2 Variation of the SLIP & HIT (both wearing gloves)

Step 1: Both training partners will throw a jab simultaneously as they both slip to the outside, making sure that the jab projects over the partner’s shoulder, grazing their ear. Distance wise, the crook of the elbow should be in contact with your training partner’s inner elbow.

Step 2: After both partners return back to the center they will both fire the cross at the same time and slip to the outside, repeating the process of step one.

The purpose of these drills is to sharpen your timing and head movement, it is not meant to land the jab on your training partner but rather to help them move their head while punching.

Start slow with each drill and as you begin to develop the proper rhythm, timing, distance and accuracy begin to pick up the speed and tempo.

Take note of the Jab/Cross demonstrated below.
PHOTO A: Incorrect Jab (head is in the center, chin is up, and I am standing tall).

MTA Bad Jab

PHOTO B: Correct Jab (head is off the center line, chin is tucked in to shoulder, and I am stand-ing with knees slightly bent in a solid base).

MTA good jab

PHOTO C: Incorrect Cross (head is in the center, chin is up, and I am standing tall).

MTA Bad Cross

PHOTO D: Correct Cross (head is off the center line, chin is tucked in to shoulder, knees are bent as I am pivoting, bringing my power shoulder and hip forward).

MTA good cross

Check out this video for some great drills you can do with a training partner:


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