The next jab in our series is the flicker jab. The flicker jab is the fastest of all the jabs, but is also the least damaging. The flicker jab is thrown very loose and relaxed and therefore, it can be thrown easily regardless of where you start the punch.
The difference in this jab is that the primary driving force behind the punch tends to be outward and upward. Meaning when you throw the basic jab, it goes straight out on a straight line, not so with the flicker jab. The flicker jab tends to use the shoulder and elbow to drive the punch as the hand and wrist are relatively relaxed. The shoulder and elbow bring the punch up and into position like holding the handle of a whip to generate the sting at the end. It is the same for the flicker jab. The power is at the handle of the punch (shoulder and some elbow), but the punch whips out very relaxed. Therefore, the flicker jab is often thrown with the lead hand lower than normal.
The lead hand may be all the way down the side of the body in order to draw your opponent in. Unlike the basic jab, the flicker jab can also be thrown with the elbow slightly out. Because this jab is not used to deal major damage and primarily for speed and distraction, often the elbow can flare out a bit in order to change the angle of the punch so it's more like a backfist or light hammer fist. Again, like all jabs, it can be thrown with the fist vertical, horizontal, or somewhere in between.
The flicker jab is primarily used to distract your opponent or get off a quick hit and move back out. It's not a knock out punch. However, it can be used beautifully to set up a rear cross or even a lead hook. You can mix up your flicker jabs with basic jabs and event feints and fakes to lure your opponent in for big damage. Indeed, the flicker jab is best used in combination with something else and not as a stand alone punch.
Beware of throwing too many flicker jabs without anything to follow it up with. Your opponent will see through this and may walk through your flicker jab to land a heavier blow. Use the flicker jab at your maximum distance as this punch is unlikely to force your opponent back. Use it to keep something in his face, to bother him, until you can set up the finish.
The flicker jab is best used with a single step or outside line curve step. The single step is okay, but you want to avoid being too close to your opponent when throwing this punch unless you have something to follow up with. If you're just using it to probe and gauge your opponent's reaction, it's best to step off the primary line of attack with a curve step or side step and pivot. This will make you a moving target and make it more difficult for your opponent to counter you. Timing is everything.
Use the flicker jab to keep your offense going when you may not want to fully commit yet. Once you're comfortable with your opponent's response time and likely reaction, then you can move in with stronger attacks. Of course, in a street fight, you may not have the luxury of feeling your opponent out. You may need to throw the flicker jab, then immediately go in to finish the fight. Every situation is different and much depends on your skill level and that of your opponent which you may not know.
Play with the flicker jab; experiment with it. Try to see what different combinations of attacks you can work from it. If you can solicit a response from your opponent with the flicker jab, think about what area that opens up. Many people bring their hand forward to catch or parry the flicker jab, this then opens up the side of their head for a devastating hook. So, often you see boxers throw the flicker jab to solicit the response, then counter with the same hand throwing a lead hook punch. Lead flicker jab into a lead hook is a devastating combination. Often you can use the same energy from your elbow to whip the hook around from your flicker jab cocking the elbow up high to get it around your opponent's guard. This can then be followed up with the rear cross to the head or body.
This concludes Part 2: The Flicker Jab. Thank you for reading and remember to always believe in you and say no to anything that is not aligned with who you are.
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