I do MMA, and my gym has a Muay Thai class taught on the other side of the mats which I was considering joining also. The other day I was observing it and the instructor was teaching the students something called "the heavy jab," a modification on a normal jab in which the shoulder was pulled back first and then surged forward with the arm to create an extra-forceful jab.

Confession: I have little knowledge or experience of muay thai.
Suspicion: The heavy jab is bullshit.

I couldn't find any reference to it on the internet, not a single mention, and it just didn't look right. It looked ridiculous and ineffective, telegraphing horribly as the shoulder pulled back in preparation to strike.

Am I incorrect? Is this a thing? Is there a definite benefit to this technique?

  • 1
    Perhaps this was a pedagogical trick to emphasize movement in the shoulder during regular jabs, and not a separate kind of punch in itself? Apr 29 '13 at 13:24
  • Backwards movement??? Apr 29 '13 at 14:34
  • A stretch reflex can be used in some punching techniques to add power, much like a wind-up. So yes, while neither of us was taking this class and I have no idea what he was trying to teach, backwards movement isn't bonkers in 100% of situations. Have you worked with this instructor? Does he have a fight record? Have you ever taken a muay thai class with him or someone else? Did you ask whether that movement was exaggerated for effect? Apr 29 '13 at 14:41
  • Excellent points...to be ascertained. No, I have only observed. Apr 29 '13 at 16:02
  • 1
    I've heard of "heavy" to describe a jab ("XYZ has a heavy jab"), but never of a "heavy jab" ("This technique is the 'Heavy Jab'"). Perhaps a misunderstanding?
    – stslavik
    May 3 '13 at 17:39

Likely this is a jab after a turn. To describe...

Stand in your fighting stance, swing your back foot directly in front of your other foot 「keep your foot close to the ground as you do this」 and twist your body around to be side on. You will do the jab with your back hand, not your front hand like a usual jab. So if you are punching with your right hand, you have gone from facing forward to facing left, then just jab. Here you will be jabbing to your side instead of forward.

You don't throw the punch until your foot lands or you wont get the extra power. This movement would only be of use after a previous front jab, or when your foot lands after a snap kick. This kind of punch i would normally follow with a back kick or outer-crescent kick 「with my back foot」

When i say do the punch with your back hand, i do not mean throw a cross instead of a jab. The arm movement is exactly the same as a front jab.


I think that what the instructor called a "heavy jab", was nothing else but a straight punch or cross.

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