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I'm new to boxing, so this is an absolute novice question. My dominant hand is right, so I use left for jabs and right for straight/cross, like most people.

Despite right dominance, I'm slightly ambidextrous. While punching a bag, I find myself sometimes jabbing with right, with body slightly square. At such times, the right foot leads. Is this a mistake I should avoid, or is it good to mix things up? The more general form of this question is, can a right handed boxer jab with right hand, or is there a good reason to avoid this?

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    A jab is a specific punch. It is more than just moving your lead hand forward. A qualified coach has to show you a legit jab. Quality is better than the physical movement alone. If you are in a southpaw stance you are indeed fighting as a left handed person would. You would jab with your right hand & cross with your left hand. Keep in mind you weak hand is now the power hand. This may be a problem later on with a better sparring partner. – Logikal May 31 '18 at 13:21
  • For me, it will always be a plus point to practice both orthodox as well as southpaw, hence it won't matter what your dominant arm is. – Sahan De Silva Jul 2 '18 at 7:01
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My answer to a similar question should give some more info: https://martialarts.stackexchange.com/a/7918/8174

Specifically for your question, it's not bad to mix things up, but you want to prioritize your preferred stance over your switch stance. Many boxing, kickboxing, and MMA coaches won't even have you bother with stance switching. It doesn't do much to confuse or surprise opponents, and is used sparingly (if at all) even at the highest levels. I personally never switch stances in a fight, only screwing around in sparring.

One good time to use your switch stance is when you're put there because of the footwork of a technique. If you throw a jab - overhand right and end up with your right foot forward, great! Now you can throw a big ol' left cross. Or work that right handed jab. You don't want to hang out there too long though. Your opponent's main stance is better than your switch stance.

In summary, the relevance of stance switching has been up for debate forever. Some of the greatest fighters of all time never switch stance. Some do. Work with your coach for what works best for you!

  • Thank you! Both answers are great, and I'm convinced to not let this switch happen for now. – user153812 May 31 '18 at 16:53
  • @user153812 Good call. I wouldn't do it until I absolutely needed a reason to. I've seen teammates try to get cute and switch stances in a fight only to get cracked because their defense on that side isn't up to par. – coinbird May 31 '18 at 18:11
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It would be too easy to pick up poor habits if you're starting out, I would agree to keep to your left jab.

Your coach will be able to spot if they think you can accomplish switching properly (I found it handy warming up for some amateur fights where the opponent or their coach can see you, they'll then set up for a southpaw so you might get a few licks in to start proceedings 😁)

One shot that can work for you would be the 'step through' allowing a good solid backhand shot while maintaining or closing distance, or upsetting your opponents rhythm.

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