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Having Issues Dealing with the Counter Jab
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June 10, 2014
11:48 am
Soojae
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Hello Dr. Sick and Damage Control Community,

I have been having issues with the counter jab against me. The people I spar with tend to have a slightly longer reach and like to counter my punches with a stiff counter jab. This counter isn’t something that I can simply anticipate since the counter is not thrown every strike. When I do anticipate and, let’s say, slip while jabbing, they do a slight lean back to avoid my jab and throw the counter jab at my head regardless of it being off-angle. Even when I have my opposite hand up to shield the counter jab while I am jabbing, it still has a “stopping” effect and kills my forward momentum. Unfortunately, I do not have video, but I was thinking of recording a sparring session in the future, which may help. My striking is not my strong suit, but I want to build it up right, so I figured I’d ask about this.

Should I be less concerned about jabbing and consider trying to move in to a closer range where the jab becomes less effective? If I shield the counter jab should I just learn to power through it to keep the attack going?

I know that I am going to get hit at some point, this is a fighting art after all, but the counter jab really gets me out of my game and chips away at my confidence to attack. It probably doesn’t help that everyone I train with is at least 20-25 lbs heavier than me, but I try not to use the weight difference as an excuse to not practice. I am currently working on getting lighter on my feet to get a swifter side step, since I know part of the problem is speed.

Any tips, advice, or drills that anyone has to deal with the counter jab would be helpful. I am thinking in a kick boxing/MMA scenario where big slipping/bob and weaving motions can be dangerous. And in the case of MMA, there is not a big glove to help buffer strikes or get in the way of the strike as easily.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my post and thank you all for any advice you give.

-Matt-

June 10, 2014
7:38 pm
Dr Sick

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Great question.

There are a few things you can do and lucky for you a lot of them are already in our technique library.

But first lets talk about a few ideas. Have you tried stepping back and waiting? Instead of you bridging the gap and getting stopped with a jab, what if you stepped back and waited for them to bridge the gap. When they do you can take out their bridge step with a shot, a Thai Kick, an Overhand Right or a Teep.

If you are aware that they like to hit you with a stop jab, then are you aware of what beat they tend to throw the stop jab? First beat, second beat? If you know what beat they like to counter on you can condition yourself to move your head off line during that beat and simultaneously counter with an overhand or counter immediately after with an uppercut or hook.

Here are a few ideas on understanding how to deal with a weight/height disparity
http://damagecontrolmma.com/me…..-vs-short/
http://damagecontrolmma.com/me…..ll-series/

Of particular interest to you should be the “Stutter Step” video. If your opponent doesn’t know when you’re actually moving forward and when you’re just trying to get them to blow their wad, he hesitates emotionally and now you have the initiative and can put him on his heels and attack with a much higher success rate. This is included in the Short vs Tall Series.

The Timing Counters (On Beat and Off Beat) are covered here:
http://damagecontrolmma.com/me…..derations/

Let me know if this helps or not.

June 10, 2014
7:40 pm
Dr Sick

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Be sure to drill down on the Timing Counters there are a whole series of techniques inside the “Off Beat” and “On Beat” links.

June 11, 2014
6:32 am
Soojae
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Thank you for the response. I will have to look through the technique library again. I will start to incorporate some of the things that I find and I will let you know how it goes.

June 13, 2014
9:56 am
Dr Sick

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Awesome. I can’t wait to hear how our experiments go.

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